Divorced from Reality

Almost as if in rebuttal to my comments about The Wire, Governor O’Malley mouthed off about it:

O’Malley also answered a question about the HBO television show “The Wire,” a gritty crime show that was based on and filmed in Baltimore, mostly while he was mayor. The student asked whether O’Malley believed the show had anything to offer about problems facing big cities.

“I tell you what: I can’t stand ‘The Wire,'” O’Malley said. “I can’t stand ‘The Wire.’ I can’t say that I’ve ever seen an entire episode of it. I watched enough of it to know that it did not portray the full picture of what Baltimore is all about as a city.”

The governor then added that he supposed the show has value as an art form “to the extent that it can make us more sensitive to the sort of carnage and suffering that goes on in so many big American cities, especially around the issue of drugs and drug dealing.

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As I noted to the clerk in Seattle, the Governor is right in that The Wire “did not portray the full picture of what Baltimore is.” The city is much more violent and much more corrupt than it ever could have been portrayed on television and still be believable to the casual viewer.

(I’m sure that it didn’t help his opinion of the show that the character on the show based after O’Malley was elected Mayor and portrayed as a womanizer. Maybe it hit too close to home, I don’t know…)

Be that as it may, what really disturbed me is how divorced from reality Martin O’Malley is about life and the human condition in Baltimore City. Yes, it really is that bad and worse. And yet during his time as Mayor and during his time as Governor, O’Malley has done bumpkis to fix it. O’Malley didn’t root out corruption. O’Malley didn’t address the crime problem. O’Malley didn’t work to fix city schools. He merely played the blame game and looked forward to his next promotion, i.e. the Governorship. You could probably argue in reality that Martin O’Malley was, to an extent, an enabler that allowed the conditions portrayed on The Wire to persist.

O’Malley can like the show or not, but The Wire accurately portrayed life in Baltimore. If O’Malley wants to put his head in the sand and complain about the show now that’s fine, but in reality he should look in the mirror and ask himself if he has done everything he can do to try and improve the city…….he won’t, but that’s what he should do.


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