How This Disastrous Ortega Interview Has Aged: [Spoiler Alert, Not Well!]

Karen de la Carriere promotional photo

We reported on a laughably ridiculous article written to, ostensibly, laud Tony Ortega and promote his then-upcoming book tour, funded by Karen e la Carriere. History has not been kind to the underwhelming article as Ortega’s over-hyped book launch wound up being really more of a crash and burn of catastrophic proportions.

Still, we couldn’t resist taking one more peek at some of the things Ortega is gloatingly quoted as saying in the slavish puff-piece if for no other reason than to stand back and marvel at the contrast between Tony Ortega’s inflated sense of self and the cold hard reality of monumental failure that was heading his way. 

Take for instance Tony’s response to the soft ball question about how Tony landed on his obsession with Scientology when asked by the poor, low-level staff writer tasked with penning the train wreck interview.

Ortega responds:

“Then one thing led to another. It was actually kind of rare at that time. Writers didn’t really move from paper to paper back then. But [in L.A.] I was in the belly of the beast, as far as Scientology was concerned. It was a lot of fun.”

Interesting how Tony Ortega’s glib line it was a lot of fun” sounds more like it might come from the mouth of a burned-out Wall Street trader reflecting on his swinging, coked-out days in the 80’s than an actual journalist chasing a meaningful story, isn’t it? 

The article continues, generously characterizing Tony’ Ortega’s checkered history of temporary employment as nothing more than a routine case of “bouncing between papers for a few years”. Ha! That’s a funny way of saying he couldn’t keep a steady job because he was so exceptionally fireable.

Backpage bosses

Incredibly, but not at surprisingly, Ortega then goes on to brag about his connection with Backpage and The Village Voice. Wryly, the writer notes that the chronically unemployable Ortega “joined” the Voice in an attempt “to build the 50-year-old newspaper’s online presence.”

“Joining” and “building”. Sounds an awful lot like Ortega was a crucial part of the Backpage enterprise. Maybe Ortega should expand on that… preferably in the presence of Federal Authorities.

Ortega then went on to wax nostalgic once more on the ‘great work’ he did at the Village Voice by making sure readers of his off-the-tracks interview would understand the towering genius of his thinking in making the craven decision to exploit his role as editor to push his calculated anti-Scientology agenda.

Tony Ortega expounded on this choice saying:

“I thought, ‘The world is going crazy for Scientology right now.’ My job at that time was to take a legendary newspaper and make it more web-centric…”

Leaving the dubious question of Ortega’s sanity aside for a moment, we’d like to ask Ortega which it was? 

For the record, was Tony Ortega there to help make the Backpage-owned Village Voice more ‘web-centric’ as he said, or was it to drive the whole paper into bankruptcy and drain it of whatever remaining ounce of credibility it had left?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.