The Wire
More With Less

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B | 2 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
"The Bigger The Lie, The More They Believe."

At a local tavern, it's a Western District alumni meeting, with Colicchio, Dozerman, Carver, and everyone's favorite fuck-up*, Herc. (*Not actually anyone's favorite fuck-up at all.) The three active members of the police force are regaling Herc with the tales of budget tomfoolery we're already familiar with, as a suit-wearing Herc exults in his good fortune at having to leave the police force in shame. "I got more work than I can get to," Herc crows. "I mean, once word got around, these fucking lawyers came out of the fucking woodwork." Speaking of which, he was hoping that one of his former colleagues might check a name for him -- "Tags, registration, and phone. And while you're at it, run a sheeting photo." Everyone looks around, uninterested, until Herc offers to buy the next round of drinks. Anything you say, sir, so long as that sweet booze keeps flowing.

Back at the Sun, crusty old rewrite man Jay Spry is training a pedantic eye on Jeff Price's new copy, while Haynes hovers nearby. Klebanow walks up to find what's going on, and Haynes summarizes the story for him (and us): "A sweetheart deal for a titty bar owner with a big criminal history. He sells his existing location to the city for $1.2 million, and they sell him a better piece of real estate to relocate his club five blocks west for $200,000. He clears $1 million for laying in the cut." Turns out that Fatface Rick also happens to be funneling money toward Nerese Campbell's political career. Klebanow wonders why he's only hearing about this story now; Haynes begins to tell him that they found out late, before catching himself and steering all credit to Jeff Price for uncovering the story. Because he's as saintly and selfless as Klebanow and Whitting are crass and dastardly, in case the parallels are lost on you. For all this effort, Klebanow decides to put the story on the front page -- the sweetest destination any reporter could ever dream of.

Just then, Price phones in. it appears the city council president would like a word with Gus Haynes -- and not a quote for publication, either. What she has to say is off the record. Once on the line, Campbell protests that the deal with Fatface Rick is all above board, and Haynes is willing to play along. The city needed in the property, Campbell explains, and it was in the city's interest to do business with Fatface Rick. OK, Haynes says, but why give him such a better property in exchange? And hey -- were you planning on mentioning to the rest of the council that Fatface Rick is a big campaign donor? "Where I live, $60,000 buys a lot of goodwill," Haynes says, to the amusement of the other newsroom denizens listening in on his conversation. Whatever Campbell said about that was apparently too filthy for even HBO's hardened sensibilities -- we just see Haynes' reaction. Once off the phone, he tells Templeton to keep digging into Campbell's finance records; Templeton shoots him a look like, "But this is cutting into my scheduled time to be overtly ambitious."

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The Wire

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