Village Voice – Parasitic Online Pimp Machine

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Tony Ortega - Editor in Chief of the Village Voice

Today, the top headline of Tony Ortega‘s Village Voice, reads:

Mitt Romney, American Parasite.

But this post is not about politics – it is about a real parasite, one that preys on and feeds off the blood of its victims.

That parasite is Tony Ortega, as well as his employer, Village Voice Media, the owner of the classified ad web site Backpage.com.

The owners of Village Voice Media, – Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey – and their mouthpiece, general counsel Elizabeth McDougall, rake in an astounding $25M a year from the underage girls they feed into the sex trafficking pipeline of Backpage.com.

Ortega’s Village Voice has a huge section of its homepage devoted to Backpage.com. Look at the bottom of villagevoice.com and see for yourself. That webpage also has a highlighted box: “The Truth about Sex Trafficking.”

Billed as a Voice “investigative series,” it is nothing but a facile attempt to gloss over the underage sex trafficking epidemic that is – parasitically – gripping the U.S. It was commissioned by Tony Ortega who is the main shill – and chief water carrier – for Larkin and Lacey as they sit comfortably in their Phoenix headquarters, trying to ride out the Backpage.com media storm.

The “investigative series” quotes academics and others who offer no solution to what Elizabeth McDougall recently called a “social atrocity” in a televised interview. Instead, it glosses over the problem of underage sex trafficking, and mendaciously quibbles with widely-held statistics on the scope of the national disgrace, statistics that have been compiled by experts. They are professionals who, daily, work in the trenches, soothing the unimaginable pain of young girls who are sold to sex predators through Backpage.com.

Among those many advocates is Imani Walker, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Rebecca Project for Human Rights, which believes that “girls are not commodities” and works tirelessly on behalf of vulnerable women – and girls – in the U.S. and beyond.

The adult section of Backpage.com is nothing but an online pimp machine – and any kind of an argument to the contrary is, simply, not dealing with reality.

But while McDougall is making the media rounds, shouting from the rooftops that Village Voice Media works with law enforcement to catch pimps, we know that those are just words. The words of a parasite.

We also suspect that Voice editor Tony Ortega is hard at work on his next “investigative series,” one that will say, yet again, that all the child advocates in the U.S. are wrong and that Village Voice Media is right – the sex-trafficking problem really isn’t that bad. Those are just words, too. The words of a parasite who cares nothing about underage victims and only about keeping his job presiding of what is left of the Village Voice, a once-proud newspaper that he has single-handedly ruined.

But, amidst that blizzard of words to deflect the connection between Village Voice Media and the sex trafficking running rampant on Backpage.com, people are beginning to take notice.

They are ignoring the words and starting to see the immoral reality of Village Voice Media for themselves.

Foremost of those who see what Village Voice Media is all about is Groundswell, the social action arm of New York’s Auburn Theological Seminary. The group has contacted 50 major advertisers of Village Voice Media, asking them to stop doing business with the company.

Joining them are a bi-partisan group of U.S. senators – Mark Kirk (R-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John Cornyn (R-TX) – who are asking major U.S. companies advertising with Village Voice Media to do the same.

Among the companies that are heeding the call over the “social atrocity” of Backpage.com – and dropping their advertising – are: AT&T, Live Nation, MillerCoors, Crown Imports LLC, TRIBECA Performing Arts Center, NYC Film Forum, and High Times Magazine.

These firms do not want to be connected to a company that makes money off the suffering of others – especially juveniles.

They want to distance themselves from the parasite.

As an example of how these companies and institutions are reacting to the controversy, here’s an email from Linda Herring, executive director of Tribeca, to a child advocate. In it, she acknowledges the organization will not be advertising any longer in Village Voice Media’s flagship publication, the Village Voice, because of its trafficking of young girls.

From: Linda Herring
Date: April 18, 2012 12:33:46 PM EDT
To: Leslie Tucker
Cc: Eli Abdallah
Subject: Re: we need your help…

Hello Leslie,

Thank you for reaching out to us with your concerns. We also want to stop the exploitation of underage children. Please be aware that we will not be advertising in the Village Voice publication or on the Website after this week. We have ended our contractual obligation and will not renew it.


Soon to be revealed – more advertisers severing their ties with Village Voice.

In the end, actions do speak louder than words.

Especially the words of Village Voice – American Parasite.

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