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Nat Geo Is About to Make Baltimore Look Pretty Terrible

64 Written by: | Monday, Aug 25, 2014 10:13am

The National Geographic Channel’s next episode of Drugs, Inc. will focus on Baltimore, “the heroin capital of America,” where “everyone on street [sic] is on the hustle.” It’s called “The High Wire,” and, yeah, it’s not about circus performers.

According to the Baltimore Sun‘s TV critic David Zurawik, the one-hour episode “is filled with unnamed men in masks sitting behind bags full of dope and tables filled with guns, pills and money saying things like, ‘Life is definitely cheap in Baltimore … somebody kill you for free.’”

“The High Wire” highlights Lexington Market, not for its incredible selection of food, but for being (along with Pennsylvania Avenue) “the heart of Baltimore’s drug trade.” And it presents one junkie’s testimonial: Baltimore “is where you want to be for heroin.”

I guess, technically, it’s an endorsement, but I don’t expect the city tourism board will be adding “heroin” to their list of “Things to Do in Baltimore” anytime soon.

Drugs, Inc. “The High Wire” will air Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

Leave a Reply

  • Rose

    If u think Baltimore is drug ridden you have’nt researched Wouster, Mass or Detroit

    • Ginger

      I have Rose and i’d say Baltimore runs a pretty close to these places. It’s definitely bad here. Truth be told, most law abiding, tax paying citizens of Maryland won’t even go close to Baltimore city except for an Oriole or Ravens game and now maybe the new casino they put down there right smack dab next to the football stadium. I can’t see where things will get better after they open that casino..it will only get worse. Bad choice of where to put that place..very bad choice!

      • Laur

        I agree! I live in South Baltimore City. It’s pretty bad down here and all throughout Baltimore City for that matter. Living in the City I’ve been around pretty much every part and there’s a lot of bad, but there’s also shades of good mixed throughout the inner city. The casino was DEFINITELY a bad choice in location especially when it is smack dab in the middle of 3 of the worst South Baltimore neighborhoods: Pigtown, The Bottom & Westport.

      • Lauren Russell

        That’s just absolutely not true. Baltimore is an incredible city. I love it dearly. There’s so much more than two sports teams. There’s a sick aquarium as well as a zoo. There’s historic Fells Point. The hippodrome. There are boat tours for adults and for children. There is a cool little movie theatre and lots of incredible restaurants. There are places like Charles Village which are very hip. There’s Federal Hill.There are some decent parks. There is tons to do in Baltimore besides sports. (though if you’re going to talk about that, you should have also included the Blast – I enjoyed that as a kid.) Maybe you’ve never really explored. Most of my friends love Baltimore. I’m not going to be ignorant and refuse to see both the good and bad in something. I can acknowledge that yes, it’s crime ridden and that’s sad. Yes much of Baltimore is dangerous and that sucks, and even in good areas, I don’t go alone at night without my pepper spray. That’s unfortunate. But I love the city regardless. I agree with you that the casino was a terrible idea. I really hope that Baltimore gets a makeover someday because there is a whole lot there to love. Not just the sports.

        • Drew

          #wakeup

          Baltimore is riddled with crime, drugs and scum, far cry from boat tours, bars, zoo and aquarium which every port city also has.

          What those other cities dont have is the biggest heroin problem in the US, Bmore aka Murdermore aka Murderland aka Harm City does.

          We need better police, fbi and national help. This documentary should wake up the even bigger losers like Mizz Sheila Dixon who does nothing on top of nothing.

          N.G. should do a special on her….. The City´s Mayor who doesnt do anything to protect and clean her city.

          • Betty

            I don’t believe in talking nasty to folks. Drew, you sound like you are full of anger, very negative and I’m truly sorry you are having a bad life in Baltimore and I’m also so sorry you don’t see all the good as well. I also think maybe you are just a tiny bit out of touch. Sheila Dixon has not been mayor for OVER 4 years. Stephanie Rawlings Blake has been since 2010. You may want to stop accusing others in this chat as being out of touch and walking around with blinders on. I truly hope you find happiness somewhere.

          • anon.e.mouse

            Psssst Drew… just to catch you up on current events, Sheila Dixon’s not the mayor anymore.

