Tony Ortega’s Undercooked Arguments

By the time James Larkin and Michael Lacey, the infamous child pimp runners of the Village Voice, finally kicked Tony Ortega to the curb it was already too late. The damage had been done and the bulk of their crimes were soon become a matter of public record.

One might be tempted to think that Tony Ortega dodged a bullet by getting fired from the Backpage’s illicit sex empire before the Feds shut it down, disappearing into the anonymity of an obscure suburban life. Some of us even dared to hope we’d seen the last of his sickening figure in public life ever again.

Sadly, those hopes were dashed when Tony Ortega somehow dragged himself back from the dead like a metaphorical nine-lived cat. He’d found an outlet just desperate enough not to ask too many questions about his checkered past as a professional and (let’s not kid ourselves) as an ‘ethically-challenged ‘person. 

The low-level blog that hired him was called The Raw Story. There, Ortega would bill himself as “Executive Editor”, apparently in an attempt to give himself a boost from his old “Editor-At-Large” title over at the Voice. The sign on his door might have been different but his role was essentially the same — attacking, smearing, and defaming those he imagined were his enemies.

In fact, Tony Ortega’s whole career can be seen as one long con, filled with instance after instance of deliberate hoaxes and outright journalistic fraud. Though his job at Raw Story was brief, chaotic and animated by antagonism on all sides, the dirty tricks he learned as chief defender of the Village Voice’s Backpage would come in handy as he continued to serve up undercooked argument to a public starved of fact.

Below are just a few of the “warmed over arguments” he used to promote Backpage’s exploitation of minors. See for yourself how little Tony’s rhetoric has evolved after every job he’s fired from: 

  • The numbers are way off.  It’s not that many kids.  No way.
  • It’s really no big deal.
  • What, you have a problem with the First Amendment?
  • Actually, it’s a good thing, because it keeps the kids off the street.  It’s safer this way. Trust me, I’m an expert.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.