President Obama and co-creator of “The Wire” David Simon spoke at The White House on Thursday to look back at the acclaimed HBO show, and also talk about the modern day drug war.
“I’m a huge fan of The Wire,” Obama opened the interview saying. “It’s one of the greatest, not just television shows, but pieces of art in the last couple of decades.”
In a bit of a role reversal, Obama was the one asking the questions, asking Simon what it was about the drug war culture that made him want to make the show.
Simon said he was in Baltimore, surrounded by the drug ware culture. He told the president it became crystal clear to him that when the police department was trying to “arrest their way” out of the drug war.
“They stopped doing police work—they were arresting people for drugs, and that was presumptive police work, but actually it wasn’t,” Simon said.
He noted as drug arrests went up, the arrest rates for rape, robbery, and murder were going down.
Watch the interview above.