Tony Ortega: Making Enemies for Life

We’ve been taking a look lately at precisely how executives and paid hatchet men like Tony Ortega who worked at the Village Voice and Phoenix New Times actively engaged in gaslighting any and all who stepped forward voicing concern about the countless child victims being trafficked year after year on Backpage.

Tony Ortega and the other tools of the men in power tried to smear all who called them out on their sex-peddling scheme as “religious zealots”, religious nuts”, “politically motivated” or “greedy for funding from Congress”. They wanted nothing more than to spin public sentiments in their favor by branding their ‘enemies’ as crazy, delusional, or driven by hidden agendas. Perhaps they even thought they would get away with it. After all, those craven enough to exploit vulnerable women and children via online sex trafficking could scarce conceive that anyone else might care about the lives of these women and children.

Tony Ortega certainly didn’t.

Since their arrest Michael Lacey and James Larkin have hidden behind a fabricated banner of “Freedom of Speech” in their shamefully thin plea for clemency. But does this argument pass the smell test as we examine the actual cases?

One case in particular, paints a very clear and damning picture of the sort of “Free Speech” the Backpage crime family was up to.

According to a criminal complaint filed in California, Backpage accepted at least $2 million a month between October 2014 and May 2015 in payments from people posting adult ads in that state alone. And though our readers won’t need reminding, these payments included scores of ads featuring minors which Backpage not only condoned but sought to facilitate by working to make it harder for authorities to detect child sex trafficking using alternate wording to help disguise these ads.

Seeing what side their bread was buttered, Backpage worked tirelessly to aid and amplify the trafficking of women and children heedless of the harm they were causing because the villains at the top understood that newspapers around the country were folding, and the much needed sex trafficking dollars paid to keep the lights on and the fat cats flush with cash.

And Tony Ortega was fine with all of it because for him, pimping women and children was all a part of Backpage’s fundamental “freedom of speech”. Just don’t you dare use your freedom of speech to disagree with Tony Ortega or, as a great many anti-child sex trafficking advocates have already learned, you’ll make an enemy for life.

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