Tony Ortega is a former employee of the Village Voice—a publication which found itself in hot water when it was revealed they’d been advertising the services of known sex-traffickers in their seedy ‘Backpage’ section.

Ortega now runs the Underground Bunker blog. Billing itself as the go-to zone for (eye-rolling sensationalized, bigoted, anti-religious) rants, it gives away Ortega’s game. How much clearer can it be that this supposedly “legitimate” blog is nothing but a bully pulpit from which Ortega can indulge his intolerance disguised as social outrage and foist off entirely fabricated nonsense as “breaking news”?

Sources in the journalist community consider Tony Ortega a developer of false leads, and let’s be clear Ortega is not a real journalist and here is why. When evaluating information, we are often admonished to “consider the source.” In the case of Tony Ortega, the warning applies not only to the content of his blogs but also to Ortega personally and the “publications” for which he worked.

Alternative papers are free weekly publications that earn revenue most often through the sale of the kind of advertising that reputable newspapers won’t permit – adult bookstores, strip clubs, classifieds with strong sexual content, etc. In between the trash, they slip in tabloid-style articles, promoted as “edgy” or “daring” when, in truth, they are simply fabrications sensationalized by low credibility writers like Ortega. While some of these “papers” make an effort to rise above the rest, most are gutter rags that all too often define “alternative news” as a slanderous substitution of the facts.

Ortega has spent his life practicing this excuse for journalism within the New Times Media and the Village Voice Media franchise of alternative papers. This platform has suited him well, for Ortega wrote for sleazy tabloids like he was born to it, a disposition that was in evidence as far back as high school.

[Header image: John Rickard]

A Corporate Culture of Pure Corruption

Tony Ortega

Recently we read about Backpage’s clandestine strategy to use the Philippines as a testing ground to develop new overseas markets for their human sex trafficking scam.

We saw how it was the heads of Backpage accomplished this, using a controversial strategy of hijacking information from the other websites to create competing sex

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Backpage Was A World Wide Conspiracy

It’s no secret that in addition to facilitating illegal prostitution and child sex trafficking through its U.S. website, Backpage has also facilitated similar crimes through its websites in foreign countries. Perhaps even more disturbingly, court documents show that within this context, Backpage would often actively generate the content of the illegal prostitution and underage

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With Tony Ortega’s Lie Exposed, Backpage’s Dangerous Shell Game Continued

Tony Ortega

Thus far in our exploration of the official court documents surrounding the pending Backpage human sex trafficking trial we have found nothing to support to false pretense made by Tony Ortega and his fellow conspirators on the Backpage payroll that knew nothing about what was going on.

On the contrary, it seems

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The Lesson Tony Ortega And His Sex Trafficking Pals Refused To Learn

Tony Ortega Backpage Apologist

Beginning in or around January 2016, Backpage’s moderators were instructed to stop removing ads that contained the phrase “GFE”, short for ‘Girl Friend Experience’. For example, on January 28, 2016, Assistant Operations Manager Joye Vaught was sent an email from a Backpage moderator explaining that “As far as I am

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As Pressure Mounted, Backpage Doubled Down On Its Shameless Villainy

It’s no secret Backpage flaunted local, state, and federal laws at every turn. Despite multiple pleas to cease and desist which the Backpage sex trafficking operation received from child advocacy groups and continued warnings from police departments across the country, the shadowy organization nonetheless persisted in its wanton abuses.

Court records show that

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Detectives Attest: “Backpage Was Pimp Controlled Prostitution”

Making the case that Backpage knew full well it was in the business of sex trafficking just gets easier by the day. On the off chance, however, our readers are not yet convinced, consider this in-house document circulated amongst Backpage’s moderators on July 30, 2015, entitled “trainingJuly2015“.

This training manual specifically told moderators that,

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From Carl Ferrer to Tony Ortega: A History Of Backpage’s Subterfuge To Avoid Scrutiny

Andrew Padilla

On April 24, 2014, Joye Vaught sent an email to Backpage’s moderators (while cc’ing Andrew Padilla). In this email, Vaught explained that if a moderator came across an ad containing a link to a a “sex for money” website, the moderator should add the link to a list of banned terms but

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Backpage: Primed For Crime From Day One

Tony Ortega Backpage Apologist

On September 11, 2013, a Backpage representative made a presentation to the Arizona Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking. Following this presentation (which took place in Phoenix), the representative was asked whether there would be any “cons” to requiring verifiable identification of all escorts being advertised on Backpage’s website. In

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When The Banks Declared War On Backpage

Tony Ortega

Tony Ortega might have tried to sell Backpage to the public as a glorified dating site but the reality, as we’ve been seeing over the course of our investigation into the legal filings, was something far more nefarious.

The plain, undeniable truth is that they were selling women and children to perverts

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Prostitution in Plain Sight, Plain And Simple

Carl Ferrer

Recently we wrote about a series of emails exchanged by Carl Ferrer and a woman described in court documents only as “P.R.” As illustrative as their carelessness recounted in our last post was, Backpage and its heartless attitude toward its victims didn’t stop there. And neither did the story of “P.R.”

On

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