With "Not for Attribution," The Wire's fifth season really starts moving into serious territory. Marlo makes his play to get Omar to surface, McNulty gets an extra set of hands to help him dig his career's own grave, and Clay Davis starts looking very vulnerable (Remote Access has some nice thoughts on that matter).
Elsewhere, the San Francisco Chronicle noticed what the show's creators have been saying for years: that the The Wire has the most talented African-American cast on television (scroll halfway down). (To be fair, Slate noticed, too.) BuddyTV checks in with one of those emerging actors, Felicia "Snoop" Pearson.
Slate continues its ongoing chat of the show between Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg and Slate deputy editor David Plotz, even if it alternates between fanboy ramblings and actual discussion (not that there's anything wrong with fanboy ramblings, mind you). What's been most illuminating about this discussion is that it's the journalism plot line that frequently is the central bone being picked--a story line that the New York Times' David Carr, in his Jan. 21 media column, "Ex-Newsman Laments a Dying Craft," also feels that the show--and, specifically, co-creator David Simon--only gets half right. Carr quotes from Simon's Jan. 20 Washington Post editorial, titled "Does the News Matter to Anyone Anymore?," and correctly identifies Simon's central tenet: that it was newspapers that let down readers before the readers left newspapers for the internet. Carr doesn't entirely buy it, but Simon's argument certainly offers a journalism business model where big media's corporate changes in the 1990s parallel the institutional decline The Wire has covered in law enforcement, the blue-collar industry of the port, and public education.
Even though some people just aren't buying Simon's nostalgia for the good old days of newspapering, at least even the Slate guys stopped typing about it for a moment in the wake of the Los Angeles Times firing of editor Jim O'Shea--allegedly over budget cuts, according to Editor and Publisher--and the inevitable life imitating art posts have already started.