Anyone familiar with Barak Obama’s favorite TV show of all time? No. Not surprising, its wasn’t a commercial hit. The show is called The Wire, primarily written by David Simon, an author and former police report. The crime drama show takes place in Baltimore, Maryland in the US and focuses on different facets of the life in the city: the illegal drug trade, the port system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media.

Of course, before proceeding on such a mammoth project, you need to do your research and that is what David Simon did:

Baltimore native John Waters, a kitsch filmmaker known for offending locals with his depraved depictions of his hometown and a fan of The Wire, told a public radio broadcaster in April 2009 that the governor of Maryland had ‘really hated [The Wire], thought it made Baltimore look bad.
[…]
Simon felt Baltimore wasn’t that bad. As he put it to salon.com in 2002, talking about the dangers of researching on the streets of Baltimore, ‘it ain’t Beirut’.

Basically, Baltimore isn’t that dangerous because there’s Beirut which by default is the most dangerous place on the planet for this filmmaker. OK, Koji Wakamatsu did get arrested while he was there but that doesn’t make it a dangerous place.

David, your Looks Like Beirut certificate will arrive in your mailbox shortly.

David Simon: Baltimore "ain't Beirut".

David Simon: Baltimore "ain't Beirut".