Cops (tv program)

Wish You Weren't Here

Wish You Weren't Here

Last Summer, in the online cultural-criticism journal PopMatters, Michael Stephens examined the growing popularity of American “ghetto tourism.”

Stephens uses the term figuratively. By tourism he means the proliferation of entertainment products—gangsta rap, of course, but also video games, movies, TV—that allow middle-class consumers to traffic in the inner city without leaving the culs-de-sac.

“The demand for shows that provide a window into the ghetto—from street-real network crime shows like COPS to super-realistic cable series like The Wire—has expanded in direct proportion to the increasing safety of American middle class life,” writes Stephens...