Tony Ortega is a former employee of the Village Voice—a publication which found itself in hot water when it was revealed they’d been advertising the services of known sex-traffickers in their seedy ‘Backpage’ section.

Ortega now runs the Underground Bunker blog. Billing itself as the go-to zone for (eye-rolling sensationalized, bigoted, anti-religious) rants, it gives away Ortega’s game. How much clearer can it be that this supposedly “legitimate” blog is nothing but a bully pulpit from which Ortega can indulge his intolerance disguised as social outrage and foist off entirely fabricated nonsense as “breaking news”?

Sources in the journalist community consider Tony Ortega a developer of false leads, and let’s be clear Ortega is not a real journalist and here is why. When evaluating information, we are often admonished to “consider the source.” In the case of Tony Ortega, the warning applies not only to the content of his blogs but also to Ortega personally and the “publications” for which he worked.

Alternative papers are free weekly publications that earn revenue most often through the sale of the kind of advertising that reputable newspapers won’t permit – adult bookstores, strip clubs, classifieds with strong sexual content, etc. In between the trash, they slip in tabloid-style articles, promoted as “edgy” or “daring” when, in truth, they are simply fabrications sensationalized by low credibility writers like Ortega. While some of these “papers” make an effort to rise above the rest, most are gutter rags that all too often define “alternative news” as a slanderous substitution of the facts.

Ortega has spent his life practicing this excuse for journalism within the New Times Media and the Village Voice Media franchise of alternative papers. This platform has suited him well, for Ortega wrote for sleazy tabloids like he was born to it, a disposition that was in evidence as far back as high school.

[Header image: John Rickard]

Fake News: A Checklist

A couple of years ago, way back when the phrase fake news was finding its footing in this country, the fact-checking website Politifact offered up the following definition of “fake news” as “made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions

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All Things Arielle

We here at the blog have had numerous requests for more information about Tony Ortega’s mysterious wife, Arielle Silverstein (aka Bozuri, aka Arielle Sarai). As the pants-wearing bread-winner of the household, in many ways Silverstein remains the driving economical force behind Ortega’s cottage industry hate farm.

Because of the sheer volume

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It Can Happen Again

Sometime during the late night hours between the 9th and 10th of November, 1938, shards of broken glass littered the streets after the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues were destroyed by Nazis in a pogrom against Jews throughout. It was a night that was to become known as Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken

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The Hater’s Whipping Boy

A whipping boy or girl was, supposedly, a child educated alongside a prince (or boy monarch) in early modern Europe, who received corporal punishment for the prince’s transgressions in his presence. Instead of the prince being punished, the beating was reserved for one appointed to receive the blows instead.

In more modern times the phrase

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Is Hate Speech Free Speech?

The negative impacts of hate speech often get overlooked by a flurry of well-intentioned voices who trot out their lofty ideals of First Amendment rights buoyed by vague, noble-sounding notions of freedom of the press.

While, in theory, Americans have long held notions of the importance of free speech, this seemingly ‘enlightened’ position too often

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Crimes Against Humanity

 

Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack or individual attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population.

Good definitions are valuable assets. They allow us to assess situations better, make more meaningful statements and arrive at

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Tony Ortega: Wannabe

In her book on adolescent bullying, “Queen Bees and Wannabes”, author Rosalind Wiseman makes the following observation:

People fight over technology in ways they never would face-to-face because they can say their version of events without getting immediate feedback that might challenge it. It allows people to throw more intense self-righteous temper tantrums.

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Too Much Garbage To Choose From

In light of Tony Ortega’s surprise ‘book’ announcement on Halloween which (shocker!) turns out to be nothing more than a bald-faced money grab, recycling old, mostly un-read, blog posts from his underground hate-bunker, a number of morbidly curious readers have been asking us just which blog posts Tony Ortega chose to include

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Ortega’s Latest: More Trick Than Treat

We broke the story, shining light on Tony Ortega’s latest half-assed effort to cash in for a quick buck with his latest ‘book’, an act of self promotion equal parts self-plagiarism and self-delusion.

Tony Ortega himself pulls back the curtain the con when he describes the book on his blog this way:

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Tony Ortega: Self Publishing Hack

Self publishing truly is the last bastion of the lazy, otherwise unpublishable writer. Perhaps this is why Tony Ortega chose to peddle his “new book” is this way. What better way to tell the world, ‘my ideas are tired and my made-up conspiracy theories are nothing more than rehashed copies of the same garbage

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