David Simon offers to make a new season of ‘The Wire’ if the feds end their drug war

Eric Holder and stars of 'The Wire' discuss endangered children.Attorney General Eric Holder recently appeared with several actors from the HBO series ‘The Wire’ to discuss the plight of children exposed to the drug culture.  It seems the program, co-produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, is a real hit at the Justice Department.  President Obama is also a big fan.  In fact, AG Holder is so impressed with The Wire he ordered Simon and Burns to produce at least one additional season.

“I want to speak directly to Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon. Do another season of ‘The Wire.’ That’s actually at a minimum….if you don’t do a season, do a movie. We’ve done HBO movies; this is a series that deserves a movie. I want another season or I want a movie. I have a lot of power Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon.”

I sat next to Ed Burns (an ex-cop and school teacher) at a roundtable discussion of the drug war a few years ago.  He told me the war on drugs would continue indefinitely even though it has proved to be an utter failure.  As most fans of The Wire appreciate, the acclaimed series featured the futility of locking up low-level drug dealers.  While the series depicted drug dealers is an unflattering (and completely unsentimental) light, politicians, publishers and police officers scarcely fared better.

Eric Holder and President Obama love the show but appear to have missed the primary point.

Now David Simon has responded to AG Holder’s request.

“The Attorney-General’s kind remarks are noted and are appreciated,” Simon said. “I’ve spoken to Ed Burns and we are prepared to go to work on season six of ‘The Wire’ if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanizing drug prohibition.”

Deep down, I suspect both Obama and Holder appreciate the futility of the drug war.  Unfortunately, you can’t get elected (or appointed) to high office in America without demonstrating a firm commitment to militarism.  Obama could denounce the war in Iraq, but he had to be for some kind of war–hence his enthusiasm for the exercise in futility unfolding in Afghanistan.  The President and his Attorney General would end the drug war if it were politically feasible; but as things stand it isn’t.

Simon and Burns on 'The Wire' set

This accounts for Ed Burns’ skepticism.  The drug war is a hopeless mess, but no politician dares to admit the obvious.  Newt Gingrich (with solid backing from friends in high places) has criticized the high cost of mass incarceration, but he would retreat from the high ground in a heart beat if he thought it was costing him politically.

We’ll see if Holder responds to Simon’s quid pro quo.  I’m not holding my breath.

3 thoughts on “David Simon offers to make a new season of ‘The Wire’ if the feds end their drug war

  1. Eric Holder comes from the Soundview section of the Bronx, a section that is subject to all of the negative effects of drug prohibition in this country, yet, he is a staunch defender of the Obama administrations support of this racist war on poor people of color. This is the guy that came into office talking about having a dialogue on race. When I have to make a choice between what someone says and what they do I go with what they do. Our people (people of color) have got to stop giving their support and loyalty soley based on skin color.. and start basing their support on the content of a person character.

  2. hi my name is Paul krempel im a resident of baltimore county i am a huge fan of the wire if their is another season i would love to try out for a role for i am a true baltimorian i will bring the true vibe of the way we speak an act

  3. i believe that it is important that the wire comes back to tv ….its not only riveting but realistic ….it showed that not everyone in the ghetto is a hood and how easy you can swept up in that life willingly or unwillingly…i hope simon and burns will take the challange to show that the war on drugs is a bust and then use there show as a forum to prove their point and give a better resolution….thinking about it a new season get me intrigued cause there are so many directions to go in as far as the story line ….do this not just for ratings but to help out those that truly need to be heard…..sincerely one of your many fans

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