Riese’s Team Pick: Bill Moyers Interviews David Simon (The Guy Who Made “The Wire”)

Bill Moyers, who hosted a bunch of videos I recall watching in school, is writing a book called “Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, which features extended interviews with 47 “independent thinkers” Bill interviewed on his show between 2007 and 2010.

At Guernica Magazine, they’ve published an excerpt from that book which is a conversation between Bill Moyers and David Simon, who invented The Wire, one of the best shows ever on television.

David Simon has a lot of really smart things to say about America and the ‘war on drugs’ and crime and also about journalism (similar to some of the points discussed while talking about w/r/t The New York Times paywall) (“The Internet, while it’s great for commentary and froth, doesn’t do very much first-generation reporting at all. The economic model can’t sustain that kind of reporting.”) When asked if he “has the answer” after “all these years,” David Simon says:

I would decriminalize drugs in a heartbeat. I would put all the interdiction money, all the incarceration money, all the enforcement money, all of the pretrial, all the prep, all of that cash, I would hurl it as fast as I could into drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the urban equivalent of FDR’sCCC—the Civilian Conservation Corps—if it was New Deal–type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome. The drug war is war on the underclass now. That’s all it is. It has no other meaning.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. word.
    just finished watching season one.. best. show. evvar. i’m officially hooked.. and i’ve been driving my friends crazy trying to speak ‘gangsta’-like..
    (fyi, i’m so not gangsta.. i live in scandinavia for crying out loud..)

    • um off topic but I thought maybe I had commented on my own post because my name is Marie B too (riese is a nickname)

      • Haha, cool.. :P
        well, marie is actually my middle name (people tend to not be able to pronounce my weird, danish first name, so..)


    Seriously, this guy is my hero. I want to quote from this interview but I’d be quoting the whole thing.

  3. Give the drug money to NCCC!!! (it exists for at least 2 more weeks :( :( ) David Simon is amazing.

  4. I just got another DVD of The Wire in from Netflix today! So excited to watch it! You and everyone else who’d been telling me to watch that show were right. It really is one of the best EVER! Clearly, David Simon is a smart guy, so that’s clearly where the Awesome originated.

    I don’t know who I love more, Kima or Omar.

  5. Annnnd, this is just another reason why I use The Wire as a teaching tool in my college classroom.

    Besides being the best t.v. show ever, it is an excellent program to discuss the Big Issues facing our nation in an accessible way.

    Glad you guys cover this fantastic show!

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