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Why Don’t We Ask Why?

david simonDavid Simon is a former journalist who quit his job because he could no longer do it the way he wanted to do it: the companies that run papers these days don’t want their journalists to ask the most important question out of the famous five Ws + H (who what where when why how) … That is: Why? … It’s the tough one, that takes time and attention and doggedness, and it just doesn’t seem to work well with the “bottom line” (which, for those counting, is looking pretty grim).

Eventually Simon, along with a former cop, and former teacher, created the TV show the Wire,

In this talk at Berkeley, he explains why he is not (or maybe is) the most angry man in television, how the decline of journalism is paired with our disfunctional democracy, how a barge, not a hurricane, caused the floods in New Orleans, lies, damn lies and statistics, systematic corruption, and how we should all pick something to give a shit about and, absurd or not, fight for it.

Here is the video. Watch it. It’s the most compelling bit of web content I’ve seen in a long, long time.


  1. Jon Udell Jon Udell 2008-11-18


  2. Hugh Hugh 2008-11-18

    do you mean:
    a) the video does not have audio for you?
    b) is there an audio-only version of this?
    c) something else?

    audio worked fine for me.

  3. kirsten kirsten 2008-11-20

    Thank you! It’s refreshing to know that a jaded journalist produced fiction more relevant than what we read in the paper most days.

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