Table of contents

The Wire V

On Progress

The new city administration quickly proves as incompetent as the previous. As corrupt, too. The new mayor keeps enough of the old administration to satisfy partisanship. Then he destroys the police to save the schools: Life under Democrats. But one-party rule is always a major political problem. Happily, the opposition party usually seems more moral. The Democrat mayor & his party have one concern: Win the State House & gubernatorial elections. He decides to run for higher office on homelessness. – This association with liberalism suggests Democrats are themselves the problem: They put together mob flattery & compassion…

The press is our theme. We see the idealistic, sophisticated, & committed collegemen-and-women who are poised to save mankind. They fight corruption & know the truth of social problems, in jargon. Then we get a rewrite on that New York Times reporter, Jayson Blair, caught fabricating dozens of stories while the editors promoted him, presumably for journalistic excellence.

As for the press, everyone is saintly, except one editor & the liar himself. Apparently, a rotten apple puts a polish on all the others… Further, in this liberal fantasy, the reporters themselves push to expose the liar amongst them! But they at the same time know the reporter was basically innocent, a victim of tough circumstances. All together hate the evil capitalists forcing them to debase their noble calling by working for a living.

McNulty finally goes crazy trying to force politicians to pay the police for their job, primarily so they can do that job well. He invents a likely story about a serial killer to get resources to then reroute to serious investigations. He does illegally what the politicians should do legally. Of course, the policemen, being incorruptible, do not waste their money. Certainly, poets make up stories to attract people’s attention in order to teach quiet truths…

Bunk tries to scare him: Pretty police don’t fare well in jail; we have kids; there are car payments & houses & furniture. – The statistics would look bad. – Finally, he threatens feeble betrayal. McNulty’s friends & colleagues told him his job was killing him. Really, had the job worked, he would have shone in military & civil virtues. Without police, he had no virtue.

His new woman with children tells him that no one will attend his funeral but his family. Greggs finally betrays him, being loyal to the job, & his career is over. The cops give him a mock wake, they sing again that they are free born men of the USA, & the fat man gives the eulogy. McNulty & a few others, but him above all, is called natural police, which gets funnier the more you think about it.