Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Wire's creator blasts O'Malley's "destructive" approach to crime problem

David Simon scoffs at Martin O'Malley's mayoral tenure (photo: Lori Matsumoto)

In an interview with The Daily Beast, The Wire's creator, David Simon, acknowledges some famously unflattering similarities between Baltimore's fictional city councilman, Tommy Carcetti, and former councilman, Martin O'Malley.

He then goes for the jugular, blasting O'Malley and contending that, in some ways, O'Malley actually makes Carcetti look good! (emphasis added).

Although Simon says that Carcetti was based on several politicians, he sees O’Malley and Carcetti as characterologically linked. “The writing was not unsympathetic to a man who comes in with the idea of changing things and emerges a completely different creature,” Simon told me. “That was the story [of Tommy Carcetti] and that is the story of Marty O’Malley.”

Simon views O’Malley as a politician more interested in promoting himself than engaging in the hard work of governance.

His great beef with O’Malley is that, in his view, he also juked the stats on crime—an allegation that O’Malley’s political opponents have also made.

The result, in the eyes of The Wire’s creator, “is that O’Malley’s tenure was as destructive a mayoralty to causes of crime and punishment as Baltimore has ever seen and, by that standard, Tommy Carcetti makes him look good.” (Needless to say, all of this is disputed by O’Malley insiders, who brag that, during his tenure, violent crime in Baltimore was cut by nearly 40 percent, down to its lowest levels in decades.)