'Wire' Spotlight Burns Paper

Show's creator defends portrayal of real-life newsmen
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2008 1:25 PM CST
This undated photo from HBO shows a scene from the HBO series "The Wire." (AP Photo/HBO)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The portrayal of battered, prize-grubbing  and unscrupulous journalists in HBO's “The Wire”—based loosely on creator David Simon’s years at the downsizing Baltimore Sun—has provoked a furious internet outcry from some former colleagues who can't help but recognize themselves, the Washington Post reports. One highly regarded top editor dragged through the maybe-not-so-fictional muck calls Simon “a very angry guy"; another resents "Simon's dishonest efforts to revise history."

With other  colleagues leaping to their defense, it's gotten so personal Simon has chimed in, saying he’s only portraying the truth as he remembers it—and that what matters is the quality of his show. The Post grants that both the skewered subjects eventually did—in real life— stand up against  pressure to slash coverage and cut corners in shrinking newsrooms.