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The Wire may be off the air, but O'Malley still dealing with Carcetti drama

The popular HBO series The Wire has been off the air for more than a year, but the show that spun a critical portrayal of Baltimore, its crime, its politicians (and yes, its newspaper) continues to be a topic that Gov. Martin O'Malley is forced to discuss. Witness his appearance on MSNBC Live with Carlos Watson on Monday.

Watson introduced O'Malley, former Baltimore mayor and now Democratic governor, as "one of the real-life inspirations for the mayor of the hit TV show The Wire."

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O'Malley begged to differ: "I would take issue with whether or not I'm the inspiration for The Wire," he said. "I'm the antidote to The Wire."

Watson replied: "Well said. You ran the city of Baltimore for eight years, I believe it was, and with much greater success than The Wire demonstrates."

But O'Malley didn't let it go there: "Forty percent reduction in violent crime, thanks to the people of Baltimore."

David Simon, The Wire's creator, has insisted that the mayoral character Tommy Carcetti — while "reflective" of O'Malley — is actually a composite of dozens of politicians he covered when he was a reporter at The Baltimore Sun.

But that hasn't stopped the comparisons between the fictional and real-life versions of a young, boyishly handsome and ambitious politician who rose to power in City Hall on the crime issue. Even after the last episode — of the show, that is.

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