Netflix has struck a deal with President Obama and Michelle Obama to create original content for the video streaming service. I guess there were no more humanitarian projects anywhere on the planet that needed the attention of the Obamas, so why not go to Hollywood and cash in?
After all, unlike Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the Obamas never claimed to be socialists. They’ve already embraced the audacity of capitalism as part of the top 1 percent of earners, so when the opportunity to make even more money comes along, why not respond: Yes we can!
Getting this deal was probably easy for the former first couple, thanks to their global name recognition. Few couples outside the British royal family are better known.
The real challenge now is coming up with great programming ideas. President Obama is no stranger to fiction, having concocted stories about ObamaCare making health care affordable; a military strategy of leading from behind; magically disappearing red lines; a deal to stop Iran from going nuclear; and nonexistent achievements that earned him the Nobel Peace Prize.
With this record, President Obama ought to have his own late-night comedy show – but instead, he’s opting for Netflix.
Developing ideas for TV is a challenge – harder than orating from a teleprompter to the adoring masses. So I thought I would give our former president some ideas for show concepts. All I ask in return is executive producer status and a few points of the gross. I’m not greedy.
Mr. President, I tell authors I work with in my business to “write what you know.” That’s my advice for you as well. And in Hollywood, the five most powerful words are: “Based on a true story.”
So putting those thoughts together, I thought I’d share with you five ways to transform actual events from your presidency into must-see TV. Maybe these will get you a few Emmy Awards to put on the mantle of your mansion next to the Nobel Peace Prize.
Here are the new Obama TV ideas I’m passing on. Consider this list a Father’s Day present, Mr. President.
“Take a Bow, Mr. President”
This show will feature the Obamas traveling the world in the style of the late, great Anthony Bourdain, but instead of going to restaurants, they will meet with world leaders and bow deeply to them, as Obama did in his first year.
No bowing to democratic European leaders, however; only bowing to hereditary rulers, leaders of nations with no history of women’s rights or progressivism, and despots implicated in funding terrorism. Those seem to be the people Obama likes to bow to anyway, so he won’t be “playing against type.”
Theme music: Songs from the Broadway classic, “The King and I.”
“The Very, Very, Very Thin Red Line”
This is a political drama where a tyrannical dictator in a far-off country – we’ll call it Syria – uses chemical weapons on his people. Then the president of the United States says that there’s a red line and if you cross it, we’re going to do something to you and you cannot use those kinds of weapons again.
Cut to: President Obama taking a moonlit stroll in the Rose Garden and then telling the dictator: “Hey, buddy, it’s OK. I was just kidding – didn’t mean it. Feel free to do it again.”
And then the dictator does it again. And again. And again.
Theme music: “Changes,” by David Bowie.
“Little Library on the Prairie”
In a poor Midwestern community, where families struggle to get by, the Obama family builds a presidential library to glorify you know who. It starts off small, but then grows and grows and grows.
Suddenly the community is revitalized – rents go up, the community gentrifies, and the people living there now can’t afford the rents and have to move out.
Theme music: The song from “Fiddler on the Roof,” featuring slightly altered lyrics, “Now That I’m a Rich Man!”
“Santa Obama is Coming to Town”
Like all the other ideas I’m proposing, this is also based on a true story. We go back to the time when the economy was tanking in 2009.
President Obama took $700 billion of taxpayer money and put much of it into pension funds for public unions – which is to say government workers, to bolster those funds as a way of paying them back for helping him getting elected.
Meanwhile, everyone on Wall Street who contributed to the creation of the financial crisis that destroyed the financial lives of millions of working-class Americans gets to keep his or her job, money and freedom.
Theme music: A choir of stockbrokers sings “We’re in the Money!”
“Wheelbarrow of Fortune”
In this reality show, President Obama instructs the Treasury Department to have its employees push wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of $100 bills onto giant cargo planes that fly all that cash – $1.7 billion – to the corrupt anti-American Iranian government.
The moolah goes to the mullahs who rule Iran as a way of thanking them for signing a nuclear deal that temporarily slows their drive to develop nuclear weapons for a few years, and then lets them join the nuclear club.
The good news is that in “Wheelbarrow of Fortune,” Americans actually get to see the cash that Obama sends Iran, instead of the whole thing happening in the dead of night with no congressional oversight.
Theme music: A selection from the film “Dr. Strangelove.”
It’s said that “Hollywood is a place where wonderful things almost happen.”
In this case, however, Mr. President, it’s wonderful that now you can only do this stuff on TV – not in real life. This is certainly helping to Make America Great Again.
So, President Obama, if you’re interested in following up on any of my brilliant suggestions, let me know. As they say in Hollywood, let’s take a meeting.