By Rob Adams, Sedona Mayor 2008 – 2014
(January 20, 2019)
Bullying – a category of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three minimum criteria. (1) hostile intent (2) imbalance of power (3) repetition over a period of time.
Some of you may have read the editorial contained in the Friday, Jan. 18th edition of the Red Rock News entitled “Ex – Mayor tells falsehood to play the victim”. In this editorial, Christopher Fox Graham slanders me with accusations that range from lying to malfeasance of office.
I want to thank all of you that have emailed, texted and called with your expressions of outrage over this editorial and your own stories of hostile treatment by Fox Graham. Some of you have said that I must have grown a “thick skin” during my seven years as Mayor. The truth is, attacks hurt, some more than others. You have to consider the source. Regardless, it hurts to be called a liar and have your public service be publicly marginalized.
I have spent the last 24 years on multiple boards, commissions, and groups in the Verde Valley. I am proud of the accomplishments that I have been a part of. I contributed my time not for the recognition, but because it fulfilled a part of my soul. Those that know me will tell you that I am honest to a fault. No matter how Fox Graham twists the past, I stand on my integrity. I am not going to bother addressing all of Fox Graham’s misrepresentations of my public service. The public will be my judge.
So, what set the Red Rock News off on this rant? Fox Graham claims that I falsely stated at a meeting where I was addressing the attendees that “I wrote a couple of pieces for the Red Rock News, and they refused to print ‘em.” It is true that I said that. It is also true that I sent an article to the Red Rock News entitled “Prognosis: Imminent Heart Attack.” This article talked about the traffic congestion that would be created by the proposed El Rojo Grande Ranch development. I requested that this article be printed as a guest perspective, since it contained more than 350 words. I have done a tremendous amount of research on the El Rojo Grande proposal. As a former Mayor, I also dealt with traffic problems in Sedona. Fox Graham curtly responded that the Red Rock News would not print the article. No explanation, no offer to print as a letter. I have his response in my email file.
I also wrote a press release as a Board member of Keep Sedona Beautiful that announced a public meeting on the El Rojo Grande development proposal. The president of KSB submitted the press release. The Red Rock News refused to print the release, stating that it was a “political ad,” and that KSB would have to pay to have it printed. This was clearly not a political ad, but we did not debate that issue. We posted the release with Sedona.biz and on social media. We had a tremendous turnout. The Red Rock News did not bother to provide any news coverage for the event. True, the Red Rock News has been a vocal opponent of the El Rojo Grande development, so why would they take a negative approach to an organization that is actively trying to garner public opposition? I made my comments about the refusal of the Red Rock News to post the materials that I had written after KSB meeting had taken place.
Fox Graham has a long history of using his bully pulpit to espouse his own views on topics of local, regional and national interest. He seems to consider himself an authority and expert on a wide range of topics. He has the power to use the local newspaper to criticize anyone or anything of his choosing. He also has the power to reject any efforts to rebut his criticisms. He has done that to me and many other people in this community numerous times. I recall him saying to me “I will have the last word. It is my job to oversee those in this community that are decision makers.” I wonder who oversees Christopher Fox Graham to make sure he is being fair in providing the public with honest and accurate media coverage. Fortunately, the internet provides us all the opportunity to get news and share information. Thank goodness that Fox Graham does not have the final say.
Rob, thank you for this letter. I have had much the same experience with Mr. Graham as well. Prior to the last election, I did considerable research on how other nearby cities fund their Chambers of Commerce. I presented the results of this research as a letter to the Red Rock News. Mr. Graham rejected the letter because I did not provide contact names and phone numbers for the people I talked to at the various cities. So I provided that information to him. And he still rejected the letter, with comments to the effect that my information was inaccurate. It is unfortunate that such an important community resource as the local newspaper is overseen by someone who uses it as you said, a ‘bully pulpit’.
