If you base fictional politicians on real-life politicians, are you allowed to flip-flop on the issues — just like the real guys do?
Apparently so if you’re David Simon, creator of the mega HBO hit “The Wire.”
Consider today’s Yeas & Nays item on Simon:
Just in case there was any doubt where David Simon got all those searing storylines about big-city politics, “The Wire” creator left no doubt at a Q&A on Wednesday night at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association headquarters.
Simon made clear that when fictitious Baltimore Mayor Tommy Carcetti cooked the crime numbers to get elected, it was rooted in what he said was former real-life Mayor Martin O’Malley massaging his own crime stats in preparation for his run at the Maryland governor’s mansion.
“That was all O’Malley,” Simon told the VIP crowd, which had just gotten a sneak peek at the series’ penultimate episode.
Now, consider Simon’s November 2006 interview with Campus Progress:
How literally should we take parallels between current Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley and Tommy Carcetti [the white mayoral candidate in The Wire]?
It’s not O’Malley. He was one of several inspirations, but [story editor] Bill Zorzi has covered politicians in Annapolis and Baltimore for his whole career. We were stealing stuff from guys whose names you wouldn’t even know.
In other words, Simon was against O’Malley before he was for him.