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Aug. 2012-Aug. 2013: the Barbwire's Silver Anniversary Year
Barbwire by Barbano moved to the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Gov. Sandoval's $3 million New York State of Mind
New Nevada ad campaign slips on a sideways banana
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the Sunday 4-21-2013 Reno Gazette-Journal
Portions of the following also appeared in the 4-10-2013 RGJ and the 4-18-2013 Reno News & Review
Updated 5-17-2013

   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
Reruns 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


Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval can now add comedy straight-man to his impressive résumé.

Who knew?

Mr. Sandoval just unveiled a $3 million marketing campaign as Nevada's first-ever statewide brand.

Except it isn't.

Nevada already owns a far better one.

The only rival to "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" (which Gomorrah South stole from Alcoholics Anonymous), originated here in the late 1960's.

Reno's Tyson-Curtis-Wilson ad agency (William Tyrone Tyson, Mark Curtis, Sr., and Thomas C. Wilson ["Harolds Club or Bust!"], all deceased [1]) developed a world-class concept for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development and Tourism.

It simply used what people knew about us to sell everything else: "Nevada: Bet On It."

Marketing pros nationwide took their hats off to that bull's eye of a campaign that would fit any specific.

Is Nevada great for outdoor sports? Bet on it.

Is Nevada a great place to do business? Bet on it.

Is Nevada the place for world class entertainment? Bet on it.

The campaign's rainbow-colored compass logo was turned into lapel pins that became collectors' items worldwide.

Gambling execs told me the distinctive round bling would draw people across a crowded room asking "what is that?"

It remains the best promotional campaign — and in modern Orwellian terminology — the best branding that Nevada has ever seen.

Everything since has been mediocrity.

Sandoval's new sizzle is so very corporate: "Nevada: A world within. A state apart," comes complete with a little sideways banana above the first "a" sternly ordering readers not to mis-pronounce the state's name.

The Los Angeles Angels can sue us for infringement of their halo trademark.

This thing was designed by a committee worthy of the Dilbert comic strip.

Nothing new.

In 1970, a young art director suggested "Las Vegas: Come and get it on" as a cool new theme.

The Mad Men of the day perverted it into "Las Vegas: Come and get it," which conjures up images of a dinner bell-banging chuckwagon cook.

Sandoval isn't doing his Republican Party any favors, either.

The GOP is trying to mend fences with Hispanics and now comes Nevada's first Latino governor scolding them that they are mis-pronouncing the state's Español name.

Mispronunciation is a hallowed Nevada tradition from Verdi to Vur-die, MoAhna to MoAnna, Genoa to JennOhAh, Ely to Ee-lee.

At least we agree about Las Vegas.

The new state "branding" is just a rehash of the 1970's "Reno Reno" campaign from the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.

Maytag Washer Repairman Jesse White, in top hat and tails, sang about two Renos, one with lots of goodies apart from the familiar gambling and nightlife.

New York ad guys have merely recapped Reno Reno with more syllables.

The late wise man George Carlin warned us to beware whenever anybody starts adding syllables —> Shell shock became combat fatigue became traumatic stress disorder became post-traumatic stress syndrome, reducing real human suffering to a bloodless, emotionless term for a very real wound.

I feel wounded that the state is sending this campaign and its taxpayer millions to two Big Apple outfits with big names and even bigger client lists.

Every time this happens, we get third-string interns for a fourth-rate level of spending and fifth-rate ad copy and graphics.

With predictable results.

Alas, Nevadans remain so insecure that we think somebody from the big city must know more than us hicks.

A familiar malady.

I hope that involvement in this program doesn't force the Las Vegas country band The Killers to become known as The Buzz Killers.

They perform the campaign's theme, Cole Porter's Don't Fence Me In, an old Roy Rogers drugstore cowboy ditty popular before most people were born.

Consumers may thus correctly conclude that uptight Nevada has yet to discover that subversive (don't say it!) rock 'n' roll.

Buzz kill, indeed.

Our biggest non-gambling special event, Burning Man, is conspicuously absent.

Too much rock 'n' roll.

Is Nevada great for self-satire?

Bet on it.


HONOR YOUR DON. Keep sending comments supporting legendary Nevada photographer Don Dondero (1920-2003) for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.

His life's work appeared worldwide, including this newspaper.

Enlist in the campaign to install Big Don.

Please send me your memories and endorsements via e-mail or to P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

The Barbwire got the late RGJ columnist Guy Richardson elected last year.

Let's go for a repeat.

BARBWIRE.TV. Support the return of community TV to these parts.

If last year's elections didn't convince you of the need, the 2013 legislature certainly will.

Join up. You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me.

This is important. Thank you.

VOTE FOR THE LUCKY 13, the most powerful Nevadans of 2013. Send nominations to <>

Last year's rogues gallery will be linked to the expanded web edition of this column at

LET'S GET IT ON. E-me to get on the Barbwire News bulletin list for information not filtered through corporate lenses.

I broke a bushel of major stories last year which the above lead item will very probably top.

Turn on, tune in and tell a friend.

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


Andrew Barbano is a 44-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...


     1. After TCW disbanded, Ty Tyson became advertising director for Reno's Mapes Hotel-Casino and the Money Tree Casino.

     After leaving the agency, Mark Curtis, Sr., became advertising director for Harrah's. His son, Mark Curtis, Jr., has long operated his own Reno advertising firm.

     Thomas C. Wilson, originator of the world-famous "Harolds Club or Bust!" campaign, was the dean of Reno advertising executives in his day.

His citation inducting him into the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame reads: "The ex-reporter launched Reno’s first advertising agency in 1939. He was known as the 'father of ideas,' and his creativity sparked the world’s first casino ad campaign (Harolds Club or Bust!)."

He was also the father of eminent Reno attorney and 16-year Nevada State Senator Thomas R.C. ("Spike") Wilson III, D-Reno.

"Old Tom" continued operating a full-service advertising agency for almost all of the rest of his life. A fine gentleman.


...and more ammo...

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

The Post-Dated Recession: Pay me now or pay me later
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Post-dated Recession
By Joshua H. Silavent / Daily Sparks Tribune / 5-3-2011

Union decline and rising inequality in two charts
by Colin Gordon
Economic Policy Institute / 6-5-2012

Used in
journalist Mark Robison's extensive Hard Labor: Nevada unions tout role in helping workers, firms, economy (Sunday 2 Sept. 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal, page one, Reno Rebirth section of the print edition). Union men Jim Burrell, Paul McKenzie and Guy Louis Rocha did the movement proud. Not included in the RGJ online edition.

The Barbwire Labor Day column
Reno Gazette-Journal / 9-3-2012

Nevada Press Assn. Better Newspaper Contest
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
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 | 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
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Copyright © 1982-2013 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 44-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 moved to the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

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