Everything Ortega Touches Dies

There’s a curious repetition one observes when looking at the employment history of Tony Ortega. Every job he’s had, and subsequently been fired from, goes bust shortly after he arrives on the scene.

It’s happened far too often to be coincidence. From his earliest job at the Phoenix New Times, which soon after Tony was hired on begin to find itself struggling to stay afloat, to his ignoble, if mercifully brief, tenure at the Los Angeles New Times. Of course, Ortega’s career at this unfortunate news outlet is probably best remembered for the “Antoine Oman” scandal.

In August 2002, New Times Los Angeles published a story written by an unknown writer named “Antoine Oman” that had Hollywood buzzing—“Survive This! The two girls kidnapped and raped in the Antelope Valley are set to go to Hollywood.” The piece claimed a forthcoming NBC pilot would star a pair of recently abducted, brutally raped teenagers as hosts of their own primetime reality show, which also would feature real-life paroled repeat sex offenders.

After some digging by The Hollywood Reporter, the article was exposed as a fraud written by then-staffer Tony Ortega. Even as he was being outed as “Antoine Oman,” Ortega compounded the lie by writing yet another phony piece claiming the fictional writer had been fired for his transgression.

So much for journalistic integrity. Surely he learned from his mistake, no?

Not hardly. In his very next job, as managing editor of “alternative” newspaper The Pitch in Kansas City, Ortega wrote yet another fabricated story under still another bogus name, this time a cover story titled “Rebel Hell” by the fictional “Cesar Oman.” Written as a serious news story, Oman/Ortega claimed city records showed a Confederate gravesite was found during the building of a new arena.

The story was, of course, a complete sham. Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt told the Kansas City Star he was “extremely disappointed that a publication purporting to be a news outlet would print a satirical, fantastical article and not identify it as such.”

Even the Columbia Journalism Review (the ‘publication of note’ for journalistic integrity) weighed in, blasting Ortega’s stunt as inexcusable and arrogant.

Ortega had throughly trashed the reputations of two publications within the space of a couple of years, revealing himself to be unconcerned with questions of integrity and untroubled by flat out lying.

Is it any wonder that Ortega’s next job would be as editor-in-chief for the Village Voice, home of the infamous cesspool of sex-selling, the backpage.com?

We are only too well aware how that turned out.

Ortega was hired by the Lip.TV and that too was shut down.

Tony Ortega is a black widow clinging to a web of lies. His poisonous bile infects, and eventually kills, anyone he can get his fangs into. It certainly ended every institution foolish enough to open the door to him.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.