BACKPAGE: Back with a vengeance

Micheal Wolf is a name you’ve probably heard in the wake of his explosive exposé on the current American president, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump Whitehouse”. However, years before Wolf would become a household name for the role he played in laying bare corruption at the highest level, he was focusing his attention on another corruption scandal. This time concerning Tony Ortega and the part he played in defending the sex trafficking being run under the auspice’s of The Village Voice’s Backpage dot com.

In an article for The Guardian newspaper, Wolf explains:

Critical voices from all quarters would join to condemn to Backpage for its promotion of human tracking — in many cases underage sex trafficking, as outlined by Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist of The New York Times. Tony Ortega, virtually alone it seemed, would rise to defend his former cash cow, Backpgae dot com, saying in July of 2011:

Now the controversy surrounding The Village Voice’s Backpage has lept once more into the headlines. Indeed, those attempting to navigate to the classified sex trafficking website Ortega plays apologist to were stopped last week by a notice informing them that the site “and all affiliated websites” had been seized by federal authorities.

The F.B.I.’s takedown comes as a direct result of site’s long history of facilitating adult sex ads, both during and after Ortega was dismissed as editor of The Village Voice.

In recent months, Backpage dot com has found itself named in a number of lawsuits, including one in which a minor alleged that the company edited the contents of a sex ad that her trafficker posted, in order to make her sound like an adult — the very thing Ortega bragged about being the solution to the issue of underage sex trafficking in the in first place.

No word yet on how Tony Ortega may yet try to spin a defense of his former cash-generating sex trafficking platform. Perhaps in Michael Wolf’s next tell-all we’ll learn more of the truth behind Tony Ortega’s involvement in this growing scandal.

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