Tony Ortega’s Village Voice: A Backpage Front

“Seven years ago, the people I [Tony Ortega] work for were smart enough to start Backpage.com, a competitor to Craigslist. While other newspapers were doing little more than publicly condemning Newmark for the way Craigslist has, for years, eaten into their classified ads revenue, we decided to fight back. That’s just how we operate.” – (The people Tony Ortega worked for were Michael Lacey and James Larkin).

“Backpage.com has since inherited some of the adult business that left Craigslist. The Village Voice itself has been taking such ads since the mid-1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, the adult business was a large part of the paper. Today, it’s a smaller presence in the print edition, and the Voice‘s website has no adult advertising—that business appears only at Backpage.com.”

“We’ve spent millions of dollars putting in place strict policies and monitoring services to make sure that it is only adults finding each other through Backpage.com‘s adult pages.”

Tony Ortega

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Long before becoming a professional freeloader, Tony Ortega once held an actual job. For five and half years he was the Editor-in-Chief for the Village Voice. In a real publication the editor is responsible for overseeing content, assuring a consistent level of quality journalism. But, of course, the Village Voice was no ‘real’ publication.

Its purpose was not to sell papers, it was after all a giveaway rag (the kind you find at suspicious late-night bus stations.)  The Village Voice under Tony Ortega was nothing more than a front for Backpage sex classifieds. And it was generating astronomical income from advertisers looking to sell women for sex.

Because The Village Voice was never intended to be anything other than a front, Tony Ortega was more or less granted free rein over the contents of the sham publication. Like the time he attacked Ashton Kutcher by name in its pages for having the temerity to speak out against the child sex slave trade the Village Voice was making possible.  

Tony Ortega continued to pump out garbage stories, sometimes taking shots at celebrities who would call attention Backpage’s facilitation of underage sex trafficking, sometimes holding forth against the very victims themselves.

Unashamed, and with zero pity, Tony Ortega published harsh reprimands accusing those who would dare speak out critically on the subject of Backpage’s crimes, often accusing his critics of exploiting Backpage in order to extort funding from Congress.

Despite the brewing child sex trafficking scandal, Ortega kept up appearances over at the Village Voice. Pretending to be a legitimate “news publication” was key to making the scam work. But the ruse was beginning to fall apart.

With Federal investigators began asking questions the scumbags at the Backpage began to panic. Like rats on a proverbial sinking ship, they started jumping overboard. And Tony Ortega, one such rat in question, knew his position was untenable.

As the top companies pulled their advertising from the Village Voice when Backpage sex trafficking cases began choking the court systems, Tony Ortega was forced out. This of course, left him the bitter, unemployed Twitter crank we’ve all come to recognize.

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