Media is the plural of mediocreJimmy Breslin
To paraphrase Charles Barkley, you know the world is going to hell when FOX News deserves praise for (ZOUNDS!) carrying the congressional Treasongate hearings while PBS airs old news shows or kiddie cartoons.
That’s what happened in this region last Thursday and Monday and will again today.
Public Broadcasting System KNPB TV-5 and FOX affiliate KRXI TV-11 both blacked out last Thursday’s premier of Czar Donaldov’s latest TV series.
FOX, understandable. PBS? WTF?
The only official explanation I got from TV-5 President and CEO Kurt Mische is that they livestreamed it on their website instead. Huh? What about people without computers, iPads or iPhones? Or viewers who simply prefer the public network’s analysis and coverage?
Yes, ABC TV-8, CBS TV-2 and NBC TV-4 carried the show, but that’s not the point.
This is the type of programming for which PBS was established and still scores substantial taxpayer subsidies. Every station agrees to serve the community in order to get its federal license.
Most embarrassingly, FOX network aired the second installment of the hearings last Monday morning and is scheduled to air today’s at 7:00 a.m. PDT. (Station ownership remains free to censor.)
KNPB TV-5 will again sit shiva.
Last Monday, I phoned and emailed PBS back east.
“How many of your affiliates ran the congressional hearing live on their main channels and how many did not?” I queried. “Among those which did not, if any, did they livestream as did KNPB; rebroadcast at a later time or not run anything at all via any of their resources.”
I have not heard back. PBS is supposed to be “non-commercial,” but they air hot and cold running sponsor announcements for any outfit with cash. If you’re rich enough, you even get your pretty face on station promos.
So why did TV-5 black out Treasongate? First, they are in the middle of a station fundraising drive where large blocks of time are devoted to telethonitis. Nothing gets in the way of their repetitive money hustle, not even the public interest on the public airwaves on a publicly supported station. They also did not want to pre-empt daytime kiddie shows. (I’m not speculating.)
Nationally today, all of the major networks as well as many cable channels have scheduled Treasongate-3.
Local exceptions will be KNPB TV-5 and very probably KRNV TV-4, a Sinclair Broadcasting station which blacked out Monday morning’s program after airing the Thursday premier. Sinclair also controls FOX-11 and uses the news departments of its more than 200 stations to air right-wing biased news. Why? They’ve noticed how FOX can net over a billion a year in pure profit by pandering to residents of Oz, Narnia and Mar-a-Loco. So don’t count on FOX-11 today.
There’s also an unseen hand in this market. Northern Nevada has always been a Republican stronghold. They are the establishment, rich, stodgy and powerful. Go too far and their law firms will be ordered to quietly make moves to torpedo a station’s major advertisers. The mediocre media never know what (or whom) hit them.
The invisible hand of the market is always at work here in the High Desert Outback of the American Dream.
Unlike most first-world countries, U.S. public airwaves have always been sold to the highest bidder. Washington pols quake in fear of the television-industrial complex. Witness the taxpayer-subsidized giveaway of high-definition channels a few years ago.
Want to take America back? Start with our formerly public airwaves.
BOB CARROLL, 1937-2022. The longtime radio-tv personality left us for the big studio in the sky a few days ago. He hosted his KUNR-fm “Best of Big Bands, Blues, Ballads and Broadway” program almost until the end.
Although not a journalist by trade, Bob became the face of KTVN TV-2 News in the station’s infancy in the late 1960s. In the early 1970s, he opened an ad agency which was very successful. We were friendly competitors for many years. He ran for Reno City Council in 1973 and Washoe County Commission in 1974.
Bob’s the second familiar face to recently sign off. John Howe, former news director at KOLO TV-8 in the 1970s, died last month at 93. (Barbwire 6-1-2022)
His memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 25 at Mountain View Mortuary, 425 Stoker in Reno. That’s an hour earlier than originally scheduled.
Bob Carroll’s sendoff will happen at the same location at 2:00 p.m. this Friday, June 17.
Good knowing you, gentlemen. You done real good.
BUYER BEWARE. Madcap Washoe Assessor Mike Clark, whose staff obtained a restraining order against him for running a white collar sweatshop, is advertising his wares to replace County Commissioner Bob Lucey in his southwest Reno district. I’m no fan of Mr. Lucey whose tenure on the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) precipitated the successful Teamsters Union Hat Trick Strikes of 2021. With Clark, I’ll make an exception.
Clark won an upset for assessor against a good public servant, Joshua Wilson, eight years ago. I was amazed at Clark’s website which all but promised he would cut people’s property taxes, something the assessor has no power to do. It worked.
The Reno Gazette-Journal did an extensive roundup on the current contest. Awhile back, Clark was even banned from entering his own assessor’s office. This yayhoo should never be elected to anything.
MASS TRANSIT MAYHEM. Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve was elected by the city council to replace Councilmember Oscar Delgado on RTC. The commission will thus have four Republicans plus the non-partisan mayor to continue the grotesque mismanagement of the local mass transit system.
Councilmembers Naomi Duerr, Jenny Brekhus and Devon Reese, all Democrats, also wanted the job. Monitor NevadaLabor.com for some interesting revelations ahead of this Friday’s RTC meeting.
BEER PONG AT CITY HALL? Read ThisIsReno.com’s report of the heated beating some councilcritters and Mlle. Mayor administered to Ms. Brekhus last week. The two ladies are both running for the mayoralty.
Take care of each other and be careful out there.
Pray for Ukraine and 53 other currently war-torn lands.
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Quarantino Barbano, a 53-year Nevadan, is editor of ConsumerCoalitionv. org, Rentvolution.org, MississippiWestNV. org and NevadaLabor.com, among others. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.