What’s wrong with the crime stats in Baltimore? “The Wire” creator David Simon on how to fix them, and how beat reporting is necessary to understand the problem:

So if you’ve read this far, and you understand the actual dynamic in play, you’re probably saying to yourself: What’s the solution? In the past, the detectives and lawyers simply swept their mistakes under the rug, with neither side taking responsibility for the bad stats. And now, because the state’s attorney has prevailed in this contest of statistical gamesmanship, the police department clearance rate has been savaged and some bad cases are no longer being charged, yet at the same time, good murder cases aren’t going forward.  Which is worse?  And how can this be fixed?

Well, it’s easy.  And I’ll give you as long as it takes you to read past the next string of asterisks.

“Dirt Under the Rug.” — David Simon, DavidSimon.com