The Angriest Man In Television. Bowden emphasizes no matter how realistic The Wire is, it should not be confused with journalism. He also defends some of the people creator David Simon demonizes on his show and in the press. In essence the show succeeds in painting a portrait on some aspects of life in Baltimore but Bowden argues contradictory elements have been left out to create a more coherent story and message. Reporters don’t get to pick their facts.
Yet Bowden did pick his facts.
For instance, he declined to acknowledge that he held more than a passing friendship with the editors he was defending: One of them recently hired him as a columnist on the Philadelphia paper. And the fabricating reporter that Simon criticized in Baltimore — Bowden blurbed his first book.
For the counterpunch, check out the current issue of Esquire, where Simon recounts the misadventure with the fabricator and the editors who defended him.
Let me clarify a bit. I’m not necessarily endorsing Bowden’s opinion’s of Simon or his conflict at the Baltimore Sun. I do think it’s worthwhile to point out that The Wire is a wonderful and realistic portrait of urban life in Baltimore, but it is not journalism. I think its important to make the distinction because a lot of people have mischaracterized it as that in the media (I doubt Simon himself would disagree with that).
In fairness though, here is the link to the Esquire profile for those who are interested.