A History of Exploitative Lies

In a recent article we examined Tony Ortega’s checkered history of phony #PayAttentionToME journalism. We mentioned in that piece Tony’s penchant for utilizing purposefully misleading ‘clickbait’ tactics in which sensationalized versions of stories are crafted in order to trick readers so as to increase traffic.

Today yet another example of Tony Ortega’s fabricating gross denationalization in order to push his own agenda has emerged. As editor of the Raw Story, Tony pushed the following intentionally deceptive story:

A 23-year-old middle school teacher in Cambridge, Maryland was placed on administrative leave and “taken in for an emergency medical evaluation” after the Dorchester County Board of Education and Sheriff’s Office discovered he had written a novel about a school shooting — that is set 900 years in the future.

WBOC reports that English and Language Arts teacher Patrick McLaw wrote a novel called The Insurrectionist under the pseudonym “Dr. K.S. Voltaer.” According to its official description, novel begins “on 18 March 2902, [the day] a massacre transpired on the campus of Ocean Park High School, claiming the lives of nine hundred forty-seven individuals — the largest school massacre in the nation’s history.”

McLaw was suspended by the Dorchester County Board of Education pending an investigation and is no longer in the area. He is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere.”

A schoolteacher is whisked away by the authorities and held incommunicado because he has written a sci-fi novel about a mass school shooting? His home is searched for weapons and bombs; he is “placed on leave” by the school board, and the police will not disclose his whereabouts, he is “not able to travel anywhere,” although he is not under arrest?!

Terrifying! Clearly this is a gross violation of the teacher’s civil rights. His freedom of speech! His protections against unreasonable search and seizure! Habeas corpus!

At least, it would be if Tony Ortega’s version of the story bore any resemblance to the facts. See below how actual journalists tell the same story, minus Ortega’s hysterical ‘clickbait’ exploitation.

According to the LA Times:

Over the weekend, various reports stated that a middle school teacher in Dorchester County, Maryland, was placed on leave because he wrote two science fiction novels about mass school shootings. But according to information received by the L.A. Times, Patrick McLaw was placed on leave because of mental health issues.

“It didn’t start with the books and it didn’t end with the books,” State’s Attorney for Wicomico County Matt Maciarello told The Times. “It’s not even a factor in what law enforcement is doing now.”

Concerns about McLaw were raised after he sent a four-page letter to officials in Dorchester County. Those concerns brought together authorities from multiple jurisdictions, including health authorities.

McLaw’s attorney, David Moore, tells The Times that his client was taken in for a mental health evaluation. “He is receiving treatment,” Moore said.

Because of federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations mandating privacy around healthcare issues, he was unable to say whether McLaw has been released.

McLaw’s letter was of primary concern to healthcare officials, Maciarello says. It combined with complaints of alleged harassment and an alleged possible crime from various jurisdictions led to his suspension. Maciarello cautions that these allegations are still being investigated; authorities, he says, “proceeded with great restraint.”

We should’ve known better. It’s clear on its face that Tony’s edited version is yet another example of what he does best — twisting truth to the breaking point and coloring it with his own insidious spin to push his own narrative. Tony Ortega’s interest has never been in reporting the facts, he’s built his entire brand on exploitative lies.

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