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Je Suis Charlie
"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." — Joseph Pulitzer

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"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

HAPPY NEW YEAR / Feliz Año Nuevo
Frohe Weihnachten und beste Wuensche fuer 2018

¡Viva Chávez!
César Chávez Celebration XVI / Celebración de César Chávez XVI
Saturday 31 March 2018
/ Sabado 31 de Marzo 2018

Highlights from the record-breaking 2017 event at 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.
   Everybody knows. Everybody knows.
That's how it goes.
Everybody knows.

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

All the Money in the World: The greatest story never told
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 1-3-2018 Sparks Tribune / Expansions in blue

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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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15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

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Dear Editor: If a credible journalist offered you the hottest newsbreak of your life, would you print it?

I know the Tribune's answer. For others, a cautionary tale.

In the early 1970's, AutoWeek publisher Russ Goebel moved his operation from Detroit to Stead. His crew included editor Leon Mandel and reporter Cory Farley.
With curly-haired visage and tobacco-tinged growl worthy of Wolfman Jack, Mandel became an instant star at KTVN TV-2.

General manager Lee Hirshland had guts, having left a major chain to start an underfinanced ABC affiliate.

Hirshland was also a news purist. He fired his news director and sales manager when he caught them playing footsie with future Gov. Mike O'Callaghan's 1970 campaign. Lee named Ed Pearce to run the news department. The young Fallonite brought in hungry reporters who kicked ass.

The number-three network station, with only black-and-white film, was soon breaking stories the big boys lusted after. At the same time, skulduggerous practices by KOLO TV-8 management caused CBS to fire them. So the number one network, including legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite, moved to Channel 2 on Jan. 1, 1973. It made national waves.

Mandel pulled no punches. He once advised locals to "shop over the hill" in California because Nevada's single-point auto dealerships enjoyed little meaningful competition. (Still don't.) Almost every car dealer in town trooped into Hirshland's office demanding Mandel's termination.

Hirshland somehow placated them and personally did an editorial response but refused to fire Leon. Such integrity no longer exists in these parts.

Hirshland added extroverted UNR Prof. Howard Rosenberg for movie reviews. Channel 2 News jumped to number one in the metro and stayed there for years.

Leon was a published author before he arrived. His book "Speed with Style," the biography of movie-star handsome Revlon heir and world class Formula One driver Peter Revson, was twice on Hollywood's fast-track to star Jeff Bridges until Revson's family objected.

Harrah's hired Mandel to write a bio of its late founder. When they tried to get him to delete confirmed information about Bill Harrah (ahem) consorting with exotic hookers, Leon refused.

He made a courtesy call on the Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal (they had separate editorial staffs back then). He offered to provide advances on hot innovations in consumer cars. Not interested.

Leon got a call from Miss World Margie Wallace who had just been defrocked for her relationships with Revson, singer Tom Jones, tennis superstar Jimmy Connors and others. Leon offered the Reno papers an exclusive.

"Nah, we'll pick that up from our wire services," said the RGJ boss.

In 1973, Mandel was tipped on the hottest story in the world which is again news today. John Paul Getty III, kidnapped grandson of the richest man on earth, had been found alive -- minus his right ear.

Leon called the RGJ. "The Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal, in a copyrighted story, report that billionaire John Paul Getty's grandson has been found alive," he offered.

"Nah, we'll pick that up from our wire services."

The info came from a True Magazine writer who had been sent to Italy to find the Getty kid and did. Because True was a monthly, his story wouldn't see ink for two or three months, so he gave his friend Leon the go-ahead.

A few years later, Gazette-Journal ownership sold out to Gannett. Reno's 38 percent profit margin was the main attraction. It made a few guys rich but their die-hard journalists loathed it to their dying days.

Mandel returned to Detroit to become lionized editor/publisher of AutoWeek. He died in Motor City in 2002. In 2016, his son, Dutch, retired as AutoWeek's longest-tenured editor.

If you pay to see "Alien" and "Gladiator" director Ridley Scott's new film "All the Money in the World" starring Christopher Plummer as miserly grandpa Getty, remember how the corporate weasels at our local daily blew their chance to scoop the world.

And well may again.

Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan and editor of He produced the 1976-78 worldwide Long Beach GrandPrix Formula One Radio Network and co-anchored with Leon Mandel. Margie Wallace participated. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. E-mail <>

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

Online Extras & Smoking Guns—>
Blast from the past: Pierre Rinfret on the ill effects of war spending
Those with crystal balls should cover their glasses

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-27-2017 Sparks Tribune / Updated 12-28-2017
Princess Cassandra and perpetual war machines

Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-20-2017 Sparks Tribune

Christmastime investment advice from Al Capone
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-13-2017 Sparks Tribune
Fake news Valhalla: Putin, my president and me
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Expanded from the 12-6-2017 Sparks Tribune

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.

Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News
Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary and “classic propaganda” could soon reach 3/4 of the US.
By Andy Kroll/Mother Jones Oct.-Nov. 2017

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
By William Brangham/ PBS NewsHour 10-10-2017

Top-down Democrats haven't learned
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-10-2017

More Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada and U.S. television
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-3-2017

  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.

END OF TIMES SURVIVAL KIT. Defend yourself with humorous or humorless but always-peerless predictions for 2018 by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service.

Hush Hush!


"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/

It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. I suggest coming aboard now. Subscription prices go up soon. Thank you kindly for your support.

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

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, executive 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 BallotBoxing.US 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 and received its 8th Nevada Press Association award and 5th first-place at the 30 Sept. 2017 NPA annual convention in Carson City. (That trophy and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)

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Copyright © 1982-2018 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president and political action chair 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.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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