Tony Ortega: Betrayal Part II

In the article Tony Ortega: Betrayal we started by examining the role Tony Ortega played in helping tank the Village Voice. Though the paper was failing financially, it’s clear on its face that their decision to install Tony Ortega as Editor-In-Chief was the nail in its coffin.

Tony Ortega desperately wants people to believe he was only responsible for the editorial side of the business, that the part he played in the Village Voice’s ruin was wholly disconnected from its advertising woes. To put it bluntly, this is nothing short of a lie. We here at the blog have done a little digging and we’ve discovered the facts Tony Ortega doesn’t want you see.

In a June 2019 article in Wired magazine, Michael Lacey admitted that he had used the Village Voice to go after people who attacked Backpage. He specifically cited an article published by the Village Voice entitled Real Men Get Their Facts Straight. That article contained an editorial written by the Editor-in-Chief, Tony Ortega, in yet another instance of Ortega soapboxing in order to defend Backpage.

In that article Tony Ortega wrote:

“Editor’s note:
Congress hauled in Craigslist on September 15, 2010. There, feminists, religious zealots, the well-intentioned, law enforcement, and social-service bureaucrats pilloried the online classified business for peddling “100,000 to 300,000” underage prostitutes annually. Those same numbers had already inspired terrified politicians, who let loose hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade to prohibitionists bent on ending the world’s oldest profession. The Craigslist beat-down was absurdist theater. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security hearing on “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking” culminated with the humbled attorneys from Craigslist announcing that they would close down their adult classified business. The First Amendment was shouted down in the name of children. Village Voice Media watched with more than passing interest. From its earliest days, the Village Voice has run adult classifieds. Today, those classifieds are hosted online at Backpage.com. Having run off Craigslist, reformers, the devout, and the government-funded have turned their guns upon Village Voice Media. Solicited by advocates, such websites as Huffington Post and The Daily Beast and others in the mainstream media raised the alarm that America’s children have been enslaved in prostitution, thanks to the Internet. It is true that Village Voice Media has a stake in this discussion. But the facts speak for themselves.”

Tony Ortega is engaged in a cover-up, actively seeking to obfuscate and obscure his involvement in, and activism on behalf of, Backpage. He does this with full knowledge that even now in his silence he is destroying the lives of victims harmed by Backpage.

It’s been public knowledge for a while now that New Times Media employees have on multiple occasions attested to the fact that Ortega would hold staff meetings at strip clubs when he was stationed in West Palm Beach. What has been less-widely known until now is the fact that Ortega reached out in an attempt to commission a Village Voice reporter to write a story showing that law enforcement in NY had no problems with Backpage.

That reporter refused to write the story his boss, Tony Ortega, was pushing on him for one simple reason — he knew it was a bald-faced lie.

We here at the blog salute this brave reporter for standing up to his then boss and showing the sort of integrity rarely on display by those associated with known-falsifier of stories, Tony Ortega.

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