Friday, January 25, 2008
well i beg your pardon:
Me and a bunch of friends -- Yglesias, Capps, Ezra, Ann and Kay -- have very strong feelings feelings about The Wire. Since we're all writers, we naturally decided it would be a shame to deny the world our IRL arguments about the merits and drawbacks of season five. The American Prospect, nodding its august liberal head, decided it would give us bandwidth to explore the show every three episodes. And so here's installment number one of WireTAP, the only Wire debate at a journalistic organization that matters.

My argument didn't really get much engagement (sigh), but I contend that season five is actually super-awesome. For my money, though, Kriston has pretty much has the best entry in the debate. I don't know what Ann and Kay are thinking about the Stanfield crew, and I'm not sure why Ezra thinks that Scott's fabulism isn't supposed to be seen as a symptom of what happens when newspapers cut back on real reporters and valorize snazzy but substanceless young'uns.

Update: Maybe I didn't understand Ezra's point about fabulism because I misread Ez What he actually says is that fabulism is orthogonal to the decline of newspapering -- it can happen at contracting papers, but also at The New York Times and The New Republic and The Washington Post -- and so to graft the fabulism point onto the venal-management point (even though this apparently happened at the Baltimore Sun when Simon was there) is cheap.

Late Update: One of Ezra's commenters, Pesto, spits hot fire:

McNulty found some kind of peace in giving up on detective work for the more mundane work as a uniformed cop. He kicked his habit(s). But then he was lured back in by promises of a real commitment to Major Crimes by the higher-ups, and found out that it was all a big lie -- as he now feels he should have known. He hates the higher-ups, of course, but hates himself more for his relapse, and he's taking it out on everyone around him. Bubbles, who's an addict-detective (to McNulty's detective-addict) is going to go through something similar, I think.
Really good point.

Absolutely Final Update: My friend and Baltimorean Rich Byrne, who wrote before the season-four hype, adds a lot of value at the Guardian's website.

--Spencer Ackerman