Hang 'em high and watch 'em swing
Expanded from the 5-23-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune
Barbwire wins second straight Nevada Press Association first-place award

Updated 8-30-2011
Now rerunning on Carson-Dayton 226

Additional programs
on Boulder City cable. Go to and then go to the BCTV link.

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions — new power to the people on the public airwaves

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 of the Dec. 6 and Feb. 21 programs as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station.

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.


Barbwire column on the depredations of Charter Communications and the Reno City Council wins 2009 Nevada Press Association first-place award

Past 12 months
Use the search tool you will find at page right at the above link. It will return the 19 newest TV programs. You may also search by date — M-F for the past year save holidays.

Click here for on-demand re-runs
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15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
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Longtime Nevadan John A. Riggs sent this response to the Sparks Tribune on May 20:

Former Chief Justice E. M. Al Gunderson has left not just his family, Nevada, Las Vegas and Carson City, but the Nevada Jaycees, his extended family.

He was a great Las Vegas Jaycee and mentor to all Nevada Jaycees.

He received our highest world honor during his lifetime of being made a Jaycees International Senator.

When I was president of the Sparks Jaycees and the Nevada Jaycees, he helped me and all of Nevada Jaycees.

We all loved him - goodbye Al.

By the time you read this, former Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Al Gunderson's private memorial service will be over. If the crow flies right, the good Lord's willing and the creeks don't rise, I will have attended.

As I noted last week, having worked for Big Al on his election campaigns and several others provided me with insight that has informed this column since inception.

My baptism into the wacko world of Nevada follytix started in 1970 with Gunderson.

My boss, former Las Vegas Review-Journal editor and future North Las Vegas Valley Times publisher Bob Brown, came rushing into my office at the LV ad agency where I labored as boy wonder copywriter.

"Andy, Al Gunderson is due to tape a campaign commercial at Channel 3 and I can't make it. You handle it."

"I don't know anything about his campaign," I protested.

"Don't worry about it. Just go hold his hand."

In the sunbleached foyer of what was then KORK TV, I met a rather square lawyer who didn't seem quite comfortable in a suit, his beautiful wife and his campaign manager.

The floor was covered with photos they were reviewing for inclusion in a new spot. Gunderson started asking my opinion.


What the hell did I know?

I made a few stumbling suggestions before we were called into the production studio. First order of business was previewing background music to go with a script voiced by muscle-throated Buzz Jones.

The preferred passage started with three gavel raps followed by something lugubriously somber. Perfect for a judgey spot. Gunderson and his campaign guy, Mike Nicosia, liked the track.

Always willing to stick my neck out, I noted that the opus seemed to fit, but something bothered me.

Just as we were finishing the commercial, the awful truth hit me like a cold shower on a hot day.

"My God," I blurted, "that's the theme to the movie Hang 'em High!"

Too late.

That was only the beginning. Shortly thereafter, I had to make a run to the Las Vegas Sun and told that story to advertising director Bert Buy (his real name, perfect for an ad salesman).

The next day, I opened the paper only to suffer cold shower number two.

The lead item in heavyweight writer Paul Price's front page column was about Gunderson's curious taste in music.

It went something like this: "Our spies report that supreme court candidate Al Gunderson was looking for some profound music for a TV commercial. He finally settled on the perfect background, complete with a banging judge's gavel. It was too perfect. Turned out Gunderson chose the theme from the Clint Eastwood film 'Hang 'em High.' Oops."

I started to feel very, very sick. I just knew that my fledgling career in the media business was about to come to an abrupt and untimely end, hung by my own big mouth. I hustled to the office and confessed.

"It's okay, just learn from it and watch what you say," the wise Mr. Brown stated in allowing a reprieve from the professional gallows.

I had to make a run to the Sun later that day and got in Mr. Buy's face. How could he do such a thing?

Ole Bert looked at me like I was crazy.

"First of all, you never told me to keep it quiet. Second, it's a great story. Third, do you know what the lead item in Paul Price's column is worth? You couldn't buy it for 600 bucks cash and I got it for your guy free."


Thus ended my baptism into the real world of Nevada politics. Hang 'em High became a standing joke between the judge and me for the rest of his life.

MOVIE TRIVIA, PART DEUX. The Industrial Workers of the World are showing two free films at
6:00 p.m. this Tuesday at Mountain Mike's Pizza, 1601 Vassar St. across from KRNV TV-4 in Reno.

DIRT! The Movie is not about Nevada politics but environmental stuff. The second feature is Viva La Causa, the story of César Chávez and great California grape boycott of the 1960's. Call (775) 323-6060 for directions or to pre-order a pizza for your group.

ALL IN FAVOR OF LETTING BUSHYLAND SECEDE? Hot on the heels of revelations of the racist leanings of Tea Party senate nominee Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, this arrived from Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe: "Texas sets national standards for school textbooks. The state board of education is casting its vote on updated social studies and history textbooks, changing the record on slavery, celebrating the Confederacy, shedding a positive light on Jim Crow laws, downplaying the contributions of nonwhites and ignoring atrocities committed by groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Our children won't learn that Texas seceded from the Union to fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Rewriting history in the name of national pride isn't patriotic. It's ignorant."

By the time this column prints, it may be all over, but sign the Not in My State Pledge anyway at

If you think we live in the post civil rights era, wait till I share some of my recent hate mail with you in a future column.

HELP WANTED. Regular readers know that I have been raising money to help Sierra Nevada Community Access Television fully benefit from a matching foundation grant of $40,000.

If you can help with a tax-deductible donation, give me a holler at (775) 882-TALK or drop me a line.

Be well. Raise hell.


Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, second 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 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 Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Al Gunderson: Thunder of the court silenced
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 5-16-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

None of the Above got on Nevada election ballots as revenge against Gunderson
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 6-17-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced

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


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 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo

BARBWIRE Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive

Propaganda fuels gasoline price fixing
Barbwire 8-14-2005

Donate to the cable ratepayer legal defense fund at our PayPal-enabled ReSurge.TV Consumer War Room

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.

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
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
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Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
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Copyright © 1982-2010 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 41-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 second 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 premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

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