I, too, have had a similar experience with Mr. Graham. I wrote a Letter to the Editor, which he refused to print because he did not care for my opinion of the restaurant owners documented actions I was referring to. If Mr. Graham can “bully/slander” a person in his editorial column, then why not let the rest of us voice our opinion, in a “non-bullying” Letter to the Editor??
I too have had similar dealings with Mr Graham regarding the plans for expanding the airport. He wouldn’t report on the same story that The Verde Independent did, so I sent the facts in a letter to the editor. Seems no matter how many times I rewrote it in an effort to satisfy him, he still wouldn’t print it. My journalist brother concluded that “he must have it in for me”. I concluded that Mr Graham is an embarrassment to the fourth estate and I stopped my subscription to the paper that he works for.
Mr Fox Graham loves half truths, outright lies and censorship. He is Yellow journalism at it’s very worst. Apparently, editorial duties are dictatorial duties at Red Rock News.
I can top all all stories regarding SRRN censorship and unreasonableness. I am “banned for life” from ever having a letter published in the SRRN. Inquiring minds can read the details here.
PS – Someone pointed out to me that there is space in the link I posted above, rendering it useless. Here is it corrected.
thankyou and thankyou rob
I am thinking about setting up a site where people can share their stories of bullying by Fox Graham. In the United States, we supposedly are a democracy with free press.
I understand having rules that need to be followed in printing letters and articles. Unfortunately, Fox Graham has a history of abusing his journalistic power by attacking, censoring and distorting the truth.
We need a news source that is fair and transparent and held accountable for unfair journalistic business practices.
In response to Rob Adam’s comment: “We need a news source that is fair and transparent and held accountable for unfair journalistic business practices.”
Where you have one major printed media source in a town similar in size and stature to Sedona, news reporting is subject to and can be at the whims of one person. Setting up a complaint site would only perpetuate the problem. The best way to address this problem is to affect them financially. Cancel your subscription and stop advertising and stop interacting with the editor. Stop supporting the abusive tactics and look to an alternative source for your news.
Sedona.biz is working to make that happen.
Companies are like people: they grow, learn what works and what doesn’t in life, and they age. Some will learn from their experiences and others will not. History repeats itself; and what have we learned from history? Time to learn.
“The best way to address this problem is to affect them financially. Cancel your subscription and stop advertising and stop interacting with the editor.”
I agree with Steve DeVol that we must support journalists whose work we respect. If you value the work of Sedona.Biz, and would like them to expand their news and editorial efforts, read and submit your news here. This will help Sedona.Biz attract advertisers. and They may request voluntary financial support from readers, as many online publications do.
In my opinion, the most important point here, is that negative personal remarks do not belong on social media including editorials in the newspaper, especially when written by those in power. After the last national election and even the last midterm election I’m sick of it. What happen to civility?
Steve DeVol said it. If you object to the Red Rock News behavior cancel.
Mr Woodward if you look beside you I am right there beside you on the SRRN black list.
But do not just blame Christopher Graham because Kyle Larson is in lock step with him. Both have strong egos and political ties which seem to inhibit their opinions so letters are rejected for the most unusual reasons.
I’m surprised at the heavy response here and the negative tone in them. It is a message to heed.
If Christopher and Kyle are reading any of this I suggest hiring a management consultant and pay for some good advice.
We readers do need a good local paper along with the excellence of the rest of the Sedona media presently active.
I sent this email to Kyle Larson and Fox Graham. I know it won’t be printed, so I’m sharing it here:
I was extremely distressed to read Fox Graham’s editorial about former Mayor Rob Adams. No community paper should stoop to the lowest level of “Trumpian” style personal insults that we read every day coming out of Washington D.C. Unfortunately, your Managing Editor disagrees and chooses instead to use an offensive, ad hominem attack on Mr. Adams. Ad hominem is defined as:
a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.
Fox Graham reveals in his editorial some sort of personal vendetta that he seems to have against our former Mayor. He would do himself, your paper and our community well if he were to address the community issues about which he disagrees with Mr. Adams rather than pollute our civic discourse with his inappropriate personal grudges.
