Pirate Laureate of the High Desert Outback of the American Dream


Je Suis Charlie

¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XIV / Celebración de César Chávez XIV
Wednesday 30 March 2016
/ Miércoles 30 de Marzo 2016
Circus Circus Reno

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   Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
   Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
   Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
   That's how it goes.
Everybody knows...
Everybody knows the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows...
   Everybody talking to their pockets.
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
   and a long red rose. That's how it goes.
   Everybody knows.

— Leonard Cohen

TV or not TV — Oscar blackouts and PBS blacklists
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 3-1-2016 Sparks Tribune / Updated 3-15-2016 and 5-17-2016 and 5-31-2016 and 6-28-2016

Democrats for Trump
Running mate revealed

KOLO TV-8 went down at 5:30:10 Sunday, the opening credits of the Academy Awards. I immediately got calls from Sparks Barbwire readers via my Barbwire.TV hotline.


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Note: Alas and alack, Dondero did not make it in 2015.
Wait 'til next year!

Barbwire wins sixth Nevada Press Association award

We Don't Need No Education—> Neverending Barbwire Series

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The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The shows appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the events, commercial TV greatly expanded distribution.

Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


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Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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I get lots of consumer calls like that because AT&T information lists Barbwire.TV as the only TV "station" in its database. Local stations are too cheap to list themselves in the Yellow Pages and KOLO isn't even listed in the white pages. Go figger.

A southwest Reno NVEnergy power outage took down Channel 8's legendary wide-area Slide Mountain transmitter. The station's backup antenna (on Ampere Way behind — ahem — NV Energy) also failed.

Because of Hollywood's black blackout, the hottest item on the show was Chris Rock's opening monologue. Viewers were invited to tune in at 12:45 a.m. for a rerun, which TV-2 and TV-4 courteously reported at 11:00 p.m. At the same time, KOLO announced cancellation because it didn't have rebroadcast rights.


It ran anyway. Go figger.

The one in five viewers who depend on over-the-air reception were out of luck as were DirectTV and Blackbeard Murdoch's Dish Network customers. Charter Cable victims were exempt. (I checked with my neighbors.) Sparks viewers informed me that TV-8 returned at 7:20 p.m.

KOLO's newsroom told me that AT&T's U-Verse system was operational. Like Charter cable, it does not use the transmitter signal.

Déjà-Tube All Over Again — I informed TV-8 news of eery past parallels. In 1974, KOLO went down during a severe snowstorm. The general manager was too cheap to install a remote re-set switch and the blizzard left so much snow that engineers couldn't get up Slide Mountain for days.

The transmitter again committed suicide at the start of the 1976 Winter Olympics. Techies had told the boss that a custom-machined part was showing signs of failure. Protecting his quarterly bonus, the g.m. kept postponing the expense. When the component failed, it cost much more in a rush. Go figger.

For weeks, KOLO's Wells Avenue backup antenna produced a very snowy picture reaching only Reno-Sparks. On both occasions, my advertising agency alone demanded credits and bonus spots to make good on deficient coverage. Others didn't ask and paid much more for much less.

In 1977, TV-8 burned down (an ex-worker was seen nearby with a gas can), then moved into its current digs in monopolist Warren Buffet's neighborhood.

SPEAKING OF WHITE PAGES. In case you haven't noticed, AT&T stopped listing individuals in the white pages last year. I'ts probably because poor old Ma Bell is so impoverished these days.

If you want a copy, call 1-866-329-7118. Cost them some money. Do it.

FAILURE, PART DEUX. TV-5 blacked out the Public Broadcasting System Democratic debate a few weeks ago. KNPB GM Kurt Mische told me that because there was no PBS Republican debate, he killed the show.

Bogus, lame and lamentable.

Equal time requirements were met because the Dems are on ballots only against each other. Besides, GOP love fests get televised almost weekly.

Longtime PBS ombudsman Michael Getler agreed with me. Responding to my query, he wrote that almost every PBS affiliate aired Bernie vs. Hillary. (See the expanded web edition of this column for his chastisement.)

Mische also refused to carry Bill Moyers' final series after banishing his previous one, NOW, to 2:00 a.m. Saturdays.
Even Mr. Getler couldn't get PBS to give an excuse for killing NOW and Bill Moyers' Journal in 2009 despite their popularity. [UPDATE: NOW and Bill Moyers' Journal ran back-to-back in the wee hours. See "Going Dumb by Thinking Young", Barbwire 5-2-2010.)

How about some big fat corporate reasons. PBS axed a 2013 documentary on the fascist billionaire Koch Brothers who are now major funders. Go figger.

See the Barbwire web edition for previous PBS censorship incidents, one of which I got reversed.

