Tony Ortega Downplays And Discredits Himself

We’ve been reporting over the past few days on the blistering condemnation Tony Ortega was hit by (from his own readers!) following his rabid, specious, and poorly articulated attack on New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof.

Operating from his position as Editor-At-Large for the Village Voice, Tony was responsible for making the public defense of Backpage in the midst of the scandal surrounding their now-infamous human sex trafficking ring. In this capacity, it was Ortega’s role to amplify the noise surrounding the issue. He did this in part by downplaying the seriousness of sex trafficking in America and attacking journalists who reported on the issue.

Unable to counter arguments with fact or reasoned analysis, Tony Ortega falls back on the only thing his ‘career’ has taught him about ‘journalism’: how to smear the reputation of anyone who disagrees with him by minimizing and delegitimization. This is what he did to Kristof and it was what he would do to any reporter questioning him.

Take for example what Tony Ortega wrote for the Village Voice in an attack piece against a CNN reporter entitled, “CNN’s Amber Lyon Ambushed Craigslist — But She Won’t Talk to The Village Voice”. In it, Ortega calls sex trafficking a “nonexistent epidemic” and sarcastically refers to reporting on the subject as “hysteria” meant to incite “mass panic”. 

In a classic example of Ortega’s truly amateurish writing style, he recycles the same tired formula he’s used in hundreds of hit-pieces: downplay and discredit. Note his use of “nonexistent epidemic” above. He really wants you to believe sex trafficking isn’t a real problem in the United States. After all, if the problem non-existent how can Backpage be accused of being involved in it? He desperately wants you to believe it is all just a big todo about nothing. A simple open and shut case of “mass panic”.

And who did Tony Ortega thing was behind this attempt to scare the public into thinking there was a problem? 

In his own words Tony argues the whole issue is nothing more than one giant conspiracy being pushed by: “activist professors, junk science by nonprofit groups trying to extract money from Congress, and manipulation by religious groups hiding their real agendas about sex work.

  • Would-be activists. 
  • Junk peddlers. 
  • Individuals driven by greed. 
  • Extremists hiding their true agendas. 

Ask yourself how many of those same labels could be applied to Tony Ortega? If you said, “all of them” you are on the right track. 

By trying to downplay the problem and discredit those challenging his lies he fails in his attempt to cast blame on to others. Tony Ortega succeeds only in pointing the finger squarely back at himself and by so doing downplays his own creditability and discredits his own integrity.

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