Friday, February 22, 2008

David Simon on S5

There is a new interview with David Simon by Newsweek on the interweb this week. In it, he addresses the problems many fans have had with the media plot line. Simon is adamant that its not about the Sun or getting back at a few editors he had years ago, but addressing an important problem in the newsroom. He's arguing that fabrication is more prevalent than many in society and the journalism community would believe. Furthermore, he tears into Devin Gordon, the Newsweek interviewer for privileging some of Simon's other "bad" characters as being more nuanced than the lying Scott Templeton:
Is the reporter who makes s--t up to serve his own ambition not going to be hateful to some viewers? Is Marlo not hateful for being a sociopath? Is Major Rawls not hateful for serving only his own interests? Are these characters somehow more nuanced?
While Simon is obviously correct that many of the journalistic types have been reacting negatively to the media plot, whether consciously or unconsciously, because they are necessarily defensive about their culture and its drawbacks. It is also interesting how Simon frames this lie against a larger societal lie, the War (you know which one, but it could be that other one too).

But I guess when I think of the failure of the newsmedia, it is not the Scott Templeton's of the world which bother me most. Yes, fake journalism is bad, ambition that ignores ethics is bad, but Templeton is not one putting Britney Spears on A1A, while Darfur is pg 15 below the fold. Yes Scott Templeton is a product of the media institution, but I don't know if his transgressions elevate him to antihero.

It's "angry" Simon at his best, and a very enlightening interview. Go read it.

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