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]

Backpage: A Vulgar Web of Coercion

The pandemic of social ills Tony Ortega’s good friends over at Backpage unleashed on the nation have been an ongoing horror story. The trail of broken lives and destroyed families Backpage left in its wake remain the most enduring legacy of what Tony Ortega wanted us all to believe was nothing more than

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Tony Ortega’s Dirty Tricks #53: “Perception Management”

Unless, like Tony Ortega, you work in the shady field of Internet propaganda (or some of the more questionable advertising agencies of Madison Avenue) you may be unfamiliar with the concept of ‘perception management’.

Briefly, it is a ‘term of art’ coined by the wartime propaganda unit of the United States military and, according

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Jail Sentence for “Promotion of Prostitution” May Set Compelling Precedent For Backpage Promoters Like Tony Ortega

Few people would ever mistake Tony Ortega for Heidi Fleiss, the so-called Hollywood Madam whose upscale prostitution ring based in Los Angeles, California ensnared a number of high profile personalities. 

While Tony Ortega did work to promote Backpage, at times with the rabid ferocity of a dyspeptic junkyard dog, many of those who became

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Score One for the Good Guys: Backpage Sex Ring Sentenced To 81 Years in Prison

Last week we reported to you some heartening news out of the Washington, D.C., area regarding the successful prosecution of the last two pimps in what had been one of the lingering sex trafficking rings of the infamous Backpage era. 

Friday, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on its blog that, collectively,

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Tony Ortega’s Dirty Tricks #42: Disinformation

If Tony Ortega had to choose a favorite propaganda devices we here at the blog would guess he’d pick ‘disinformation’ by a country mile. The fact is disinformation has long been Ortega’s go-to tool for muddying the waters and sowing discord in his various smear campaigns against those he designates as his “enemies”.

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Individuals Like Tony Ortega Are Reprehensible

Tony Ortega

With court cases being delayed and investigations temporarily stayed amid the global pandemic, encouraging updates about Backpage prosecutions have been few and far between. 

Until now.  

On Tuesday July 28th, two men who pleaded guilty to trafficking an underage girl as part of a prostitution ring that operated in the

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Tony Ortega’s Dirty Tricks #36: The Firehose of Falsehood

Tony Ortega

Over the years Tony Ortega has used many of the tricks of some of history’s most flagrant propagandists. Here at the blog we believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant, so with that in mind we’ve decided to expose some of the ‘dirty tricks’ hardcore propagandists like Tony Ortega regularly employ. 

The

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Tony Ortega: Dirty Money, Bloody Hands

Normally when we think of Tony Ortega phrases like ‘Backpage.com apologist’, or ‘child sex trafficking enabler’, or ‘fake journalist’ spring to mind. But the list of wrongs Tony Ortega has perpetrated and/or promoted doesn’t end there.

One has only to look at the myriad cases stemming from the Backpage debacle to see

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Tony Ortega’s ‘Optimal’ Online Troll Environment May Face Extinction

Tony Ortega

Ever the hysterical anti-religion troll, Tony Ortega has – up to now – found a welcoming social media environment from which to foment his hate-filled conspiracy theories.

Darker corners of Social Media platforms, like Tony Ortega’s Twitter feed, have long provided an environment where, once any accusation has been

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Hard Times To Be A Wacko, Unemployed Basement-dwelling Conspiracy Theorist

Good news from Twitter as they announced this week that they are removing thousands of accounts and tweets that support the baseless conspiracy theories from its platform, citing them as having the potential to incite “coordinated harmful activity” — the sort that in some cases may lead to real-world harassment and other harms.

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