Our Pledge To You

News

Obama talks ‘The Wire,’ drug culture, justice reform with David Simon

Omar Little, from "The Wire," played by Michael Kenneth Williams.

Omar Little, from “The Wire,” played by Michael Kenneth Williams.

“The Wire” is often regarded as one of the best shows on television, though one that was not widely watched when it originally aired.

But the five-season HBO series that told the tales of the dangerous, drug-addled streets of Baltimore — “based on reality” tales played out in conjunction with law enforcement, political and media dysfunction, had at least one high-profile fan in President Obama.

Obama sat down to talk with former journalist David Simon, the series’ writer and co-creator, in the White House in a conversation covering not only the show, but the deeper criminal justice and inner city decay issues “The Wire” covered so well and in such desperate detail.

Here’s the conversation that, like the show, pulled no punches in talking about drug law enforcement, black disenfranchisement and the politics that bat these crumbling realities around.

And, in case you’re wondering, Obama says Omar is his favorite character.