        • Drew

          Dixon, Omalley, Blake…. all losers and all are toblame for the decline in the city

      • Jason Gieser

        I disagree absolutely with your response, and I find it appalling. I think in fact you are one of the few people who I have ever heard say that. In response, I think that most law abiding tax paying Maryland citizens, do no not feel the way you have stated. I am not afraid of my city and often enjoy Baltimore in a number of ways, not just Orioles games or gambling. There are so many great things to see and do downtown, and all around Baltimore. But in true Baltimore fashion….if that’s how you feel, we don’t effing want you here anyway.

    • C shaffer

      Worcester.

    • streetligt

      Ha… you have no idea how bad dope has gotten around here… people in maryland and surrounding areas are ODing left and right. Its an epidemic. Nine years ago even 50 cent put out “A Baltimore love thing” about heroin in Baltimore on The Massacre.

    • Jennifer

      Rose I agree, I wonder if they have looked into these other cities before claiming which is the Heroin capital. I am not so sure that the influx of Heroin in Detroit and the other major cities close to borders leading into the country. N.Y. if only an 8 hour drive from Detroit but there is the route coming through Canada. Coming straight from Mexico is not an overwhelming trip where they are checking all trucks, vehicles like the other cities that can be just as bad. Some cities are easier to see the activity when there’s focus on so many other crimes. It’s a U.S. epidemic, why not tell that story?!

      • anon.e.mouse

        The governor of Vermont dedicated his ENTIRE state of the state speech to the amount of drugs in his state. Who’da thunk that Vermont has a heroin problem?

  • Fleeing Baltimore

    This makes perfect sense after you see the documentary Fleeing Baltimore

  • Mike

    You don’t have Lexington Market right. It’s not on Pennsylvannia Avenue. So much for detailed accurate reporting.

    • Chris Frederick

      Hi Mike, please take a look at the article again. The author said Lexington Market ALONG WITH PENNSYLVANIA AVE…in other words…Lexington Market AND Pennsylvania Ave.

    • That Guy

      Reading comprehension…not your forte, bro.So much for middle school reading class.

      • Diane

        Lexington Market,was on Lexington St ,I thought .Now is Pigtown at the end of Washington blvd.When I was 19 I lived in Morrell park..I think Baltimore ,like any other city has the problems with drugs .I remember taking the bus to Howard st,to shop .Do they still have that area or Cross st market ..About 10 years ago we went to Delis in a place they called Jew town.moved away from Md.years ago(Annapolis) Now live in a small town in W.V.and a Day care was busted for Meth .It’s every where

  • Kim

    I used to go to Lexington Market with my mom growing up, now I wouldn’t go near it. Baltimore it quickly going down hills. Even in the county you now have shootings, burglary, rape, “gang” fights. I was born and raised there but have moved to southern Anne Arundel County to raise my family. I have no love left for Baltimore. It’s a sad place now.

    • Shelley

      I live in AA county my whole life and it is almost as bad as Baltimore !! Annapolis is really bad , Shady Side is bad too!!! Not many places in Maryland that hasn’t seen problems with drugs. And yes Mass has a very big problem.

  • B B

    The title of this article is misleading. Baltimore makes itself look bad. National Geopgraphic can’t help that Baltimore is a shit hole. I grew up there and am so very thankful I got out.

  • Renee

    I live in Baltimore and have lived here my whole life . Yeah there’s drugs and yeah there’s bad stuff going on but it also depends on you to! I don’t do drugs and neither does my family so therefor I haven’t been harmed in anyway nor am I stupid enough to walk at night in a bad neighborhood ? That’s just asking for trouble. EVERY place there’s crime and drugs not just Baltimore . I’m proud of my city ! I love the 410!

    • Tiffany

      I agree renee , no matter where you go there arre ppl killing and on drugs, im proud to call Baltimore my home town always will be

    • julie

      Well said! #410pride :)

    • jana

      Well said I’m proud to be from South Baltimore…every city has drugs and violence!!!

    • cellbrick

      I used to live there and plan on moving back within a couple of years for various reasons. But most of all, its because Baltimore has so many unique neighborhoods, each with its own culture and personality. Drugs are going to be bad in any city where a majority of the populous is poor. Poverty in the US is always associated with drugs and violence. Baltimore has a lot of both, but its not in your face as a lot of people would make it seem. Its certainly not like Miami in the 80s where people just get shot on the daily in places areas where tourists go, and what were considered otherwise safe areas. But the city would do itself a service to reduce the poverty in the city, clean up many of the abandoned buildings and improve the roads. But its hard to do that when your tax base is mostly poor.

