Tony Ortega: Cut-Throat Journalism

Alt weekly tabloids have never had a good reputation. When the word ‘tabloid’ comes up most of us tend to think of celebrity gossip, unsubstantiated rumors presented as ‘fact’, and lots and lots of cheap lies. 

It’s no wonder than that Tony Ortega’s name has become almost synonymous with this tacky, bottom-feeding style of amateur-hour “journalism”.

Maybe that is why he took it so personally when, as Editor of the Village Voice, a real journalist at an reputable news organization wrote a piece excoriating how truly vile ‘tabloid’ alt-weeklies like Tony Ortega’s Backpage-owned Village Voice had become.

The real journalist in question, The Austin Chronicle’s Louis Black, mentioned in his reporting the regret he felt at seeing the rapid rate of decline in quality across the board in these tabloid weeklies. He went on to explain that while some still engage in reporting:

“Others specialize in ‘gotcha’ journalism which is “more concerned with exposing embezzlers, corrupt elected officials, and pedophiles than with the regular workings of government.”

Tony Ortega understood right away exactly who those “others” were Black was talking about. He was talking about sensation-seeking hacks like Tony “Antoine Oman” Ortega.

True to form, Tony Ortega did what he does best whenever someone reveals the truth about how he operates — he went on the rabid offensive, attacking the author personally and trying to show him just what a mistake he’d made exposing Tony Ortega for the dime-store “gotcha” tabloid peddler he is.

Ortega took to the editorial pages of his own failing rag to bemoan Blacks article, whining:

“Does that make us less “alternative”? Well, as plenty have pointed out, in the age of the web it’s nearly impossible to define “alternative” anymore. But I know what you mean when you say “alternative,” Louis. It’s the old hippie ideal of endlessly pushing a lefty agenda to keep up your “movement” cred. Hey, good luck with that. But I live in a cutthroat town, and I have salaries to pay. Your version of “alternative” wouldn’t last a month here.”

Such tough talk. It’s clear Louis Black struck a major chord with Ortega’s fragile sense of self. A little too close to home, Tony Ortega?

Ortega should tell us, is it because he “lived in a cut-throat town” that he was so comfortable taking money from reprobate sex predators? Or was it simply that since real journalists “wouldn’t last a month here,” there was a perfect opportunity for sleaze bag to slither his way into the role of mouthpiece for a corporate child sex trafficking?

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