Shame on your Managing Editor and your paper.
We have three replies to CFG and the RRN.
Hey isn’t there a copyright violation in your AZ Liberty(Tea Party) link you referenced .? Appears that way. That little clip contains so much FAKE information from your dishonest organization it’s laughable.
Perhaps that’s why your Fire board slate fell in the bottom 3 out of 6 and also lost every election issue your were involved in.
Rob Adams has been one of my best friends for many years and the recent assault on his character hurt my heart. Christopher Fox Graham obviously has a very personal vendetta towards Rob. He is an editor for our town Newspaper and used and abused his power to tear our former Mayor apart. I personally think it was just nasty and completely uncalled for. I expect more from this publication. I really feel he owes Rob a public apology for the way he spoke about him and what he accused him of. I don’t want to see this kind of attack and certainly not in our town paper.
Rob has worked so hard on Rojo Grande and for numerous improvements and wonderful additions in Sedona. He has been in service for years and SEDONA is grateful for him. Shame on you.
C. Fox Graham is a serious threat to our community. His primary goal is to attack others and sow discourse in a power play rather than unite our community for common purpose. He should be banned from all local media for defaming and slandering a former mayor! Shame on CFG. Sue him.
I too have been slandered by Christopher Fox Graham during my recent campaign for Mayor of Sedona. In my opinion both Christopher Fox Gram and Kyle Larson either have some close personal relationship, if they are homosexual, bisexual or trans that is their choice, but you should not let personal relationships interfere with business. That relationship could possibly prevent either from seeing the truth, or they have been affected by other environmental or psychological factors. I have seen them called in print “Soy Boy’s”, which if you note their appearance and behavior would seem to fit. Fox Graham and Larson when presented with facts and documentation by email from me still chose to print false information. I was then threatened with ” Don’t argue with someone that buys newsprint by the ton and ink by the barrel. ”
Obviously Christopher Fox Graham’s position on a small soon to be obsolete newspaper has gone to his head.
One of the more amusing things from my recent campaign is one the the people raising a large amount of funds for me insisted I run ads in the Red Rock News. I told this person I thought it was a waste of money and objected in the strongest terms. I told them I would rather spend the money anywhere else. Since this person had raised the money, I could not refuse. After writing an editorial saying voters should vote for anyone but me, Christopher Fox Graham attacked me for putting ads in the RRN.
Hey Chrissy and Kylee, if it had been my money I would not have given you a cent.
I too suggest the Sedona Red Rock News be boycotted.
@Tony Tonsich(Cornville Resident)
I think that editorial regarding you in the Red Rock News was right on the money Tony. That’s why you lost by a 4-1 margin. Most saw right They your lies and saw the (man)? You truely are.
Let it go….your a loser
You are so obsessed with me you feel the need to cyber stalk, or is it just stalk me ?
I would think in your city job you would have figuered out spell check , you’re just not too bright. The same spelling mistakes do show your troll nature under various aliases.
The stupid decisions of Sedona affect Cornville and the entire Verde Valley too.
The cool thing is I have saved thousands on taxes since moving !!!
Oh you saved thousands!? More lies Tony. Your funny.
You lived in a 500k house here and you only paid 2k in taxes a years.. Now tell how you saved thousands moving to Cornville 3 months ago..
Is this more of “your creative bookkeeping”? Is this you special skill set. LOL
@ Richard Saunders
Once again proving you are not so bright, I save $3500 on every $100,000 on materials on my new place. That’s the joy of 3.5% lower tax outside the city of Sedona.
@tony t (soy boy)
Who you lying to now Tony..
You did all your shopping down in Cottonwood when you lived in Sedona anyway.
Plus your taxes associated with your property are more in Cornville.
More lies Tony….perhaps that’s why you lost the election by a 4-1 margin..
Richard Saunders and Tony Tonisch, you’ve gone way beyond commenting on the article. Please take your argument to another forum. Thank you.
— Sedona.biz Staff