“A Unanimous Choral of Damning Disapproval”

Tony Ortega

We’ve written a lot here on the blog about the article Tony Ortega published in the Village Voice attempting to smear New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof after his in-depth exposé the Backpage sex trafficking syndicate. Like many media watchers we don’t hold a very high opinion of Tony Ortega’s so-called ‘reporting’ and we hold an even lower opinion of his ethical standards.  

But sometimes the most damning indictments don’t come from outside observers, they come from your own readers. That said, we thought it might be useful to pass along a few more of Ortega’s readers contemporary responses to his artless attack piece which we present to you without commentary or editing. The irrefutable words of Tony’s very own audience reproduced below make a strong case all by themselves and we believe what they have to say speaks volumes.

With all due respect, the cold, hard fact remains: kids are routinely peddled on Backpage.com. Doesn’t that kind of make you an accessory to rape? Please reconsider what you’re doing.”  — Hallenen

You say Backpage dedicates hundreds of staff to screen adult classifieds in order to keep juveniles off the site but the following text is form your own “Release” in your Terms of Service under Backpage.com: You agree that the Site does not pre-screen, monitor or approve any Content, but that the Site shall have the right, but not the obligation to remove, move (including moving an ad or posting to another section or category within the classifieds), refuse, edit or delete any Content for any reason whatsoever.” — Rich Klein

“I am disappointed, although not surprised…Backpage has been linked to arrests for criminal underage trafficking in 22 states. They can brag about their vetting process as much as they like, they are obviously profiting from the problem. I plan on contacting advertisers in my local publication to express this opinion.” — Jennifer Williams Pavich

“… You are a greedy, self-absorbed, soulless monster, who only cares about how much money your company makes. I can’t believe you support forced prostitution and child sex trafficking. You are the lowliest scum of the earth. If you wanna pull yourself out of the deep hole that you’re digging yourself deeper into, then remove anything that you think even remotely comes CLOSE to being a sex trafficking ad.” — Bigred420asis

“You are pure slime. Who should we believe? A man who has risked his life, over, and over all over the world to bring darkness to light and to try to save people’s lives, or an outfit that makes its money on porn and prostitution? Man, what a tough call. 

Perhaps he made the wrong call on the specifics of this case. That doesn’t give you call to attempt to destroy his reputation…And if you’re going to claim to have “hundreds of people” scouring the ads looking for young girls, at least provide the slightest bit of evidence.

Your game is over – and this amateur hour piece does you nothing but harm.” — Guest

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