The Company You Keep

“Tell me what company you keep and I’ll tell you what you are.”

The above quote comes from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, an author widely regarded as one of the greatest novel writers of all time. We don’t know about you but when we hear the phrase, “Tell me what company you keep and I’ll tell you what you are,” the first person who comes to mind for us is Tony Ortega. 

Over the years Tony Ortega has sought to ingratiate himself with his betters, toadying up to men in power wherever he could find them. This act alone speaks volumes about Tony’s character, but a closer inspection of the sort of people Tony Ortega defended, protected and helped sustain is even more damning. 

News this weekend surfaced of a man named Miguel Arnold — a very different Miguel from the one who penned the quote capturing Ortega. Miguel Scott Arnold was a Backpage child sex trafficker. And last Thursday he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for his role as the leader of a human trafficking operation. 

Miguel Arnold may never have personally known Tony Ortega, but that doesn’t mean Ortega wasn’t going to bat for this Backpage pimp when he publicly championed the cause of the child sex trading platform which, in Tony’s words:

exists solely so that people can freely express themselves—sometimes in ways that make other people uncomfortable.”

You want to know what makes us uncomfortable, Tony Ortega?

Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force makes us uncomfortable.

Fraud makes us uncomfortable. 

Coercion makes us uncomfortable.

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin makes us uncomfortable.

And yet Miguel Arnold, one of the very pimps you worked so hard to defend, was just convicted on all of these charges after renting hotel rooms and posting “escort” advertisements with suggestive photographs of his victims (one as young as age 14) through Backpage — a website you couldn’t praise enough back when you were on its payroll.

If it is true you are the company you keep, the people you choose to surround yourself with, then by association Tony Ortega just told the world exactly how vile and depraved he really is. 

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