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This edition: David Simon: "My Country is a Horror Show!"

Episode Details

Original tape date: January 31, 2014.

First aired: February 10, 2014.

This week on Moyers & Company, David Simon, journalist and creator of the TV series The Wire and Treme, talks with Bill Moyers about the divide between the rich and poor and the crisis of capitalism in America. Just days after President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union address, it’s a reality check from someone who artfully uses television drama to report on the state of America from an entirely different perspective -- the bottom up.

It was a speech Simon made last November at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, Australia, that inspired Moyers to ask him to make this week’s appearance. His remarks at the Sydney Opera House, titled “There Are Now Two Americas. My Country Is a Horror Show,” went viral and reverberated through cyberspace.

“America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics,” Simon said. “…That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time, that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress… And that notion that capital is the metric, that profit is the metric by which we're going to measure the health of our society is one of the fundamental mistakes of the last 30 years.

“Are we all in this together or are we all not?” Either we realize that everyone must pull together so that no one is left behind, Simon concluded, “Or we're going to keep going the way we're going, at which point there's going to be enough people standing on the outside of this mess that somebody's going to pick up a brick, because you know when people get to the end there's always the brick. I hope we go for the first option but I'm losing faith.”

Guest List

David Simon Journalist, Creator, “The Wire”, “Treme”

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