David Simon, Reason Magazine Feud Over ‘Shanked’ Interview

"The Wire" creator David Simon claims that his arguments against Wall Street and the prison-industrial complex were left on the cutting-room floor

David Simon, creator of "The Wire" and co-creator of "Treme," is locking horns with libertarian magazine Reason over an interview that Simon gave to the magazine's Reason TV.

Simon blasted Reason on his personal website Friday, claiming that the interview had been edited in such a way that made his arguments seem "disjointed" and "unsupported," ultimately concluding that Reason had "shanked" his interview.

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At particular issue for Simon are segments of the interview — with Reason TV's Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie — during which he argued that Wall Street was behind the newspaper industry's decline and decried the prison-industrial complex.

Simon contends that the edited interview — which was boiled down to just under 21 minutes, from an hour and 20 minutes — left most of the reasoning for his stances on the cutting-room floor, making it appear that his arguments are unsupported.

"It’s just a mess," Simon — who requested, and reviewed, a full copy of the interview before writing his post — claimed. "Looking at the comments on Reason.com, a number of those who read or viewed the interview thought my comments were notably fractured, if not incoherent. I quite agree."

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Simon, who admits to an "antipathy" toward some libertarian ideals, blames the disjointed feel of the interview on sloppy editing rather than ideological bias. Nonetheless, Simon contends, the end result is the same. 

"I’m not going to suggest that the evisceration of my answers resulted from my antipathy to certain libertarian arguments, or even a conscious effort to prevent an opposing argument to fully form. I think it’s just an edit by folks who found more favor in banter and quick reposite than in actually surrounding stuff," Simon wrote. "I claim nothing sinister on the magazine’s part; they would not have given me the whole interview to review if they had shanked it for ideological reasons; but shank it they did, in my opinion."

Gillespie, who is also editor-in-chief of Reason.com, disagrees.

"We stand by our edits of the material not simply as standard journalistic practice (as Simon himself notes, 'unedited interviews seldom are' worth anyone's time) but as fully conveying both the complexity and depth of his takes on the various topics we discussed," Gillespie asserted in a Reason blog post co-authored by Jim Epstein, who also produced the interview.

The blog post also offers a link to the full interview, so that listeners can decide for themselves.

Here's the interview in its edited version. Did Simon really get shanked? Share your thoughts in our comments section.