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The Wire

The Sun Also Spins.

For Simon, this dispute basically comes down to the complexity of urban problems. As he sees it, the ‘Philly model,’ imported to the Sun by Carroll and Marimow [re: Klebanow and Whiting], ignored the decades of economic, racial, political, and social disconnects underlying that complexity. When it spurred reform, it was reform that could not match the intransigence of the underlying patterns. The reporting itself was formidable, Simon says, but to him, homelessness, addiction, and violence aren’t the central problems. ‘Those are all the symptoms of the problem,’ he says. ‘You can carve off a symptom and talk about how bad drugs are, and you can blame the police department for fucking up the drug war, but that’s kind of like coming up to a house hit by a hurricane and making a lot of voluminous notes about the fact that some roof tiles are off.’

As The Wire 53 premieres on On Demand, some links on the journalistic controversies driving show creator David Simon’s animus this season. The CJR offered a long and interesting overview of the Simon v. Marimow/Carroll feud, and its partial roots in differing conceptions of urban journalism. An old 2000 City Paper piece suggests who Simon may have in mind in cub reporter Scott Templeton. And Simon himself recently discussed his old newsroom for Esquire, and got involved with Mark Bowden and Matt Yglesias over at The Atlantic. (Most links here via THND.)

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