Tony Ortega: Betrayal

Tony Ortega

It was early in the spring of 2007 when the Village Voice made a huge miscalculation. That was when they installed Tony Ortega as Editor-in-Chief of the alt-weekly rag. The entire paper would fold shortly thereafter — coming as a surprise to absolutely no one familiar with Tony Ortega’s work.

Of course the paper had been struggling financially well before Tony Ortega was put in charge, but few in the industry would dispute that anything could have hastened its demise faster.  While many writers and staff had already departed for greener professional pastures, Ortega himself personally fired or drove off what remained of the seasoned stable of Village Voice journalists who had helped build the paper’s readership. The result was a slow moving catastrophe.

Tony Ortega has always been the kind of person more at home tearing down others, rather than edifying his readers with anything of substance. In this capacity, it became one of Ortega’s tasks at the Village Voice to fight back against the seemingly endless tides of negative publicity flooding Backpage, the sacred cash cow of Village Voice empire which had been designed to generate money off of the highly illegal, if then-nascent, online sex trafficking industry.

It was Ortega’s mission to protect his bosses, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, at any and all cost, as they continued raking in millions by facilitating sex trafficking through Backpage advertisements. Tony Ortega took to his task with an uncommon vigor for someone as lazy and unfocused as he is. He became obsessed with protecting his crime bosses by furiously attacking their critics.

Then something strange, but not at all unpredictable happened. Tony Ortega was suddenly “let go” from his position in September of 2012. Ortega claims he quit. The Voice maintains he was fired. (Honestly, knowing Tony Ortega to be a venerate liar, we’re going to have to side with the Village Voice’s version of events here.)

Whatever the truth, no sooner had Tony Ortega been “let go” when all of his impassioned defense of Backpage came to a screeching halt. All of his proud, chest-pounding bravado in defense of what he tried so hard to frame as the First Amendment fight of the century just evaporated overnight.

Curious as to why Tony had a sudden change of tune, suddenly forgetting the men he hailed as ‘smart enough to start Backpage’? Stay tuned for part two to learn more.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.