Why Isn’t Tony Ortega in Jail Yet?

Mike Rinder and Tony Ortega

The more you look at Tony Ortega’s actual “professional” history, his sketchy economic connections, and his highly suspicious shilling on behalf of the notorious Backpage sex ring, the more difficult it becomes to wrap your head around why Tony Ortega is not yet behind bars.

Ortega’s fellow tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist Mike Rinder, has been known to casually dismiss Ortega’s relationship to Backpage by offering a list of excuses as long as your arm, usually filled with such gems as ‘Tony was a simple newspaper editor for the Village Voice,’ and ‘he had nothing whatsoever to do with the advertising side,’ or our favorite — ‘Tony knew next to nothing!’

Taking a page from Tony Ortega’s book Mike Rinder is doing a fair bit of propagandizing here himself. To set the record straight, back in 2011 not only did Tony Ortega publicly endorse and condone the sex trafficking going on in his organization, he went out of his way to go after fellow journalist Amber Lyon in order to discredit her. Amber Lyon was a CNN reporter who was investigating the sex trafficking, including child sex trafficking, that Backpage was lying about its involvement in.

As Ortega writes in the piece, with his usual reckless disregard for the truth:

“Underage prostitution is a persistent problem in this country, but as we established in last week’s cover story, it exists at a level that is nothing like what is being trumpeted by Amber Lyon on the behalf of activists who want to put us out of business.”

In this article Tony Ortega justifies the sex trafficking income which is paying his paycheck even as he attempts to claim it is their protected “First Amendment” right to do so. To call it anything less than cheap rhetorical gymnastics is to give Tony Ortega’s offensively un-thought-through lie too much credit.

Tony Ortega tries to describes the “careful process” that Backpage co-conspirators went through to take out words that made the ads look too much like they were advertising for sex trafficking and child rape (which is exactly what they were doing)… But then Tony Ortega slips up confesses they nonetheless went ahead and placed the advertising anyway!

Tony makes very the case he is attempting to discredit by detailing the exact fraudulent process they used to cheat the system. Tony Ortega is practically admitting they were making money precisely by advertising for sex traffickers.

How this con man is loose on the streets and not serving out a long sentence somewhere upstate is beyond us.

We remain hopeful further Backpage related cases will continue to expose the part Tony Ortega played in Backpage’s money laundering and conspiracy to facilitate prostitution. Until then we join the voices of so many others across the country asking, “Why isn’t Tony Ortega in jail yet?”

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