Maybe they were prescient; maybe they just got lucky.
Either way the writers and producers of the Showtime series “House of Lies” are doing their part for the Obama campaign. Theirs is surely a subtle form of propaganda, but propaganda it is.
Not all of it, just most of it.
Now that it seems inevitable, as it has seemed for quite some time, that the Republicans are going to nominate a management consultant and private equity executive who began his career with the second largest consulting firm, Bain and Co., lo and behold, we are offered a sitcom highlighting a team of consultants from the second largest management consulting firm.
The leader of the team is named Marty Kaan. Don’t let the peculiar spelling confuse you: the show’s message, communicated by Marty himself in asides, is that management consulting is a con.
As it happens, Marty Kaan is black. Coincidentally or not, Bain and Co. once employed a famed black consultant named Kenneth Chenault. Currently, Chenault is the Chairman and CEO of American Express.
Sunday night’s episode, doubtless overshadowed by the aftermath of the Super Bowl, takes the Kaan team to Utah to consult with a motel chain’s Mormon executives. As you know the episode will be repeated endlessly on Showtime.
Most Americans do not know much about Mormonism. If Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee they are about to learn a whole lot more. Given the media’s political proclivities none of it is going to be good.
Sunday’s episode of “House of Lies” was a warm up.
What did we learn about Mormons? First, we learned that the Mormon CEO of the motel chain is a racist. He is such a racist that he refuses even to listen to what black team leader Kaan has to propose.
The consultants are not surprised or offended. They take it as a matter of course.
Message 1: Mormons are racists.
Next, we learn that one of the CEO’s chief lieutenants is Jewish. Not too Jewish, mind you, because he is obliged, as a condition of working for Mormons, to hide his religious affiliation.
He is a closeted Jew.
Again, everyone thinks that with Mormons this is pretty much par for the course.
Message 2: Mormons are anti-Semites.
Finally, we discover that the one Mormon woman in the group is a virgin. More precisely, she is a technical virgin. For those who are unsophisticated, this means that she has never had sexual intercourse but is a master of the art of anal sex.
Message 3: Mormon women love anal sex.
In fact, anal sex is a subtheme of the episode. The consultants, male and female, talk about it incessantly.
If Mormon women prize their virginity, this means, in the mind of Hollywood, that they are having a lot of anal sex.
This is not a compliment. When was the last time that a group of American women for any religious group was so openly maligned?
Has anyone out there noticed that the episode was an extended religious slur? Is Hollywood so skilled at propaganda that no one saw it?
If so, it was highly successful propaganda.