Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jeffrey Goldberg Is Too Smart For The Wire - Week 3


Unlike you (presumably, since your tight-lippedness on the matter of the Baltimore Sun has me guessing just a bit), I found the newsroom scene moving, perhaps because I had just read about the latest coup at the formerly great L.A. Times...That scene in the newsroom was near perfect because it had the power of truth, right down to the moment when the patrician executive editor, Whiting, forces his sweaty, ferretish managing editor, Klebanow to deliver the actual bad news.

When something happens in real life, it's much easier for Goldberg to understand fiction.

The problem, of course, is that these realistic scenes of newsroom life circa 2008 are undermined by deeply unrealistic scenes of newsroom life circa never. In other words, why does Roger Twigg, the discarded police reporter, have to be so encyclopedically perfect?

Can you believe it? The writers of The Wire are simply making up characters and scenarios for their drama! Why can't they just take everything from real life so Jeffrey Goldberg can be comfortable with the familiar? He has never known a reporter to be encyclopedically perfect and he cannot get past this fictional character!

I have to say this, in light of the firing of the editor of the Los Angeles Times: I will not be criticizing David Simon's Baltimore Sun plot today. The truth is, the battle between David Simon and the Tribune Company is the battle between the Forces of Good and the Forces of Evil. The Forces of Good whine a lot, but I'll take David Simon's whining over corporate pillaging, gladly.

If Jeffrey Goldberg ever personally criticizes you for something, simply show him a real world example of something. Also, without question, he is either friends with the former editor of the L.A. Times or a friend of a friend. Jeffrey Goldberg is mainly moved by things that affect him directly.

Perhaps the weakness of the Baltimore Sun subplot is not Simon's fault, but ours. And by "ours," I mean all of us in journalism. Maybe we're just not that interesting; David Simon can't make us interesting; David Milch couldn't make us interesting; maybe even David Chase himself couldn't make us interesting. Well, maybe he couldn't make me interesting. You, he could build a show around.

Really? Possibly? This is possible? But...all those articles that journalists write about journalism and their other journalist friends? Those aren't interesting? But...if they're not interesting, why do journalists constantly talk about themselves and their lives and their profession? That just seems like an odd choice. By the way, if you want to explain to a young child what "false modesty" is, show them the close of this paragraph.

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