SHADOW Home Secretary Chris Grayling has been rightly castigated for his intemperate remarks which compared Liverpool and Manchester with the American city of Baltimore depicted in TV’s cult series, The Wire.
Although it may suit Grayling’s political purposes – and attract easy media headlines – to launch such an outburst, it is so way off-beam as to be faintly ridiculous.
So we shall move on.
However, one aspect of The Wire, currently showing on BBC2, which does stand comparison is in its depiction of the current state of the media.
The fictional Baltimore Sun is closing offices, losing gifted, connected staff and missing important stories as the money men in charge grapple with the onset of the internet.
Swap Baltimore for Bury, Birmingham, or Basildon and the story is the same. Same pressures, same environment, same profane language.
The Wire’s depiction of frustrated but ambitious reporters itching to get out, supine management, declining editorial standards and a supremely cynical City editor, Gus Haynes (pictured above) is strikingly authentic – even for Britain.
As one senior North West journalist commented the other day: “It’s so accurate, it’s almost uncanny. Completely spot on.”
So if you want to find out what life is really like on your local newspaper, tune into The Wire next Monday night. You won’t regret it.