After watching last night’s finale of “The Wire”, imagine our delight to find an interview with its creator, David Simon, in Salon. If you’re like most of America, you didn’t watch the fifth and last season of The Best Show On Television, so you don’t know that one of the major plots revolved around the Baltimore Sun, where Simon was a reporter before he went Hollywood. Many Wire-lovers, including us, thought that the plot fell flat — and wondered how Simon could write an entire season about the newspaper business and never talk about the Web’s impact. His response:
It is in the story in the one place it needs to be in. It doesn’t need to be anywhere else. It’s in there as the economic preamble, when Whiting gets up on the desk and says, “We have to close the foreign bureaus, and we’re going to have another round of buyouts. This is a hard time for newspapers. The Internet is free…” — whatever it is he says.
If you’re saying that there needed to be scenes of the Internet interacting with journalism and bringing down journalism, I will now write you a scene: Interior, garden apartment anywhere. A white male, mid-30s, sits at a laptop computer in his underwear, linking to a Baltimore Sun story. He then scratches his left testicle until satisfied and continues to type commentary about that story onto his blog. Cut to drug corner, and on to the next scene.