By Henry Twombly, Sedona Resident
(November 13, 2013)
The Sedona Red Rock News (SRRN) has confirmed that its news coverage is extremely biased in favor of the pro-growth, pro-business, pro-taxes, pro-tourist agenda of the powers that be. I have always suspected as much, noticing where articles are placed, who gets to write guest perspectives, whose letters to the editor get printed, and what positions get espoused in its editorials.
The owners and editors used to publish the occasional letter that contravened their agenda, just to claim that the paper was objective. But during this recent debate about the Budget Override, I didn’t find one letter against the Override in these last two months, though I (and most assuredly others) had written such. Moreover, during that time there were more guest perspectives and less letters published, as if the paper was ignoring, if not stifling, debate. Out of the 2-4 letters that were printed in eac issue, only letters in support of the Override were published. This type of spin on the news borders on blatant propaganda or at least negligent journalism that misleads the public into thinking that most residents agree with these policies; that the suffused agenda of the powers that be fosters the public good instead of windfalls for special interests. This yellow journalism is nothing but a subliminal mix of fear-mongering, guilt-tripping and self-righteous “altruism.”
If you are a taxpayer here in Sedona, you want to learn how to read in between the lines. Don’t pay attention to the words of the SRRN and of the three polities – the City Council, the School DIstrict and the Fire District – for whom SRRN advocates. Watch what they do, and what they do is spend your money. They find clever ways to increase your taxes and your per capita debt. The City wants to create Special Districts, General Obligation bonds and probably a property tax to fund its overambitious Community Plan that enriches special interests and panders to the tourists. Since the recall election the Fire District’s mill rate has gone up to pay for the unnecessary Chapel fire station. In 2010-11 and 2011-12 the rate stayed at 1.4; after the recall it increased to 1.63 in 2012-13, and now it’s 2.02 (in 2013-14). The results of the Override notwithstanding, the percentage in the mill rate on the debt that we pay on the School District’s $73-million bond (2007) keeps going up: .87 (2010-11); .97 (2011-12); 1.2 (2012-13) and 1.3 (2013-14). Is it any wonder that currently Sedona has the sixth highest per capita debt in the state ($5,507.45)? What is a wonder that baffles me is why we resident taxpayers have allowed this to happen. It’s time to say “No” to further tax increases!
You rail against the publishing policy of the RRN, yet you seem to get plenty of opportunity to spread your views. Your letters are published frequently online and they have been in the paper as well. I rarely agree with anything you write, and as I have posted before, you are a very lucky fellow to have the forum to express some of the nonsense that enters your mind. Keep writing as you must, but also allow for the possibility that your point of view has been fully expressed in the past and that the often stated letters policy of the RRN is to not publish a letter that doesn’t break new ground.
Josh, here’s a link for you if you really believe the RRN is fair and unbiased (be sure to read ALL the comments):
Maybe after going to the above recited link, you’ll realize that you’re trying to sweep the tide off the beach with a broom!
Well, it’s politics as usual with RRN. When you can’t refute something with facts you turn to insults. I always suspected as much, having noticed the bias and tone of RRN, but now you’ve confirmed it.
You’ve shown your hand:
“I rarely agree with anything you write, and as I have posted before, you are a very lucky fellow to have the forum to express some of the nonsense that enters your mind.”
Sad that we have this kind of mentality in Sedona…. it would’ve been nice if your mother taught you some manners.
BTW how did it escape your notice that most of us are quite aware of RRN’s bias. Do you really think we’re that stupid?
RRN is the bomb, back off everyone.
Peggy…I stand by my comments. This is a forum for opinions. I expressed mine as did Henry. Did you think only those that are consistent with yours need be expressed?
In my previous comment addressed to you above, I referenced Henry Twombly’s
article at http://sedonaeye.com/local-print-newspaper-tool-of-special-interests/. At that site there are currently 22 comments aimed directly at the biases of the RRN. All 22 are supportive of Henry’s allegations against the RRN and not one is supportive of the RRN. You admit this blogsite (Sedona.biz) is a forum for opinions. All you have expressed is your opinion supported by no facts whatsoever. Prove to Sedona that the Red Rock News is a legitimate thriving newspaper. Prove to all of us that your readership and circulation hasn’t dropped like a rock in the last couple of years. Prove that your advertizing revenues haven’t dropped like a rock as well. Prove that your Editor has journalism credentials better than being a slam poet. Prove that the RRN will publish a fact supported harsh criticism of Jennifer Wesselhoff’s DMO efforts in behalf of the city since you show Rick Wesselhoff as a newspaper “Partner.” Prove that your staff’s meager credentials qualifies them to edit, re-title, shorten, or reject a writer’s submission to the RRN who has far more credible credentials than anyone on staff at your newspaper, and, last but certainly not least, please explain why lead articles written by your editor or staff get so few comments as compared to the numbers of comments that are generated following controversial articles posted by SedonaEye. Yes, the RRN is a forum for opinions…those of your staff and management and no one else, that is!