David Simon is the creator of my all-time favorite show, “The Wire”, otherwise known as “The Greatest Television Show Ever Created By A Human”. Simon has a pretty grim perception of the American power structure and humanity, which might explain why “The Wire” never really caught on with the “American Idol” crowd. I personally can’t remember a single episode that ended with the good guys marching triumphantly into the sunset. In fact, most of the good guys aren’t good. They’re drug dealers and stick-up men.
Simon’s social commentary is probably annoying to people who prefer wandering through life blissfully drunk on a cocktail of apathy and delusion, which is why his recent testimony in front of Congress about the state of newspapers won’t make anyone feel good about the industry (Simon was a police reporter with The Baltimore Sun), or about journalism in general. But his comments are a welcome tonic for those sick from the blame-it-on-the-Internet crowd.
Simon has some pretty harsh things to say about companies that gobbled up newspapers because it was profitable, not because they had any particular interest in journalism or preparing the industry for the digital age. His testimony probably made some publishers uncomfortable. But Simon’s testimony will likely elicit a hearty “Amen!” to journalists who have long suspected that the people in control of the industry are the same ones responsible for running it into the ground.