Several people have told me over the last few days how excited they are that David Simon is writing a new TV series in New Orleans. It being Monday morning, meaning you probably have time to kill, there's a fascinating two part Bill Moyers interview with Simon on PBS. So, I hope that soothes your itch for the day.
"Any institutional problem that a politician can run on, anything that someone can get a promotion on, the minute you invent a statistical measure for those things, I can guarantee you that 50 people in a room will be figuring out how to drive those stats up," says Simon. "Anything that is a stat can be cheated, right down to journalism."
Lies! Lies! Well, okay. True. But he's talking exclusively about the big dailies. I'm sure of it.
Being as how it's Monday morning, and I've got copy to finish for the paper, calls to make on stories, and the like, I've been watching all of it.
"A guy coming out of addiction at 30, 35, he often got into addiction with a string of problems, some of which were existential and personal, and some of which were systemic, which is: these are the surplus people in America," he says. "We pretend to need them, we pretend to try to educate them, but they're not fools."
"As long as they stay in their ghettos and they only kill each other, we're willing to pay a police presence to keep these people where they are."