Village Voice – Backpage : “Pimping Is Freedom Of Speech, and I Plead The Fifth”

Businessmen, newspaper editors, and foreign investors take to the pimping trail as entrepreneurs with Village Voice’s Backpage Classifieds – pleading the First, “Freedom of Speech” until they arrive in court. Then, they plead the Fifth and fold.

I have been confounded at people’s lack of education as to how newspapers work, who causes what within those systems, and how the profit is made and at whose expense.

There was a time when newspaper reporting was an honorable profession.  People wrote and published valuable information to inform and educate. So people didn’t ask.

We are now in a time where people have to be educated about this arena. Otherwise,  they just become the effect of illusion, ill will, and exploitation.

“We made a decision some time ago that the only way we’d continue to stay in this game was to focus not on the same old political essay writing but on original reporting, surprising our readers by not being predictable, and by doing our best to piss off everyone — right, left, and center.”    Tony Ortega Editor in Chief (Person in Charge) of the Village Voice WEDNESDAY, JULY 28 2010    http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printView/6672283

 

“Year after year, Backpage continued to come under fire. Attorneys general from 48 states wrote a letter asking Village Voice Media to take down Backpage’s adult ads, citing “the company’s facilitation of the sexual exploitation of children.” The letter continued, “We have tracked more than 50 instances, in 22 states over three years, of charges filed against those trafficking or attempting to traffic minors on Backpage. These cases often involve runaways ensnared by adults seeking to make money by sexually exploiting them. In some cases, minors are pictured in advertisements.”

The Daily Beast

Tony Ortega launched Backpage from the Village Voice Newspaper in N.Y.C.  – The paper itself was free.  Backpage was the Village Voice classifieds section that took to the Internet.  The purpose of the paper was to profit from the sex classifieds.  Advertising dollars paid to advertise sex for sale.  Statistics on child sex trafficking skyrocketed with Backpage, over 800%.  See Portman’s testimony below.

“Backpage exists solely so that people can freely express themselves—sometimes in ways that make other people uncomfortable. We’re First Amendment extremists that way. Always have been. ”  Tony Ortega WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2011  

Village Voice retaliates on critic Amber Lyon

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/cnns-amber-lyon-ambushed-craigslist-but-she-wont-talk-to-the-village-voice-6431659

Village Voice also retaliated on Ashton Kutcher  (Among others) for sponsoring a campaign against sex trafficking. “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls”. 

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With a cover meant to penalize him for speaking out.

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” He is a technically literate, if ill-informed, advocate. Kutcher made his bones playing the prankster, dummy, and stoner”.  WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2011 http://www.villagevoice.com/news/real-men-get-their-facts-straight-6431644

 

It’s the old hippie ideal of endlessly pushing a lefty agenda to keep up your “movement” cred. Hey, good luck with that. But I live in a cutthroat town, and I have salaries to pay. WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2010 Tony Ortega

Investor Pleads the Fifth

Investor’s Attorney Pleads the Fifth

Investor Pleads the Fifth

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/01/10/backpage-founders-take-5th-senate-hearings/96397856/

Backpage  Pimping And Sex Trafficking Was Eventually Shut Down As A Criminal Enterprise.

 

 

“For a Web site like Backpage to make $22 million off our backs,” she said, “it’s like going back to slave times.”  Alissa -The interesting part of Kristof’s story is that the former prostitute he interviewed for his column feared retaliation not from her former pimps, but from the Village Voice.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/kristof-where-pimps-peddle-their-goods.html?smid=tw-share

The Village Voice did retaliate on  for his expose. 

“The First Amendment was shouted down in the name of children.”

“From its earliest days, the Village Voice has run adult classifieds. Today, those classifieds are hosted online at Backpage.com.”  Tony Ortega June 29, 2011

See Editor’s note above as well as describing concern for child sex trafficking as “absurdist theater” .

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/real-men-get-their-facts-straight-6431644