Guy Who Created The Wire Takes Everyone To School On The “Four Years” Canard; Not Soon Enough For NBC10
On Friday night, The Wire and Treme creator David Simon sat in the rumble seat on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. As you might expect, it was a fairly jubilant episode, coming right off the DNC. It was filled with local flavor, too: Cuckoobird Christine O’Donnell resurfaced, and renowned hoagiemouth Steve Schmidt sat on the panel. For us, though, the real takeaway was Simon (who at this point we basically treat as an honorary Philadelphian, because Lord knows, in this life, he’s put up with a lot of the same bullshit as us). Simon broke out of the gate with a remark on that insufferable question that has dogged the last few weeks, including both the RNC and the DNC:
Are you better off today than you were four years ago? His analysis? That it just might be the single “most corrosive” question in American politics, no matter which side you’re on. Simon explained:
De-industrialization’s been going on for 50 years, the decline of organized labor’s been going on for 40 years, globalization: 20-25 years, and you’re gonna sit there and argue over this month’s employment report? The fact that we can’t have an adult electoral process is rooted in this kind of frenzy of who can we blame, and how fast.
[...] That business of four years being the metric for anything? We have a political culture that everyone plants annuals, they plant pretty flowers that come up the next spring. What we need is a political culture where somebody plants a fuckin’ olive tree, which doesn’t even give you an olive for seven years. That’s how you fix an economy…When that olive tree becomes an orchard.
At the core of that culture, is the media, who in this cycle are 100% complicit in keeping this bullshit question stuck on repeat. Media people love Simon — his portrayal of the Baltimore Sun on The Wire remains the most true latter-day portrayal of American newsmaking out there — and it’s fair to assume that this was a memo of sorts. As in: “Memo to news people: Knock it the fuck off already.”
But alas, it didn’t get out there soon enough. Yesterday morning, immediately after Romney’s interview on Meet The Press (that even the heartiest GOP folks had to be doing facepalms over), guess which question NBC10′s @issue led with. Go ahead, guess.