Tony’s Ortega: Fictitious Misadventures in Journalism

Fake news illustration by Frederick Burr Opper, 1894

Looking into Tony Ortega’s history is not for the faint of heart. We should know, we’ve been plumbing the depths of that very sordid affair in which Tony Ortega made his underhanded gambit to focus international attention on himself (big surprise!) by accusing a billionaire named Bruce McMahan of engaging in incest with his own daughter then attempting to marry her at the Westminster Abbey.

The whole things sounds too insane to be true but what we’ve been discovering since first digging into this story has only gotten stranger. It all started when a reporter named Kelly Cramer dropped by Tony Ortega’s office with a story to sell, a bizarre tale about a billionaire who slept with his own daughter.

Unlike Tony’s previous misadventures in journalism, this one was easier. He didn’t have to make up a fake story out of whole cloth in his usual way. This one was hand delivered to him by a “reporter” claiming to have gotten it straight from Elena McMahan, Bruce McMahan’s ex-wife.

Of course, the only problem with this is that Elena under oath in this videotaped deposition – says she never spoke to Cramer, or any reporter for that matter. But if you know Tony Ortega like we know Tony Ortega you well understand that a seasoned charlatan like him never lets facts get in the way of his sensationalized fiction.

And so it was, based on a few pieces of “evidence” so obviously flimsy or clearly fabricated, Tony Ortega published his story accusing a wealthy philanthropist of bedding and marrying his own long-lost daughter.  Apparently didn’t give Ortega the slightest twinge of guilt that the story he was running with was so obviously a fraud.

Ask yourself: would any responsible newspaper ever publish anything like this without making some effort to assure itself that it was on solid ground?  The fact is, no other reputable publication picked up this outhouse slop bucket of a story — not because they were shy, or the subject matter bothered them — hell, they would have loved to print it.  They want readers, too. But they knew from the outset that it was a sham, and they certainly weren’t going to take Tony’s word for it.  They knew his reputation too well.

But Tony Ortega didn’t care if it was true.  He didn’t care what he did to Bruce McMahan, or what it would do to his children or his grandchildren — whatever it took, he was going to do it to advance his own so-called career.  He let Kelly Kramer write the original story, then co-opted her lies for his own showing himself to be not just a hack writer of fake news, but an unoriginal thief too.

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