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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)

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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

GOP '18 upsets: Déjà vu all over again
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 9-5-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 9-6 and 9-7-2018 / 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.

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Be well. Raise hell.


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If this column doesn't send Democrats into seething rage, nothing will.

I always make odds on elections but haven't bet money since I wagered $20 on Jim Bilbray to beat Rep. Walter Baring in the statewide 1972 Democratic primary. I won and quit winners.

Last week, I ran into two Republican operatives who appeared unsurprised when I said that were I betting today, I'd make the top of the GOP ticket 11-10 favorites in November.

"But (Adam) Laxalt's so boring," said one young conservative moonhowler who shall mercifully remain nameless.

"How many boring people do you know who got elected?" I responded.

I related that light observation to a veteran Nevada journalist.

"I agree with you."


Jawohl. The longtime reporter stated that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Steve Sisolak has not gotten his campaign off the ground, at least outside his home base in Gomorrah South.

We talked about how former US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Searchlight, has made a pair of major errors. First, he anointed freshman Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-LV, to oppose incumbent US Sen. Dean Heller, R-Carson City, who's generally agreed to be the nation's most vulnerable Republican incumbent.

Then, Reid backed Clark County Commissioner Sisolak against fellow commissioner Christina Giunchigliani in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Chris G turned the big guy into Sisosausage up here, winning Washoe 52-39 but losing statewide by the same score. [UPDATE: She just announced that she will endorse no one for governor. Zounds. The ghost of NAGPAC is back. See the return of the None of the Above for Governor Political Action Committee, Barbwire 6-20-2018.]

The old stripper rule stands: WIth media saturation, you can buy the Las Vegas Strip but not the Washoe-Carson strip.

Reid gave former State Treasurer Kate Marshall a cold shower. She's now running for Light Guv and will probably smoke State. Sen. Bulldog Roberson, R-South Egotrip.

The dynamic Kate has run statewide 6.5 times (thrice for state constitutional office and once in a special election to replace Heller in the northern Nevada congressional seat). Marshall thus has a built-in statewide base which Ms. Rosen lacks.

With Kate and Chris at the top of the ticket, Democrats had Wonder Woman and Joan of Arc to rally behind.

Rosen's lackluster campaign shows that she failed to pay heed to former Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-LV, who earlier this year advised Dems to hire locally, something Berkley learned the hard way in losing to Heller in 2012.

Sisolak has it worse: Laxalt is just plain cuter, which is apparently what his campaign managers are banking on. They are keeping the political novice away from the media and sending him to the Cow Counties, according to my journalist friend.

Proving that great minds think alike, we simultaneously blurted "Chic Hecht."

Jacob "Chic" Hecht was a downtown Las Vegas dress shop owner, about 5-feet-4 with a thick lisp. But he photographed like a million dollars in small unmarked bills.

Bob Brown, a future Barbwire Molly Ivins Memorial Columniator Hall-of-Famer, sold Cold War vet Hecht as James Bond and in 1966 elected Hecht as Clark County's first-ever Republican state senator.

In my 1970 maiden voyage in Nevada follytix, Brown charged me with producing Hecht re-election ads. I found him self-effacing with a great sense of humor. He was also a very honest man.

In 1982, powerful four-term US Sen. Howard Cannon, D-LV, survived a bitter primary against Rep. Jim Santini, D-LV. Because Cannon was deemed invulnerable, the GOP fielded a lackluster primary slate which Hecht easily beat.

Hecht was sent to the Cow Counties under the guidance of Carson City Republican pro Pete Kelley. Hecht beat the mortally wounded Cannon largely by being underestimated and looking better on TV, never talking on his commercials.

Although prone to rhetorical gaffes and ridiculed for being "the least prepossessing US Senator" by National Journal, Chic Hecht was not a dogmatic moonhowler or a threat to human rights.

I'd vote for him over Laxalt or Heller today.

The underqualified Laxalt is running the Chic Hecht playbook.

As the old saying goes, Democrats don't win elections, Republicans lose them.

Right now, the GOP is not self-destructing at the top.

BARBARA ANN PELLET STONE, 1936-2018. Barbara Stone, a Winnemucca native and former Hawthorne resident, was a longtime casino employee (El Capitan, Boomtown) who raised five children as a single mother. She was the fiercest friend you could ever have, generous to a fault.

Dear Barbara served with me on the City of Reno cable TV board 15 years ago. We were both impressed by a fellow appointee, attorney Kate Marshall, whom we immediately recognized as future US Senate material. Guess we should'a told Harry.

A high-hearted remembrance commences at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday Sept. 8 at Walton's (formerly Ross Burke) Events Center, 600 W. 2nd in Reno.

I wish Barbara were still around to knock some sense into a few Democrats.

Barbara, old friend, I don't need to remind you to...

Be well. Raise hell.

Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.) / être bien, élever l'enfer (And my French.) / Stammi bene. Scatenare l'inferno. (And Italian.)
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.)


THE BIG 3-0. Sunday, August 12, marked 30 years since the first Barbwire appeared in the Rail City's newspaper of record since 1910. "The Chilling of Hot August Nights" brought the first of my eight Nevada Press Association awards. I'll add more memories of the early days of the Barbwire as time, space and the political season allow.

Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the
Barbwire in August of 1987

Tempus fugit.

Sore-oppressed Soul-Sister Cities:
Menlo Park and Reno-Sparks-Fernley share similarly sad high-tech stretch marks

"All humanity has left the area": paying for Tesla's Gigafactory
Barbano and Nevada conservatives decry corporate welfare depredations

By Rory Carroll / The Guardian 7-3-2018

Editor's Note: The Guardian publishes 180,000 newspapers daily in London and environs and generates ONE BILLION monthly web page views. (I should live so long.)

"Facebook is taking everything": rising rents drive out Silicon Valley families
Property companies advertising their proximity to Facebook’s campus are giving low-income residents a choice: pay a huge rent increase or move out
By Sam Levin / The Guardian 6-20-2018

ANTE INTO THE GAME: Support the new season of Barbwire.TV by putting your money where my mouth is.

Metastasizical Statisticals

Trump FCC chair investigated for Sinclair ties / 2-15-2018

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

  A thousand thanks to those who keep sending sow suggestions.

  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 pontification by subscribing to the Barbwire Confidential News Service. Scandalous bonuses for new subscribers.

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. Thank you kindly for your support.

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

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For all the news you never knew you needed to know 'til now: Tell your friends and friendly enemies to subscribe to Barbwire Confidential for warm laughter, cheap thrills, hot scoops and occasional cold logic at BallotBoxing.US/ Cheap at twice the price. (Hush Hush!)

Smoking Guns—> Barbwire 30th Anniversary Trilogy
Now well into a 4th decade of equal opportunity harassment of the rich, famous & powerful

Part 3: Biting the hand that feeds me
GOP '18 upsets: Déjà vu all over again
Laxalt and Heller favored to win in November
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 9-5-2018 Sparks Tribune
Part 2: Biting the moonhowlers
Good reasons to lie to those pesky pollsters
Heller eats sheep balls to get the courage to perpetrate guilt by association
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 8-29-2018 Sparks Tribune
Part 1: Bitten by my buds
Machine Gun Michele and her low-caliber, low-cut friends
The censored Barbwires of the 2015 legislature finally see ink and my fantasy fiancée bares all
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 8-22-2018 Sparks Tribune

30 Years before the masthead: Barbano remembers the Barbwire's greatest hits
By Kayla Anderson / Sparks Tribune 8-22-2018

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.

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

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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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