Nevada has a handful of public television stations. Alas and alack, Reno’s KNPB TV-5 and Gomorrah South’s KLVX TV-10 are not among them.
The Public Broadcasting System affiliates have long been guilty of misleading advertising by calling themselves public.
True public broadcasting wherein the people could speak in their own voices was aborted in Las Vegas and starved to death in Sparks-Reno-Washoe. I fought those battles for many years, several of them as chair of the City of Reno’s Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. (BarbanoMedia.com/charter.html)
WHO SHOT JR? Last week, commentator Jon Ralston’s statewide TV show was cancelled without notice. Why?
Somebody bigger than all of Jon’s megabucks blue-chip sponsors cowed station managers into pulling the plug. The message is clear: Stay within the narrow confines of PBS softball journalism: catatonic questioners with British accents preferred. Produce very little local programming. Make it sleep-inducing.
Were governing boards even consulted? The Clark County School District owns TV-10’s license. TV-5 is a private Nevada corporation.
I can be as big a critic of JR as anyone. He recycled juice lobbyist Peter Ernaut’s low blows against Assemblymember-elect Lisa Krasner, R-Reno/Incline, without so much as one line from her.
Jon muffed things again in yesterday’s Reno Kazoo-Journal by repeating the fiction that Bernie Sanders supporters threw chairs at the Nevada Democratic Convention. (For accurate reportage, read Dennis Myers’ series in the Reno News & Review.)
MILLION-DOLLAR BABIES. Jon carefully cultivated ties within the same power structure that turned on him. (Ungrateful swine!)
Every journalist and commentator needs such sources, including small-time me. To get the job done, you have to maintain a symbiotic relationship even when dealing with powerful parasites.
Us bastards on this side of the media equation thus often get angry heat when we bite the hands that feed us. Nonetheless, we survive because we are very useful and necessary to both the power structure and the body politick.
As LBJ once remarked about an adversary, “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”
Jon’s news and commentary are the most desired in the state. Make the Ralston Report and you’ve arrived.
For two decades, I’ve been the most consistent critic of the nickel-and-dime diseases disseminated by TV’s 5 and 10. (Smoking guns at NevadaLabor.com/)
To paraphrase legendary Justice Louis Brandeis, sunshine is the best disinfectant.
Nevada needs truly public radio and television. It can be done surprisingly cheaply. So let’s get to work.
Meanwhile, don’t waste your money contributing to the cowardly PBS 5-and-10-Cent Store.
I contacted KLVX last week. No response.
GEORGE “BATTLING” NELSON, 1932-2016. The great fighter for workers rights requested that his memorial celebration be conducted like a union meeting. The Big Adiós will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, 9 July 2016, in the Plumbers and Pipefitters Training Center, 1150 Greg Street in Sparks. Battling Nelson held many gatherings there as president of the United Auto Workers retiree organization. For updates, watch NevadaLabor.com (where you will also find photos and the story of the original Battling Nelson). Send me remembrances for permanent posting.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail <email@example.com> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.