From the Barbwire of 6-6-2004

Bill Moyers' PBS television program has been cut to a half-hour by George W. Bush-appointed right-wingers on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board, according to Common Cause 6-1-2004. See "Big Bird Flies Right" by Ken Auletta in the 6-7-2004 issue of The New Yorker magazine.

ONLINE UPDATE 3-1-2016, the Smoking Gun: Nevada once again reverts to its legendary "Mississippi West" status —

Andrew, more detailed reporting, according to researchers here at PBS, indicates that every PBS member, with the exception of KNPB-Reno and Mississippi Public Broadcasting, carried the Democratic Debate. Some delayed it until 11 pm, and some put it on a multi-cast channel, or on only one channel if they are a dual licensee, but they did indeed deliver the program to their viewers in their market, PBS says. The Mississippi situation is still a bit hazy and further checking is going on. I was told that five very small stations didn't seem to have carried the Democratic Debate on February 11. When researchers looked up their locations, it turns out that they are all in Mississippi, and make up the state network of Mississippi Public Broadcasting. What's still being checked is whether they (MPB) chose not to carry the debate, or if this could be an error in the schedule information they provided to listings services. — PBS ombudsman Michael Getler 3-1-2016

UPDATE 5-17-2016 TRIBUNE: Karmic fowl, fox paws and other freakin' f-words — Karmic chickens come home to roost

UPDATE 5-31-2016 TRIBUNE: BLACK MARK. I just got final confirmation from the Public Broadcasting System ombudsman that the only PBS affiliate in the entire country that blacked out last February's Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders debate was northern Nevada's KNPB TV-5. Another PR coup for Mississippi West.


Who owns Nevada's PBS TV 5-and-10-cent store?
Who shot JR? Ralston show axed without notice.

Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 6-28-2016 Sparks Tribune

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)

The Underbelly of the News—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

BARBWIRE WEB EXTRAS —> Mark your calendar for César Chávez Celebration XIV March 30 at Circus Circus-Reno.

TOMORROW'S NEWS TODAY: FEEL UP YOUR FIRE METER. The Reno Gazette-Journal did big spreads on threeconsecutive Sundays (Sept. 14, Sept. 21 and Sept. 28, 2014) on NV Energy smart meter fires. Welcome aboard. Barbwire readers were two years ahead on the fire meter issue. (Touch a Smart Meter, Go to Jail — 11 October 2012)

FIRE METER UPDATES: THE NEVADA FIRE MARSHALL'S INVESTIGATION concluded "don't worry, be happy." I'm still worried and will continue fondling NVE's precious equipment —> If your smart meter feels very hot, not just from sunshine, call 911.

In its Sunday 21 Dec. 2014 front page headline major story, the Reno Gazette-Journal published results of the NVEnergy-commissioned "don't worry, be happy" echo study. On 1-27-2015, the RGJ published an analysis based on veteran reporter Anjeanette Damon's review of more than 1,000 pages of documents. Barbwire bottom line: NVE handles this like auto manufacturers handle defects —> It's cheaper to pay legal settlements after people are injured or killed than to fix the problem.

Don'tcha worry 'bout a thing! If you can't trust your power company, whom can you trust?

Smoking guns: Rooftop solar assassination Energy War Room

DIDN'T THEY MAKE A MOVIE CALLED "THE INCREDIBLES"? On 2-6-2015, the RGJ reported that the Public Utilities Commission has ordered NVE to hire an independent laboratory to review the material.

UPDATE: The report said all is well. I still recommend feeling up your fire meter on a regular basis.

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is. A thousand thanks to those who keep sending show suggestions.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
                              — Jimmy Breslin

  Stay tuned.

  I encourage you to donate to the cause at Barbwire.TV/ The medium that shapes public opinion needs at least one refuge where it is not filtered through the distorted green eye shades of prissy corporate accountants for whom profit is the only priority; where self-censorship is the journalist's normal work environment and where all sins of omission are tacitly encouraged and forgiven with the wave of a balance sheet. This is important. We've got a lot of work to do.

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)

Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and and As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988.

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Nevada caucuses: Star-studded or star-crossed?
Interview with Titanic star Frances Fisher campaigning for Bernie in Nevada
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-23-2016 Sparks Tribune

History foreshadows a GOP November win
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-16-2016 Sparks Tribune / Updated 2-19-2016

Psycho-spying the presidential pretenders
Psychological profiles of candidates and presidents
Previous analyses of Justice Clarence Thomas and President Obama proven correct
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-9-2016 Sparks Tribune

Donald Trump: from ivory tower to Hightower
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Tuesday 2-2-2016 Sparks Tribune

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Copyright © 1982-2016 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

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