“Where Have we Seen This Before?”

We here at the blog have had a lot of unpleasant emotions as we’ve been watching the riots that rocked Washington D.C. last week. Amid all the feelings we’ve had there’s a dark one we can’t seem to shake: we’ve seen this kind of behavior before.

Illegally breaking into places you weren’t invited to advance a political agenda then foolishly broadcasting it to everyone to boast about your lawlessness is a sort of ‘rules don’t apply’ narcissism those of us who follow Tony Ortega’s career are already quite familiar with.

Back in the day the tabloid Tony Ortega once worked for, The Phoenix New Times, once wrote an entire piece detailing exactly how Tony and two other hack writers from the paper stormed a political event in order to make themselves look like the good guys.

Needless-to-say, they failed and made a spectacle of themselves.

The story begins:

“Early Saturday evening, and three New Times staffers are having a meeting. Tony Ortega, Chris Farnsworth and myself sit in Ortega’s living room and try to figure out a way to gain admission to a fund-raising party for Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Why do we have to hatch schemes? Why don’t we just show up as members of the press? Because there’s no way in hell they’d let us in.”

The hack writers turned scheming agitators go on to admit, “if they worked for any other publication,” there would have been no problem. But in their warped minds, writers for the cheap, alt tabloid paying them pennies on the paragraph were  just ‘too dangerous’ and ‘too close to the truth’ to be allowed an invite. The three hacks lament they’d be “about as welcome at his party as [the urban rap group] N.W.A at a KKK rally” if they were to show up.

The story follows this same sort of ludicrous, self-serving hero-narrative that Tony Ortega leans on whenever exaggerating his exploits to those who don’t know any better.

Tony Ortega and his friends write:

“Why do we want to attend? Because we want to know what he’s raising money for. Or rather, we want to know what he claims it’s for… Because, first and foremost, above all else, Joe Arpaio is a liar.”

And perhaps now you can see why the events of the riot exhibited by the attacking mob at the Capitol began to remind us of the same conspiratorial sense of entitlement expressed by Ortega and his friends.

They alone know what is true! Everyone else is lying!

Their circular logic seems to run: “Yes, we are about to lie and break in to a party… But it’s only to prove that they’re the liars, not us! We’re the liars you can trust!”

We are used to seeing double-speak from Tony Ortega, but seeing the results of his “I’m right, they’re wrong, rules don’t apply to me” mindset splashed against the backdrop of the widespread chaos and multiple deaths in Washington gave us all a terrible gut feeling —- a feeling that we’d seen this all before.

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