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Tag: David Simon (1-4 of 4)

'The Wire' creator David Simon takes on Koch brothers over newspaper sale

David Simon, the former Baltimore Sun police reporter who co-created The Wire and Treme for HBO, has witnessed the demise of the American newspaper industry up close. He took a buyout from the Sun in 1995 when he concluded the downsized paper was heading in the wrong direction, and he spent an entire season of The Wire dramatizing the paper’s missteps after corporate out-of-towners took charge.

Toss in his self-described “left of the Democratic Party” political views, and it shouldn’t be any surprise that he’s not fond of the idea of the Sun and the rest of Tribune Company’s newspapers being sold to Koch Industries, the billion-dollar conglomerate run by conservative businessmen Charles and David Koch.

In a new web video, Simon urges people to sign a Working Families petition protesting the potential sale, which has been rumored for several months. “When I heard that the Koch brothers — bless their hearts — were interested in purchasing newspapers, and the Baltimore Sun, my alma mater, in particular, I thought, well, that’s kind of the last nail in the coffin,” Simon says in the video. “It’s not enough for [the Kochs] to lobby government. It’s not enough for [the Kochs] to influence elections. There’s an awful lot of capital that’s already introduced into our electoral process. Newspapers, the Fourth Estate, are supposed to be outside of that. … Ultimately, the only chance that democracy has, if you ask me, is that somebody stands on the outside of some of the excess and the fraud and basically calls foul. That doesn’t happen if the newspapers represent a particular ideology.”

Watch the entire video below:
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'The Wire' creator on Zimmerman verdict: 'The season on African-Americans now runs year round'

David Simon — co-creator of The Wire, co-creator of Tremé, card-carrying Person With Thoughts To Share — has some thoughts to share about Trayvon Martin. In a blog post titled simply “Trayvon,” Simon has written his reaction to the George Zimmerman verdict.

“You can stand your ground if you’re white, and you can use a gun to do it. But if you stand your ground with your fists and you’re black, you’re dead,” Simon notes. “In the state of Florida, the season on African-Americans now runs year round. Come one, come all. And bring a handgun.” He continues:
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'Treme' season premiere: In defense of HBO's little-watched Katrina drama

Quite a bit happened on the third season premiere of Treme. Antoine Batiste and a large group of musicians tried to honor the death of a renowned tuba player with a street parade, but the event was broken up by the New Orleans police. When Antoine mouthed off, he was arrested, only to be released by crusading lawyer Toni. Meanwhile, musical gadabout Davis watched his girlfriend Annie debut her new band, “Annie T. And the Bayou St. John Playboys,” thus continuing her rise to music stardom. We saw New Orleans expat Janette hard at work in David Chang’s restaurant, being stalked by a regular customer who loves her cooking. We saw Delmond celebrating the release of his new album, which is getting great reviews by a critical establishment that still refuses to understand New Orleans. We saw that LaDonna and her sons had moved in with Colson’s elitist relatives. We saw Nelson visit the imprisoned Councilman Thomas.

Some of this was based on true events. All of it happened in the first fifteen minutes of the episode, before the re-introduction of incorruptible cop Terry and emergent hipster Sofia and a host of other characters and subplots and musical performances.  The show was not much-watched in its first two seasons, and I can imagine that anyone who tuned in was instantly dizzy with the array of people and places and events. Heck,  I’ve watched every single minute of Treme, and I still couldn’t have told you half of those names without Wikipedia. (Treme is one of those HBO dramas where you mentally label characters instead of learning their names: “the shady Texas guy,” “the chef,” “the Dutch guy who’s always on drugs,” “Steve Zahn.”) READ FULL STORY

'The Wire' creator blasts Romney for tax comments: 'This republic is just about over, isn't it?'

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been dogged by media-gasbag allegations that he hasn’t been paying his taxes — allegations which offer smarmy pop-culture writers the exceedingly rare opportunity to mention Mitt Romney and Lauryn Hill in the same sentence.* Yesterday, Romney responded to those accusations by announcing, “I did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent.” In response, David Simon — creator of fall-of-America portraits like The Wire, Generation Kill, and Tremetook to his blog to announce that he, for one, was not amused. “Can we stand back and pause a short minute,” writes Simon, “to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.” READ FULL STORY

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