Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A real man with a mission, like you see on television

"Police Say a Queens Drug Ring Watched Too Much Television." The accused leaders of the Queens gang, whose arrests were announced yesterday by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and District Attorney Richard A. Brown of Queens, mimicked the practice of characters in "The Wire," using disposable cellphones to make it more difficult for the police to eavesdrop on them. Each time the suspects switched phones, investigators and prosecutors had to go back to court and seek approval for a new wiretap from a State Supreme Court justice, a labor-intensive and time-consuming process, said Sgt. Felipe Rodriguez, a supervisor on the case. "Believe it or not, these guys copy 'The Wire,' " said the sergeant, who is assigned to the Organized Crime Investigation Division. "They were constantly dumping their phones. It made our job so much harder." The Wire? Please. Law & Order has been using the disposable-cellphone copout for years, since at least before The Wire premiered. I wouldn't swear to it, but I'm fairly sure that's been an identifiable and very annoying trope since 2000 or so. I suppose the gang members in question are just cable snobs as bad as the NYT's entertainment writers; how else to explain the lack of credit (blame?) for that hometown favourite in this piece? (Via TV Tattle.)

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