    • Burg

      Exactly Nat Geo is on the outside lookin in!! I love my city!!

      • Bertina

        I love Bmore and Im from Pa… Harrisburg is drug ridden too! Im still gonna visit the Lexington Market and everywhere else!!!

    • Lauren Russell

      Well put. If someone stopped in to Baltimore to visit for the first time, and they had no idea where they were going, they could easily make a few wrong turns and end up in a sketchy neighborhood which, with common sense, they would leave. But you could also just as easily find yourself in front of an amazing little restaurant or a gorgeous view. People are very narrow minded about Baltimore. it gets way too much shit. There’s good and bad.

  • Dee

    York.PA I think is worse yet. I’m always seeing negative news on it. 2 women recently were beaten and sexually assaulted by a man they knew because the man knew they get prescription narcotics from their doctors. People will hurt or kill a person in exchange for drugs, so they don’t have to pay, it’s sad and sickening. SMDH :(

  • Tina

    I’m glad I moved away when I did. I didn’t want my kids to see that sh•t everyday.

  • Bill Williams

    I don’t care what anyone has to say. Bmore is the heroin capital of the u.s.a. if you don’t believe me spend a day and walk around the city. You can even go to the most sought after tourist attractions and i guarantee you will witness somebody that just got banged up. I’m not going to research exact numbers but the majority of people living in the city are addicted to dope. we even have our own signature type of dope called scramble it’s raw heroin, quinine or another cutting agent and a dash of old bay lol in a capsule for only 10 a pop. dope and percs are so much easier to find than weed here. I, as a young caucasion male, can just walk around in practically ANY predominately African American neighborhood and I have 100 people following me saying “boy”. It completely consumes the life of probably half of the people in bmore city, county, and nowadays especially Anne Arundel county. It’s a complete epidemic and the absolute main reason why the crime rate in Baltimore is consistently among the nation’s highest year after year. It will never change because it is such a profitable business for all parties involved including (THE MAN). Why do you think that we have been “at war” in the middle east for most of my life? They don’t just want that oil THEY MAINLY JUST WANT THAT POPPY.

    • grundel

      The “majority” of residents are not on dope you dramatic fuck. It’s around 20% which is faaaar less than over half.

      The government didn’t go to war for opium poppy you retard. Shut the Fuck up and go OD.

  • Zach

    These people are talking about 2 neighborhoods. There are so many great places to live in the city. I’ve lived near Patterson park for 4 years and have never had a problem. Maybe people aren’t moving to the city because you guys make it look so bad.

  • Bianca

    This show is all about drugs….everywhere….they highlight cities but they have hit he “best” and the worst cities….it’s not a documentary on the broad concepts of Baltimore…it’s only about Drugs….don’t like talking about drugs then don’t watch

  • John

    Baltimores pretty good at itself look bad, don’t need help from NatGeo! It’s amazing National Geographic can find these dirt bags but highly trained, equipped, and expensive DEA

  • Gail

    Born and taised in Baltimore but we never allowed drugs to be the focal point about our city back then and no I am not that old. We took pride in our neighborhoods and drugs were for the weak minded and severely overlooked vets. Now everyone acts like it’s a rite of passage and gangs are your only family really…really…what happen to all of us? We all have to be held accountable I moved to the county but taught martial arts for free in the city until they started closing the recs…look at the whole problem nothing for the youth to do, city government spending more on stylist for the mayor, education being shifted to alternative schools, and get rich quick money for drugs education not required. Baltimore can be great again if we all do our part.

  • Betty

    Baltimore (like so many other big cities) is large and multi faceted. I’ve lived in Maryland/Baltimore my whole life. There are many great, tight knit family neighborhoods that take a lot of pride in their homes and community. There are also, poverty stricken neighborhoods that have succumb to drugs, crime and repeat generation to generation abuse and where there is not much hope in stopping the cycle or getting out.

    I love National Geographic and subscribe to the magazine. I do think that if their episode is just about the bad without showing the full picture, then my opinion of them will drop greatly. Episodes like that can really hurt the tourism and convention trade in Baltimore which is doing quite well. Baltimore has a lot to offer (I’ve done all the really cool things). I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Most large cities are the same. If anything, when this airs, I hope the right people see it and try to come up with some more solutions to the problems and try to clean up more of the bad.

