How Tony Ortega Got Away With Murder Part I

Tony Ortega was once a hack tabloid writer trying pass himself off as a hot shot professional in New York. That, however, was a lie that couldn’t last long. 

Ortega’s bizarre masquerade was soon exposed and Ortega was unmasked, revealing him to be the ridiculous little ‘emperor with no clothes’ we always knew he was. 

These days Tony Ortega fills his days by pretending to be busy, living out his sad days as unemployed blogger in Scarsdale, New York. 

Well, Ortega can’t even seem to make it as a blogger. 

And the reasons for this are all too clear, given Ortega’s past as a shameless promoter and staunch defender of Backpage.com, the infamous online platform that paired grown men with underage girls paid for sex.

Readers will remember that Backpage.com was shuttered by federal authorities in 2018 after it was found to have accepted XXX ads highlighting the availability of girls as young as 13 held as slaves and sold for sweaty sexual encounters in cheap motels.

FBI agents even had evidence in hand that some of the girls advertised on the website where brought into the United States illegally and held captive, often in medieval conditions.

One would think this would have dampened some of Ortega’s enthusiasm for his role as a cheerleader for the enterprise. It did not.

Indeed, when the digital sex marketplace first came under the scrutiny of federal lawmakers in the mid-2000s, Tony Ortega used his position as editor of the free alt weekly tabloid rag, the Village Voice, to shoot down claims that child sex trafficking was not the scourge that activists and members of the United States Congress – including then U.S. Senator John McCain – said it was.

It was an open secret at the time that the parent company of Ortega’s weekly rag also owned Backpage. Unsurprisingly, it was later admitted to by James Larkin and Michael Lacey in an interview with Wired Magazine that Tony Ortega had taken it upon himself to task a battery of his best reporters with writing stories intended to discredit the growing number of public voices speaking out against the horrors Backpage was inflicting on its countless victims.  For the remainder of Ortega’s short-lived tenure at the Village Voice Ortega and his team shamelessly defended the sex trafficking website, spreading their propaganda to anyone willing to listen.

As one human trafficking activist said:

“If it hadn’t been for guys like Ortega, Backpage would have been closed long before it was.”

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