Showrunner discusses bad journalism on 'House of Cards'


Netflix's House of Cards has become something of a hit among social media and internet discussion boards, even if the steaming service does not release numbers on how many people are actually watching (per their policy). The show, which deals with Rep. Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and a young reporter named Zoe Barnes (Kate Mata, sister of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's Rooney Mara) working together, through back channels, for "scoops" that will benefit both of their causes.

Yet, some journalists are not that happy about it. They say that the series is painting a bad picture of reporters and bloggers, especially women reporters. Part of the way Barnes lands these tips are through sexual favors. She leaves her paper and then starts a rivalry with its senior political reporter.

Slate columnist Alyssa Rosenberg is one of these that are not happy with the way that females are presented on the show, saying that they are "promiscuous, catfight-prone, and entirely unethical," adding that they are "grotesquely insulting to the women who do serious policy and political reporting in Washington every day." 

However, showrunner Beau Willimon does not see it that way.

"I think among the media community, any sort of I guess disgust or abrasive feelings they have about Zoe Barnes stems from the fact that she has tossed ethics aside," he said. "That’s sort of the point, though. If you want to judge her as a noble, ethical journalist, then naturally you’d have that sort of reaction. But we’re not telling the story of a noble, ethical journalist. We’re telling the story of youthful ambition. It’s not someone who’s a good journalist. It’s someone who’s a good climber. That’s in line with the overall subject of our show, which is power."

Is it fair to look at this issue from that vantage point, or is Willimon seeing only what he wants to see?


- House of Cards (2013)

Written by: Hamatosan
Feb 15th, 2013, 1:00 pm

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