    All of you know that you can never completely rid a city of all the evils.

    • Bill

      Drugs inc is a regular series on nat geo. It’s pretty eye opening, you should check it out if you haven’t seen it. Is it 100% real not sure.

      One thing is for sure they can make these episodes in any city, state, county, or school easily.

      Watched an episode last week on Atlanta being the Molly Capitol of the USA. Molly is a hallucigen mdma.

      The show covers all Angles the user, street dealer, police efforts, the manufacturing.

  • Mike oswald

    In lieu of more “master of the obvious” type, negative media coverage in our home town, please add, share, post on the group Baltimore the beautiful-positivity breeds positivity.

    • thebigflushman

      I’d like to be able to do that, but just making a “feel good” statement won;t change the facts. How is that whole “Believe” campaign changing things?

  • robugly

    “making Baltimore look bad”.. Anybody that thinks Baltimore isn’t bad, obviously doesn’t truly live within Baltimore City.

    • Betty

      Lived here in one part of the city or another all my life…..and my families clear back to the 1700′s…..so, my comment to you is…anyone that thinks Baltimore City is ALL bad….doesn’t get around, or only hangs out in bad places. Also….worked in Baltimore City for the utility for 31 years and have firemen in the family…..so…your comment is very incorrect, but you are definitely entitled to your opinion.

  • Timothy

    Until Baltimore and America makes its’ leaders accountable….this ridiculousness will go on indefinitely. Nothing ever gets done, only excuses and incompetence. Wake up America! Wake up Baltimore!

  • neetacakes

    I saw it..and it was horrible. .The mentality of the reality is sickening

  • Fritz Froehlich

    I’m a life long resident of Dundalk. I grew up running the streets of Dundalk and east Baltimore. I’ve seen a lot of good and a lot of bad. I’ve been to a lot of other cities. If you know what to look for, every city looks the same. Drugs, violence, crime, poverty, tourism, family friendly areas, etc. I love Baltimore.

  • danisha cohen

    Oh well I still love my city

  • pigtown*design

    I have lived in several parts of Baltimore: Roland Park, Patterson Park, Locust Point, Pigtown and Hampden, and have never really had any problems, although I saw things going on. Earlier this year, I was in a very small town in North Carolina, and I got mugged. It turns out that there’s a big drug problem there and a lot of crime. So, it doesn’t really matter where you are, there’s crime everywhere.

  • bill

    Do you to tell me that not everything on the Nat Geo. network is the truth!

  • Frank

    They said heroin not all drugs , I live here I kno

  • jeorge villalobos

    i blame the wire but speaking from expierience the dope in b-more is prettyfrecking awesome if you are looking to gget into the itraveinious injections of hardcore street drugs well i suggest you take a trip to b-more and sample some premium dope………………lol

  • MB3

    Anyone who loves Bmore grew up there and hasn’t seen anything better. You can’t polish a turd.

    I’ve lived in numerous Bmore neighborhoods and it’s pretty much all the same. 3 blocks from where “you don’t want to be.”

    Heroin zombies abound. Open air drug markets are walking distance to every home. Indifferent police. Everyone w family in the city has someone whose been addicted to it. Don’t let the facts get in the way of your opinions, Charm City.

    But hey….keep pretending it “isn’t that bad.” After all, Ray Rice only got 2 games and the Os might see the postseason. Full steam ahead, Bawlmer.

  • penny

    I am from Baltimore but I live in west Texas now and meth is the epidemic here. It is disgusting to see people walking around looking like death is knocking at their door everyday….

  • 410REDZZ

    Baltimore is awesome if your scared of Baltimore it’s your own fault. Baltimore is like moving Into a new neighbor hood where you know nobody. until you get to know your community you going to be scared of your surroundings this city is more money hungry than blood thirsty. If u look like a victim u will soon b one. But feed the hood nd they will take care of you

  • Mike Barnes

    Most big cities are drug infested why is it such a shock

  • muleskinner

    I live in the Baltimore metro area..Baltimore’s population is almost 100% ghetto monkeys who hate anyone with a different skin color. Maryland doesn’t allow its citizens to protect themselves with concealed carry. Don’t come here as a tourist…you will be sorry..



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