When in doubt, throw the book at 'em

Expanded from the 3-17-2002 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune

MESSAGES FROM THE MAHATMA. A couple of weeks ago, the man hisself was signing books before overflow crowds in Grass Valley, Calif., not far from here. Alas, I was otherwise involved and could not make the trip over the hill to see Michael Moore.

As of today, his new book, "Stupid White Men and Other Excuses for the State of the Nation, " officially tops the New York Times bestseller list. If you haven't heard about it, you're not alone. One major chain has apparently refused to stock it. The publisher can't keep up with demand and originally tried to censor it.

The book was almost shredded because the publisher (Harper-Collins, owned by Rupert Murdoch), got serious heat from those who think Dubya has gone from dunce to Disraeli.

Moore, the bestselling author ("Downsize This!") and heavyweight producer of movies ("Roger & Me," "Canadian Bacon," John Candy's last film) and Emmy-winning television shows ("TV Nation," "The Awful Truth"), has waged an uphill battle to get this book into print. His tour of outback California produced shocking turnouts combined with hassle from the cops.

A large contingent of narrow-minded people think that no one should be allowed to criticize the government now that we're on a permanent war footing. (One could argue we've been on permanent war footing since 1941.)
Get the book. If your bookstore doesn't have it, find one that will.

SILVER STATE SCRIBES. I'm starting a new page at dedicated to Nevada authors. We've always had a very active an creative community of crackerjack writers in this state. Alas, there is no central point where people can find out what's in the pipeline.

Here are a few previews. Former Tribune reporter Charles M. Evans will see his Civil War history book in print by summer. "War of the Aeronauts, A history of ballooning during the Civil War," will be published by Stackpole books early this summer.

Las Vegas Review-Journal education writer Ken Ward has just published "Saints in Babylon, Mormons and Las Vegas" (First Books Library). I haven't yet finished it, but the best critic I know, my wife, says it's an impressive piece of work.

POLITICAL PREVIEW. Wait till Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks, reads the book on his likely Democratic re-election opponent, Joe Carter. The longtime locomotive engineer is a dyed-in-the wool Sparks railroader. He grew up in Sparks and was a member of the first graduating class at Dilworth Middle School. Carter graduated from Sparks High in 1965, where he played football and ran track. Combined with three open senate seats in the Las Vegas area, Democrats this year are within striking distance of making Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, minority leader in the 2003 legislative session.

AESOP WAS RIGHT DEPT. The wise old story teller once ended a fable with this truism: If you want something done, do it yourself. A couple of months ago, Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Clifton let an error get into one of his nostalgia columns. I sent him the facts, but they have not seen print. Perhaps my e-mail dropped through the cracks.

A reader sent in an item stating "you might be a Nevadan remember KKBC radio as the first northern Nevada rock station."

Too bad that's not true. I designed KKBC-fm's first promotional campaign in 1975. (It is now KWNZ at the same dial position, 97.3). Phil and Penny Doersam had been hired to manage the former KPTL-fm by new owner William Cody Kelly. The "KBC" of the call letters denoted "Kelly Broadcasting Company." He was a wealthy Lake Tahoe investor who bought Carson City-based KPTL-am and -fm together.

The first full-time fm rock station in northern Nevada was KGLR-fm at 105.7, now known as KOZZ, founded by the Doersams.The first northern Nevada rock station was KDOT at 1230 on the a.m. dial, currently called KPLY sports radio. It was renamed KCBN "Radio A Go-Go"in 1965. The first record played on its first day as KCBN was Petula Clark's "Downtown"-- denoting where the station was located on what is now the site of the expanded St. Mary's Medical Center. Lorraine Arms bought KCBN from one Dr. Brown about 1970. It remained KCBN until the 1990s, when some interim owner re-labeled it. When Arms repossessed KCBN and KRNO 106.7-fm, she brought back the venerable KCBN call letters, which lasted until late 2000.

KUDOS AND CONGRATS to historian and Nevada State Archivist Guy Louis Rocha for a killer piece of talk radio last Friday on KUNR-fm. Rocha invited as his guests two media types recently axed for something they said. Lorrie Baumann, the former editor of the Battle Mountain Bugle, was fired last year for agreeing with a Washington Post humor columnist that the small Lander County community qualified as the armpit of the United States. (See the Barbwire of Dec. 9.)

Rocha also invited Ira Hansen, who has occupied the south 40 of this page for the past several years. Ira got into a dustup with the management of KKKOH Radio, which he has extensively described in the Tribune.

THE NEXT PICTURE SHOW. The next installment of my TV show airs March 24 and 25. This month, Deciding Factors opens on KRXI FOX-11 at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 24, followed by a repeat on KAME UPN-21 (Charter Cable 7) at 12 noon the same day. KRXI will air it again at 12:30 the following morning, followed by KAME at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26. Watch this space for subsequent broadcasts elsewhere. I'll post the show's guests and subject matter later this week at

Be well. Raise hell. | U-News | C.O.P. | Sen. Joe Neal
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© 2002 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 33-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of and He hosts Deciding Factors on several Nevada television stations. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.)Tribune since 1988.

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