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Tad Dunbar and Barry Bonds: comeback kids
Expanded from the 7-13-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune

This column is about local media and that includes Barry Bonds.

Why? Because I say so, dammit!

I'm sick and tired of watching the San Francisco Giants wallow in the tar pits of mediocrity. If they sink any lower into the primordial muck, Exxon (see below) will be able to sell them for $150 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the greatest home run hitter of all time is beached in Beverly Hills meeting with lawyers.

But wait, the bluenoses might say. He's a bad example for our children.


First, he hasn't been convicted of anything and the feds are just out for a high profile kill. Which is all the more laughable given that he's being prosecuted by Dubya's Department of Justice, which has been turned into a rubber stamp for the depredations of a criminal government.

Next, remember that baseball is entertainment. The golden ages of both baseball and Hollywood came during the Great Depression of the 1930's, of which we are entering instant replay.

The people needed the diversion then and need it now. Lindsay, Britney and Barry are box office.

I've never forgiven the 49ers for trading Joe Montana and I'll never forgive that union-busting blackguard Peter Magowan for his perfidy in dumping the Giants' greatest star since Willie Mays.

Bring back Bonds.

Barbwire: 15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file


COMEBACK KID, PART DEUX. The Walter Cronkite of northern Nevada and eastern California returns to the news in August, but I've got him on the Ides of July, this Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. on Charter cable channel 16.

Tad Dunbar will be my guest live and will take phone calls (775-682-4144) from the viewing public. Internet viewers may also participate via webchat at Barbwire.TV.

Tad can't express political opinions (that's my job), but pretty much everything else is fair game.

About 15 years ago, I read a column in a professional publication which asserted that any television station could fire its consultants if it was fortunate enough to employ the local news icon. Even then, they were few and far between. Jerry Dunphy in Los Angeles was cited as an example. Tad Dunbar certainly fit the profile.

So did KOLO TV-8 commit suicide by forcing Dunbar into early retirement to save his six-figure salary?

Hell, yes.

KRNV TV-4, Dunbar's new employer, rules the roost in early morning, mid-day and 5:00 p.m. KOLO still wins at 6:30 p.m. when KRNV goes to Entertainment Tonight and KTVN TV-2 suffers from a weak lead-in from Katie Couric. Channel 2 is stronger than they have been. Seinfeld on KRXI TV-11 sometimes made them number four a few years back.

Lead-in programming means everything in television. That's why having the number one network usually determines who wins at 11:00 p.m. (a three-way split in these parts). KOLO benefits from having ABC's Charles Gibson leading into 6:30 p.m., so the stage is set for a clash of the titans.

I'll bet on Dunbar's new 6:30 p.m. Dunbar Report because I think that columnist from long ago got it right. You just don't give away the franchise. CBS did it by retiring Cronkite. The Mets did it with Tom Seaver. Ditto the Niners with Montana and the Giants with Bonds. KOLO is about to learn the same lesson.

COME ON DOWN. While Dunbar and I are on the air Tuesday afternoon, you may take a tour of the facilities at The Media Center at Kietzke and Peckham, across the street from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Refreshments will be served. Perhaps some of the rock 'n' roll dinosaurs who will be populating non-Barbwire dayparts of our new community radio station ( will come around.

Tune in, turn on and tell a friend.

WET NOODLE REPORT. Now that I've said something nice about TV-4, I'll give them 20 lashes. They reported as fact last Monday a statement from some nameless university bureaucrat who asserted that "there never have been reports of misuse of funds at the university."


I recommended that they go the Barbwire 1996-1997 archive for the most comprehensive series on university system financial abuse ever compiled in this state. (Entered into two categories of Pulitzer Prize competition by this newspaper.) I have been and will be following up on the air.

I called UNR President Jiminy Glick a couple of weeks ago and invited him to come onto my show and take phone calls about his budget cuts. He has never called back. No guts, no glory.

X-RATED PROFITS: "Based on an analysis of economist Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, we estimate about 25 percent of oil company profits since the 2003 invasion of Iraq can be traced to the war's impact on world oil prices. On this basis, the excess war profit for ExxonMobil alone, between 2003 and 2008, would amount to about $40 billion."

Thus spake an article by Nick Mottern at

X-RATED TAXES. The citizens committee reviewing local tax distribution came out with a preliminary report  last week. They naively noted that since Reno and Sparks are subsidizing Washoe County, the legislature should let each city keep the revenues it generates. That would bankrupt most of the state since Gomorrah South has for decades subsidized everyone else.

As with KRNV TV-4, the committee needed a little institutional memory.

Be well. Raise hell.

Smoking Guns...

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

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?

...and more ammo

Phillips, Kevin; Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know
Harper's Magazine; May 2008; page 43
Phillips has authored numerous books on history and politics over the past 40 years. His most recent, Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism, was published by Viking on April 15, 2008.

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.
Alternet 5-20-2007

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 search engine and sweep for "Barlett."

Review of Alex Carey's Taking the Risk Out of Democracy:
Propaganda in the US and Australia

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
Barbwire 9-10-2006

      Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966 | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
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Copyright © 1982-2008 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of and; 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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