David Simon’s Take on his “Angry Man” Rep

“The Wire” co-creator on blogging, Baltimore vs. New Orleans and his portrayal in the media

You talkin’ to me? A mellow David Simon talks to The Brew about his image as the Travis Bickle of television, his work, his blog and his love of a good argument. Photo by: Doug Birch

By Doug Birch (Baltimore Brew, 7/3/2012)

Angry, grudge-bearing, vengeful and passionate? That seems to be his public image, says David Simon, former Sun cop reporter, author and co-creator of television’s “The Wire,” “Generation Kill” and “Treme.”

But he insists that isn’t really him.

“I just don’t even recognize the guy who’s supposed to be so angry,” he says over a recent breakfast at Spoons restaurant in Federal Hill. “I’m just the guy who’s interested in an argument.”

Simon has argued eloquently, forcefully and at length in multiple media about issues great and small over the years. And he’s done so with friends, colleagues, sources, bosses, mayors, prosecutors, and formatively with his parents and siblings, over the Simon dinner table back when he was growing up in Montgomery County.

But until recently he hasn’t had a personal blog, the gladiatorial arena of choice for America’s political and civic commentariat. A disciple of nuance and fidelity, Simon has criticized the blogosphere as a poor substitute for the professional in-depth writing about matters of civic moment traditionally done by newspapers, back in the day when more of them had fat revenues and big staffs.

A few months ago he caused some fierce fan blowback by complaining in a New York Times interview about websites where enthusiastic “Wire” scholars rank their favorite characters, scenes and seasons – paying scant attention to the important issues the show raised about the war on drugs, say, or the other pathologies of urban America.

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