The Wire Final Season

Week 9: Bunk, Kima, and Loyalty
Talking television.
March 4 2008 1:17 PM

The Wire Final Season


Dear David,

Yak milk? How did you know about the yak milk? I thought we kept that a secret.


In re: your Bunk post—don't get like that with me. Or I'm going to have to ... I don't know. Post a highly negative review of The Genius Factory on Amazon? I was going to write that I would "bust a cap in your ass," but only white people talk that way anymore, and, as one of Washington's foremost gay black stickup artists, I can't be heard talking like a white guy from Potomac.

I haven't sufficiently grappled with your previous assertion that Bunk chose "loyalty over right" by keeping silent on McNulty's hijinks because I didn't want to enter a debate I knew I couldn't win, at least not inside the excessively rational, anti-tribal culture fostered at Slate. And I won't now, except to say that I don't see the binary you apparently see when you hold up "loyalty" as the opposite of "right." These men are friends and comrades. Like most police partners, they have been in mortal danger together, and they have saved each other's lives. Their connection is profound. You tend to overlook the flaws of people who have actually saved your life; this is true in police work and in any army. Given that McNulty isn't pillaging, robbing, or raping; given that his crime is well-intentioned; and given that Bunk's homicide squad benefits from McNulty's scam, I don't think Bunk made the wrong choice by keeping silent. He should have counseled his partner more strenuously against such stupidity, but I would think less of him if he ran to the bosses to rat out his friend. And, by the way, in real life, I'm not sure a detective in Kima's position would rat Jimmy out, either.

There, now you know my position on loyalty. Which actually should serve you well, as an officially sanctioned friend of Goldberg. I'm even thinking of bringing you along the next time I hit one of Marlo's stash houses.


Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller's Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Doctor, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.