Monday thru Friday 2:00-4:00 p.m. PDT, 21:00-23:00 GMT/CUT/SUT
Barbwire.TV launches week of June 1, 2008
2-14-2008 cable/web trimulcast launch postponed
I would thou wert so happy by thy stay
To hear true shrift
Romeo & Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1
Or, as Popeye might put it, once more unto the breach, my childring.
After a hiatus of a mere 15 years, The Barbwire returns to the cyber-saturated world of news and talk.
Guys like me and Travus T. Hipp have had a hard time finding work since we don't take kindly to barfing back White House talking points. There hasn't been a decent open line call-in show in these parts since Travus and I left the air in 1993. (He continued short commentaries in northern California and once a week on a Reno fm station.)
It wasn't for lack of ratings. It took Lush Rambo a decade to eclipse Travus' 1982 numbers at KKKOH and it was my pleasure to single-handedly knock off the bloviating disc jockey in 1990-91.
Alas and alack, deregulation turned radio stations into poker chips. My Sacramento-San Francisco gig got shot out from under me in a corporate takeover and I gave up pursuing the flaky business of commercial radio.
The moonhowler right did just fine.
Commercial talk radio today is a glorified boys locker room: White guys programming for white business owners who take guilty pleasure at listening to the reinforcement of their unspeakable prejudices against uppity women and dark-skinned people. So they support such bigotry with their ad dollars sustaining a closed, self-perpetuating pimple on the ass of the body politick.
Liberal response has been predictably limp. It took Democrats more than a decade to figure out a principal source of the toxic lies which resulted in the ouster of so many officeholders in the 1980 Reagan landslide. The skullduggerous culprit was religious radio.
Democratic campaign managers didn't listen as brimstone broadcasters, whose stock in trade is tall tales, added some worldly rumors to their repertoires. One of the oldest political tricks in the book involves starting negative attacks on radio because it has no paper trail. Broadcast rumors become "something I heard somewhere" and the virus spreads.
Back when she was vice-president, Hillary Clinton was put in charge of engineering a Democratic alternative radio universe. Like her disastrous attempt at national health care, she failed.
Done right, a talk show can be a positive force in the community.
In my radio days, I wasn't doing my job unless I generated two or three leads which turned into front page Tribune stories in an average month. That's how I singlehandedly beat Lush Rambo.
Happy days are here again, proving that sometimes your good deeds come back at you.
In 1990, the City of Reno was seriously strapped for cash. There was some sentiment among councilmembers to sweep the entire cable TV franchise fee to the general fund, killing the grainy cablecasts of council meetings in the process.
I joined a determined group of citizens who wouldn't let it happen. That effort resulted in what became Sierra Nevada Community Access Television, a wellspring of diverse local voices, government programs and educational opportunities.
This Thursday, Valentine's Day, a SNCAT spinoff comes to life.
KJIV was originally supposed to be an over-the-air fm college radio station. Someday soon it will be after a dozen years of waiting for Federal Communications Commission approval. For now, it's a webcast at KJIV.org.
You can currently go to the site and hear canned music and occasional live jocks, but this Thursday a new wrinkle will be added. My wrinkles.
From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and every Monday through Friday thereafter, The Barbwire will be simulcast on Charter cable channels 16 and 200 (the TMCC educational outlet). We will add additional TV and radio resources over time. All those interested may contact me.
The new Barbano on the Barbwire will be a marriage of live call-in talk radio and TV with a webcast/chatroom overlay in a public broadcasting-style business environment (no commercials but public service announcements generally OK).
We will initially cover about half the households in Washoe County plus the web and reruns in other time periods.
I'll be able to interact with viewers by voice or text. My TV screen will make Bloomberg News look tame.
We will also be able to do live in-studio shows with an audience as the situation warrants. Former Tribune reporter and editor William Albright is helming the enterprise.
You can get an audio preview with the web edition of this column. I will post thereat a 10-minute collection of some of my greatest hits from radio days. You will get some laughs and a preview of things to come how to affect your community and the news.
The only local broadcaster who's done it right lately is a former radio colleague of mine, Sam Shad. Blessed with the disarming interviewing skills of Johnny Carson, Sam has made national news on many occasions by somehow getting public officials to say things to him that they wouldn't tell their campaign contributors let alone their wives.
I'll participate in Sam's pundit panel this Wednesday (12:30 p.m. TV-4, 9:30 p.m. Charter channel 3) to talk a little media politics.
The new Barbwire will resemble its radio ancestor in one very important way: It will be just you and me. Unlike Mr. Shad, I am not a very good interviewer. Travus T. Hipp taught me that the best show has its agenda set by the phone callers. Travus likened the audience to a huge organic computer containing all the answers and lacking only someone asking the right questions.
The phone numbers will be (775) 682-4144 and -45. Right now, I don't have a main phone number line or specific KJIV.org web streaming address for the show, but will post a direct link at Barbwire.TV later in the week.
General manager Les Smith asked me last year what my format would be. The answer, as always: talk rock which proceeds along four parallel tracks the issues of the day, comments from you and me with music appropriate to the conversation.
Done right, it can change the town if not the world. With the help of my listeners, I motivated a lot of people. My shows helped change the result of a couple of city elections when I hosted this area's first live call-in political TV back in 1993.
This project will only be as strong as you make it.
As I so often said back in the day, small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas.
With your help, we will conspire and aspire to that latter level of conversational consciousness.
Be well. Raise hell.
More about KJIV
Mr. Albright describes the format as "eclectic music and news and information. Daytime music is AAA... (I have asked for clarification and assume it's not music for motorists who belong to the American Automobile Assn.) ...blues, world beat, reggae, bluegrass, etc. Evenings will be alternative, cutting-edge rock and college music.
"High Sierra Community Radio was formed 10 years ago to bring community radio to the Truckee Meadows," he notes.
"It begins webcasting an eclectic music and information format this month. In the coming year, KJIV will also become a full-powered station at 89.5 FM.
"KJIV is always looking for volunteers and supporters. To find out how you can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at (775) 828-1211. This is a rare opportunity to get involved in community radio from the very beginning and that's no jive."
NAOMIKLEIN.ORG: The Shock Doctrine Short Film
A Film by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein, directed by Jonás Cuarón
An official selection of the Toronto Film Festival
An official selection of the Venice Film Festival
The Shock Doctrine short film is cleared for Internet use but not for broadcast,
so feel free to share it with your friends.
NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.
Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate. For additional comments on the work of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning team, use the NevadaLabor.com search engine and sweep for "Barlett."
The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below
ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press
SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.
By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)
Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.
Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.
BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey
BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy
The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966
The Dean's List
The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006
Annual César Chávez Celebration March 31, 2008
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Copyright © 1982-2008 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, and the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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