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Tad Dunbar and Barry Bonds: Comeback kids
by Andrew Barbano
Jul 12, 2008 | 1262 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This column is about local media and that includes Barry Bonds. Why? Because I say so, dammit!

I’m sick and tired of watching the San Francisco Giants wallow in the tar pits of mediocrity. If they sink any lower into the primordial muck, Exxon (see below) will be able to sell them for $150 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the greatest home run hitter of all time is beached in Beverly Hills meeting with lawyers.

But wait, the bluenoses might say. He’s a bad example for our children.


First, he hasn’t been convicted of anything and the feds are just out for a high-profile kill. Which is all the more laughable given that he’s being prosecuted by Dubya’s Department of Justice, which has been turned into a rubber stamp for the depredations of a criminal government.

Next, remember that baseball is entertainment. The golden ages of both baseball and Hollywood came during the Great Depression of the 1930s, of which we are entering instant replay.

The people needed the diversion then and need it now. Lindsay, Brittany and Barry are box office.

I’ve never forgiven the 49ers for trading Joe Montana and I’ll never forgive that union-busting blackguard Peter Magowan for his perfidy in dumping the Giants’ greatest star since Willie Mays.

Bring back Bonds.

Comeback Kid,

Part Deux

The Walter Cronkite of northern Nevada and eastern California returns to the news in August, but I’ve got him on the Ides of July, better known in France as Bastille Day. The revolution will be televised, starting this Tuesday at 2 p.m. on Charter cable channel 16.

Dunbar will be my guest live and will take phone calls (682-4144) from the viewing public. Internet viewers may also participate via webchat at Barbwire.TV.

Tad can’t express political opinions (that’s my job), but pretty much everything else is fair game.

About 15 years ago, I read a column in a professional publication asserting that any television station could fire its consultants if it was fortunate enough to employ the local news icon. Even then, they were few and far between. Jerry Dunphy in Los Angeles was cited as an example. Tad Dunbar certainly fit the profile.

So did KOLO TV-8 commit suicide by forcing Dunbar into early retirement to save his six-figure salary? Hell, yes.

KRNV TV-4, Dunbar’s new employer, rules the roost in early morning, mid-day and 5 p.m. KOLO still wins at 6:30 p.m. when KRNV goes to Entertainment Tonight and KTVN TV-2 suffers from a weak lead-in with Katie Couric. Channel 2 is stronger than they have been when “Seinfeld” on KRXI TV-11 sometimes made the station number four a few years back.

Lead-in programming means everything in television. That’s why having the number one network usually determines who wins at 11 p.m. (a three-way split in these parts). KOLO benefits from having ABC’s Charles Gibson leading into 6:30 p.m., so the stage is set for a clash of the titans.

I’ll bet on Dunbar because I think that columnist from long ago got it right. You just don’t give away the franchise. CBS did it by retiring Cronkite. The Mets did it with Tom Seaver. Ditto the ’Niners with Montana and the Giants with Bonds. KOLO is about to learn the same lesson.

Come on down

While Dunbar and I are on the air Tuesday afternoon, you may take a tour of the facilities at the Media Center at Kietzke and Peckham, across the street from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Refreshments will be served. Perhaps some of the rock ‘n’ roll dinosaurs who will be populating non-Barbwire dayparts of our new community radio station ( will be around.

Wet noodle report

Now that I’ve said something nice about TV-4, I’ll give them 20 lashes. They reported as fact last Monday a statement from some nameless university bureaucrat who asserted that “there never have been reports of misuse of funds at the university.”

Aaargh! I recommended that they go the Barbwire 1996-1997 archive for the most comprehensive series on university system financial abuse ever compiled in this state. (Entered into two categories of Pulitzer Prize competition by this newspaper.) I have been and will be following up on the air. I called UNR President Jiminy Glick a couple of weeks ago and invited him to come onto my show and take phone calls about his budget cuts. He has never called back. No guts, no glory.

X-rated profits

“Based on an analysis of economist Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, we estimate about 25 percent of oil company profits since the 2003 invasion of Iraq can be traced to the war’s impact on world oil prices. On this basis, the excess war profit for ExxonMobil alone, between 2003 and 2008, would amount to about $40 billion.”

Thus spake an article by Nick Mottern at, which will be linked to the web edition of this screed at Barbwire.US.

X-rated taxes

The citizens committee reviewing local tax distribution came out with a preliminary report last week. They naively noted that since Reno and Sparks are subsidizing Washoe County, the Legislature should let each city keep the revenues it generates. That would bankrupt most of the state since Gomorrah South has for decades subsidized everyone else.

As with KRNV TV-4, the committee needed a little institutional memory.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan and editor of E-mail barbano@frontpage. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.
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