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 House of Cards, It’s All About Money

On what was surely one of the more infamous of moments on Leah Remini’s show was that time she sat in a round table with a ‘brain trust’ of kooks, including infamous and violent deprogrammer Steve Hassan, who brazenly, claimed they were on a mission to destroy a religion.

But because so many of Leah’s

Continue reading A House of Cards, It’s All About Money

Common Pimps, Common Themes

 

Yesterday we took a look at how everything that Tony Ortega touches dies. Though the scope of our discussion was based on the disastrous litany of Tony Ortega’s failed employment history, this deep underlying truth about Tony can tragically be applied to numerous Jane Doe’s who have suffered at the hands of the

Continue reading Common Pimps, Common Themes

Everything Ortega Touches Dies

There’s a curious repetition one observes when looking at the employment history of Tony Ortega. Every job he’s had, and subsequently been fired from, goes bust shortly after he arrives on the scene.

It’s happened far too often to be coincidence. From his earliest job at the Phoenix New Times, which soon after Tony

Continue reading Everything Ortega Touches Dies

Par for the Coarse

As we’ve discussed often on this blog Tony Ortega has a truth-telling problem. Couple that with his wildly inaccurate portrayal of anything remotely related to Scientology and you have a ‘perfect storm’ of bad journalistic practice.

Tony Ortega’s firm belief in his own unerring understanding may be the cause for this wrongheadedness in

Continue reading Par for the Coarse

Tony Ortega’s ex-employers victim: Ashley Benson

Ashley Benson was a victim of sex trafficking who was brutally murdered by a man who bought her off the internet for sex using the Backpage website, the largest sex trafficking site this country has ever seen.

Benson was a young mother who was trying to put her life together for her son, but she

Continue reading Tony Ortega’s ex-employers victim: Ashley Benson

Backpage: An Unjust Enrichment

 

We know from past reporting that Backpage refused to impose meaningful requirements before sex ads were posted on their site because they believed the Communications Decency Act would give them immunity from suit for child sex trafficking. They also believed requiring photo identification would substantially reduce their profits, and harm their bottom line.

Continue reading Backpage: An Unjust Enrichment

Paul Haggis Changes His Story on Rape Charges, Again

Accused rapist, Paul Haggis, was accused of sexual assault by 4 women earlier this year. According to Variety, Haggis claimed he was being railroaded by Scientology and that these accusations were completely false.

Haggis launched a countersuit of his own against one of his accusers, publicist Haleigh Breest, the same day she sued him.

Continue reading Paul Haggis Changes His Story on Rape Charges, Again

Another life connected to Tony Ortega’s Backpage propaganda ends in despair, as so many do – Part II

We read yesterday about the story of K.R. and how at the hands of a longtime Backpage user known as ‘Alonso’ she was trafficked and sold repeatedly for sex. In her suit in Alabama K.R. alleged she was consistently threatened, physically abused and forced her to take intoxicating agents including illegal drugs and alcohol.

Continue reading Another life connected to Tony Ortega’s Backpage propaganda ends in despair, as so many do – Part II

Another life connected to Tony Ortega’s Backpage propaganda ends in despair, as so many do – Part I

Yet another bombshell case against Tony Ortega’s former employer, the infamous sex trafficking website Backpage comes to light this week.

This case involves an unnamed plaintiff known only as ‘K.R.’ She claims that Backpage directly violated the Code of Alabama §13A-6-151, and makes claims for violation of Alabama’s human trafficking statute, outrage, negligence and

Continue reading Another life connected to Tony Ortega’s Backpage propaganda ends in despair, as so many do – Part I

The Backpage Ploy Part 2

Our last post discussed how Backpage attempted to characterize itself as ‘Sheriff of the Internet’, much in the way the proverbial fox would guard a henhouse.

They tried to create relationships with various law enforcement agencies in what amounted to nothing more than a PR strategy which sought to control the narrative around its involvement

Continue reading The Backpage Ploy Part 2