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]

The Obsessive Blogger

On December 7, 2000, Tony Ortega wrote an article for the New Times L.A. entitled Sex, Spies & Videotape where he tried to discredit experts on the subject of MK-Ultra. A reader wrote to the paper and said: “Besides Tony Ortega’s lack of objectivity, his story of MK-Ultra is inaccurate and misleading.” The writer then gave a detailed account of how Ortega got it all wrong and was writing on a subject of which he knew nothing.

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Ortega and The Raw Story

If you’ve heard the name Tony Ortega, chances are it’s from his public “exit” as editor 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 lobbied hard for the Village Voice’s right to earn ad revenue from the sex trade but after several nasty online spats, including twitter exchanges with Ashton Kutcher. In the end, Ortega “left” the Village Voice. Unemployed, Ortega was to…

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Yellow Blogging

In the almost 50 years since Edward R. Murrow died we’ve witnessed a slow decline in journalism. Perhaps this was inevitable given ever-shortening attention spans, increased appetite for sensationalism, and overall industry trends toward taking every shortcut possible in order to feed a growing demand for “info-tainment.” Tony Ortega’s blogging, however, represents a new low.

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