More sucker punches from Lush Rambo
Expanded from the 3-11-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune
Updated 3-19 and 5-31-2012
Site map
Corporate Propaganda Research Archive

   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.

— Leonard Cohen

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

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 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.


Click here for selected on-demand re-runs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award

"Call me a sumbitch, just spell my name right."

So advises the old politician's version of "any publicity is good publicity."

So dubbed in 1988 by his better Travus T. Hipp (1937-2012), Lush Rambo has thus once more scored big, sucking in naive souls from the president to Shelley Berkley.

Entire books and websites have been devoted to debunking this guy but none of it works because he has everybody playing his game.

Legendary American author Damon Runyon again stands ignored: “One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to come up to you and show you a nice brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the Jack of Spades jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not bet this man, for as sure as you are standing there, you are going to end up with an earful of cider."

I won't reiterate Rambo's most recent infamy. However, I will post some of my warnings from 20 years ago with this column at

You may also listen to a clip of my show from the year I defeated him in the ratings.

His moonhowling dogmatic diehards refuse to believe that their guru is devoid of moral conviction. It's all an act and it started here.


Oldtimers may remember a Mapes Hotel lounge singer called Sean Morton Downey (1932-2001). I once rented an office from him down in Gomorrah South.

By the mid-1980's, Sean was doing a talk show on KFBK, the Sacramento version of Reno's KKKOH. He used the name of his famous big band-era father and became Morton Downey, Jr.

Along with Denver's Alan Berg (a Jew murdered by white supremacists in 1984), Sean pioneered the now-familiar outrage-spewing talkmeister.

Sean pushed the envelope like nobody the dumb farmers of California's central valley had ever heard.

His former colleagues told me he was already hanging by a thread when he called a prominent businessman, the developer of the Old Sacramento tourist attraction, a "chink." (Others say he used "Chinaman.") His firing launched two national careers, Downey's TV show and you-know-who.

Then the story comes back to Reno. Broadcast consultant Bruce Marr, who lived here at the time, advised KFBK management to try this guy Limbaugh from a station in Nebraska.

When he got to Sac, he was clueless and ventured onto the air performing an over-the-top lampoon of the canned Downey.

California's capital city is just Fresno with lobbyists. The rednecks bought his comedy routine as real.

No dummy, the former disc jockey rode the horse in the direction it was already going.

So a man of no particular personal, moral or political conviction began his journey toward becoming the nation's most influential racist, bigot and woman-hating Republican reactionary. (He's not a conservative, having frequently failed to correctly define the term when asked.)

What explains the gullibility of a substantial percentage of the public?

Alas and alack, many will believe whatever reinforces their existing prejudices and ignore all facts to the contrary.

I proved it. On my Nevada and California talk radio shows, I twice pulled the Lush Rambo put-on. (My Sacramento/San Francisco station was a 50,000-watt big boomer covering the west from north L.A. to Alaska.)

One day, I announced I was going to do an act. For the duration of the show, I would play a right-wing moonhowler Reaganaut coercive.

I was absolutely amazed at the response. Caller after caller checked in to praise me for finally seeing the light.

I repeated the put-on warning every five minutes, but they refused to hear it! I was now a trusted convert to their twisted causes.

And that's how Nebraska Rush became Lush Rambo, simple as that.

Trying to rationalize irrational behavior causes critics to play his game and look plumb dumb in the process.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas, issued a call for Limbaugh to be pulled off the air, a familiar slowball that right-wingers always hit out of the park by preaching the sanctity of free speech. Even the Reno Gazette-Journal fragged her for it.

U.S. Senate candidate Berkley needs to read a little Gomorrah South history. In the early 1950's, Sen. Patrick McCarran, D-Nev., tried to put the Las Vegas Sun out of business by getting advertisers to cancel en masse. Young publisher Hank Greenspun sued McCarran and won.

Today, the Greenspun empire is worth billions and McCarran is just a street name vaguely remembered for his commie-hunting debauches with Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, and a law still allowing insurance companies to conspire to fix prices.

Rep. Berkley played Limbaugh's game and lost. She needs to hire new campaign consultants after she washes the cider out of her ears.

SUPPORT THE NEVADA CITIZEN TV PROJECT to re-establish a people's channel hereabouts. You may donate at donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me, especially if you think great issues like the above demand extensive and rational discussion.

The Barbwire TV show is still in reruns. Check the expanded web edition of this column at

Help give the gift of non-corporate TV to your community. We are making progress toward returning a citizens station to these parts. Your support is both needed and appreciated.

Thank you.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 43-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 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...

Toljaso about Lush Rambo long, long ago

Warning signs from Lush Rambo's Locker Room
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 12-6-1992 .pdf format
Bum's Rush
Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune / 12-13-1992 .pdf format

For more, use the search engine for "Rambo."

...and more ammo...

POWERFUL PUNDITORY PANJANDRUMS: Compelling guest commentary

Economist: This is a true depression
Elliott Parker Guest Editorial / Las Vegas Sun / 11-27-2011

Nevada Press Assn. annual award winners announced.
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years in a row.

The winning entries:

Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck
Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
(Lush Rambo, call your office)
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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 yet

The plight of the paper pushers
The great recession made bashing public workers a national sport
Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

Bury the Bad News with Rose-colored Reporting
How urgent can economic troubles be if leaders say things are getting better?

Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review / 11-23-2011

Fact-free nation: Inside the lie machine
Mother Jones Magazine May-June 2011 / Cover story and in-depth analysis

Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Plutocracy
Money fights hard and it fights dirty
Speech delivered at Boston University on 29 Oct. 2010
Part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series

Barbwire Corporate Welfare Archive

From clear-cut forests to dirty Gulfstream waters, this land belongs to old BP

BP/ARCO: The greasy root of our evils

Barbwire / Daily Sparks Tribune 9-10-2006

The awful truth — Read it and weep, fellow suckers

Labor Day 2009: Rise of the Vampire Corpobots
Expanded from the 9-6-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

Angry Americans and Freudian fraud
Using war to market cigarettes
from the 8-23-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

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
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2012 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 43-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 premiered in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in those parts ever since. Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins