Developer of False Leads

We have it from reliable sources that Tony Ortega is considered a notorious developer of false leads and fake news by a large group of New York journalists. Following are just a couple of examples of his conduct that demonstrate 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 “alternative news” articles 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, the infamous backpage dot com, 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 Tony 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 entire career practicing this excuse for journalism within the New Times Media/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.

As a student at Savanna High School in Anaheim California in 1980–81, Ortega considered his school paper, “The Dispatch,” to be nothing but a “P.R. rag for the freshman parents” and decided to change it – not by raising its quality but by using it as a vehicle to draw attention to himself.

It was the era of the Iranian hostage crisis and tensions ran high on the issue in American communities. Like most high schools, Savanna had its population of Iranian-Americans. Ortega seized the opportunity to stir the pot by writing an article entitled “Making Payola on the Ayatollah” that included such statements as “Piss on Iran” and “Up your hola to the Ayatollah,” rhetoric guaranteed to increase tensions within the community. When asked to tone down his comments, he refused. Ortega was developing a “style,” testing out how much abuse he could heap on his targets before it got him fired. He hoped to spin it into a career.

Ortega wrote articles and headlines heavily laced with sexual innuendoes and, when asked by the school administration to use language more appropriate for a high school readership, he retaliated by writing an article that slandered the school’s faculty. As a result, Ortega was suspended from school.

Ortega then incited what he hoped would be a mass protest over “censorship” with a leaflet distribution campaign, turning the situation into a war with faculty that Ortega then escalated into a law suit. Naturally, he lost his legal war at every turn, from his application for a temporary restraining order to the suit itself. The only thing he “won” was a joint application to dismiss his appeal 1981-12-15 – Order denying appeal.

Regardless, at the expense of his school, his teachers, and his fellow students, Ortega gained experience in his chosen field. And having earned his spurs as a disreputable fledgling reporter with a keen losing streak, he moved on to distinguish himself in the fine art of dishonesty and deception at the New Times franchise. If you see Tony Ortega’s social media spam where he spouts his fake news, then you already know what his blog is going to look like if you stomach to read it.

We found the following article very fitting to Tony Ortega’s style of “journalism”:

“Fake news” is the buzzword of 2017. Barely a day goes by without a headline about president Donald Trump lambasting media “bias”, or the spread of “alternative facts”.

“Many articles on the subject suggest that social media sites should do more to educate the public about misinformation, or that readers should think more critically about the sources of news stories before sharing them. But there are fundamental problems with this. First, there isn’t a clear definition of what “fake news” really is. And second, it overlooks important aspects of people’s psychological makeup.”

“Fake news” can be classified in a number of ways and represented as a series of concentric circles. First, in the centre of the concentric model, we have actual fake news. These are the stories that we commonly see shared on sites such as News Thump and The Onion. These satirical stories are written for comedic purposes and are put together to entertain. 

Read the full article here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.