Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Wire

I am finding Bill Moyers Journal to be the height of my weekly ritual. The ideas are rich and deep. This week was no different. David Simon was a crime reporter for the The Baltimore Sun
and creator of the HBO series The Wire. Here are some highlights of what I walked away with:
  • All institutions corrupt themselves as individuals distort the truth for personal gain. Without good investigative journalism allot of it goes unreported and uncorrected. Examples include politicians, police commissioners, and educators who "juke the stats" to create the appearance of success. These same institutions are entrusted with solving problems and they don't.
  • The underclass in America is seen as disposable to decision makers (including voters). When tough choices and priorities are set those that are not needed get left out.
  • The drug policy in the US is broken. The drug trade is the only viable economic activity for someone facing no meaningful future. Prisons don't solve it.
  • The balance between personal gain and public good could shift as watchdogs like newspapers and an informed public erode.
The full video of David Simon on Bill Moyers Journal is available online here.