Tony Ortega

“What’s there to panic about?”

The above quote, taken from one of Tony Ortega’s many shameless defenses of the Backpage child sex-ring syndicate, tells us so much about Ortega’s mindset in the midst of the scandal that would ultimately bring down the criminal enterprise employing him.

In someways it’s almost understandable that a deeply obsessed individual like Tony Ortega would sell himself to the cash-rich “Pimp Industrial Complex”. Our readers will recall he was at the time barely hanging on to his job at the failing alt weekly newspaper The Village Voice.

Life in central Manhattan doesn’t come cheap. How else would a drifter who’s spent his entire “career” drifting in and out of low-paying jobs be able to afford groceries without having to apply for food stamps? The answer: sell himself to whoever would stoop to pay for his services.

In this Tony Ortega has much in common with so many of the young women he helped his Backpage bosses exploit. Like them, he too, willingly whored himself out and, in turn, actively fueled the vicious cycle of sex trafficking.

As if all that weren’t enough, Tony Ortega was simultaneously working hard to figure out just how to divorce his Indonesian wife – the very woman he was cheating on with the atheist and co-conspirator in the cyber terrorist group Anonymous Arielle Silverstein.

It was against this backdrop that Ortega, the spineless editor for an alternative publication rapidly falling into bankruptcy caught in a tawdry, racism-tinged love triangle would make a calculated decision that would define him professionally for the rest of his days: he took money to advocate on behalf of the bad-faith operators behind Backpage.

By doing so Tony Ortega crossed the line from simple hack for hire to paid propagandist for the worldwide leader in selling of underage kids for sex online.

Tony Ortega took to his new role with rabid vigor. He attacked the likes of CNN, campaigners against the trafficking of children, and vocal celebrity critics of Backpage. Tony Ortega, the unknown, morally compromised, street hustler for pay, had finally made a name for himself — one very on brand for Backpage: freelance pimp.

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