"Our republic and its press will rise or fall together." Joseph Pulitzer
"Media is the plural of mediocre."
Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)
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
I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016
by Barbáno: 2015/2016/2017 off the charts
Column addendae and commentaries outside home media
Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada
and U.S. television
Report from Jake Highton's remembrance at UNR on Labor Day weekend
Dear Readers and Friends of Jake: This report on Jakes's adios was written in response to an e from a longtime associate.
Barbano to Correspondent P in VC regarding the 9-2-2017 Highton memorial at UNR:
The current J-school dean talked about how the first time he met Jake, Jake walked into the new guy's office, plunked down a copy of the Sparks Tribune, said "read that!" and walked out.
The headline of Jake's column was "abolish the UNR journalism school."
The dean responded with a letter to the editor. When it ran, Jake called him and said "you were too easy on me."
Jake and (Pulitzer Prize-winning former Reno Gazette-Journal Exec. Editor) Warren Lerude arrived at UNR the same time in 1981. Last Saturday, Warren told me how he wanted Jake to meet Bob Laxalt. Jake over-reacted along the lines of "I'm not meeting with some goddamned Republican." Warren calmed him down and informed him that it was not the Reagan-buddy U.S. Senator but his older brother, the distinguished journalist and author.
They became friends and Laxalt ended up giving Jake the trademark Indiana Jones/Crocodile Dundee hat which Laxalt wears on his book jackets and UNR PR photos. I assume Mrs. Highton still has it.
Jake had great respect for Dean Carroll Cole, who died in a solo car crash on an icy W. McCarran on his way to meet with a student. His successor was Jerry Ceppos, the lily-livered former editor of the San Jose Mercury News. After the NY Times, LA Times and WaPost out of pure jealousy trashed the Mercury's story about how the CIA was facilitating US crack imports into U.S. ghettoes and using the profits to finance its black ops, the spineless bastard sold out reporter Gary Webb and ate the story.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, trashed Ceppos for that, the most magnificent I have every seen Mad Max. Ceppos re-assigned Webb to the one-man Oakland (huh?) bureau. He quit, did some freelancing for the News & Review weeklies, then committed suicide. I have Jake's Ceppos file but did not use any of it in my last two columns about his death. I have a large archive of his columns online and he dedicated one of his books to me, "You Speak Treason." I resemble that remark.
I did not know that I was one of those he asked to speak at his adios last Saturday until I walked in the door. The communications dept. doesn't communicate well. I did a rather good job of winging it. Gotta lotta laughs, some between gritted teeth.
I took some serious shots at journalism today in a roomful of journalists and professors; how Jake was a mere "content provider" (a trite term I trashed) who taught clear writing and accuracy, not Facebook. I juxtaposed that with the remarks of a forcibly retired and excellent RGJ reporter who once told me how the job today was about the delivery system, not journalism. At a trial, he was expected to follow the proceedings, blog while so doing (which might cause him to miss a key point); write an accurate story and then also produce a video as newspapers jealously turn themselves into TV stations. That's 4 jobs in one. Multi-tasking toward mediocrity. That ex-reporter was in the audience and I told the gathering that he could identify himself if he so desired if he got up to speak. (He did not.)
Jake was pushed into a retirement he didn't want because he didn't teach Facebook or Twitter. He was into accurately presented content, not the delivery system, an apparently superannuated man. I also resemble that remark. I leave Tweeting to the Tweetie Pie in Chief.
Here's my column about last Saturday. You will recognize some of the players. You will also see why my last two Trib columns had a priority other than my friend Jake.
Now that I've gotten this far, I may edit the above into an addendum about Jake's going-away soiree to better do him justice, not that the Internet isn't full of tributes from students to "their cruel professor," as he put it in a book autographed to me.
Be well. Raise hell.
FROM Correspondent P:
Subject: Re: Clark Santini
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2017 11:46:44 -0700
To: Andrew Barbano <email@example.com>
Re: "those" J school days. .... I kept having high hopes for the J school..... that it wouldn't deteriorate into what is generally accepted as journalism today
Dean Jimmy Gentry was my last hope. When he left for Kansas that was it for me
Minutiae ...Walter Van Tilburg Clark (Santini was named for him) lived in a couple of houses in Virginia City (where P also resides).
I first met Clark at a Toastmasters meeting.
After he spoke the rest of us just crawled under the tables and tried to hide because he was beyond superb!
Sent from my iPhone
On Sep 7, 2017, at 11:23 AM, Andrew Barbano <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I told the story of the first time I met Clark to a woman who asked if I had known him. It was at Jake Highton's memorial last Saturday. She was one of Jake's step-daughters.
FROM Correspondent P:
Subject: Re: Clark Santini
> I don't know what made me think of Clark today· But I looked for your tribute to him. It is as warm and inspiring today as it was 20 years ago
> Thank you
> Sent from my iPhone
busters in town to disrupt bus system
Workers reject deficient contract offer, strike authorized
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno / Special Online Edition 7-13-2017 / Updated 7-14, 7-15, 7-16, 7-20 and 7-21-2017 GMT
An edited version of this commentary appeared in the 7-20-2017 Reno News & Review