Gawker was an American blog founded by Nick Denton and Elizabeth Spiers and based in New York City focusing on celebrities and the media industry. It was launched in January 2003.
Whereas the Village Voice was a paper for newly minted New Yorkers, meaning people that moved into New York with identity issues and bought the Paper to “be cool”, the Gawker was a blog for New Yorkers.
The Gawker closed down in 2016 after thirteen years. The blog never catered to advertisers or “sold out” for greed. I was a regular reader and found it to be a straightforward New York smart blog.
I have had some difficulty lately finding certain issues they published. As if the archives are being scrubbed. If you follow any sequence at the Web Site you will notice some pages “Can’t be found”.
This has been frustrating me since I considered the reporting from that blog valuable information. So being, I am taking the liberty to share some of the articles here for the purpose of preservation.
‘Village Voice’ Getting Whiter, Maler By The Minute
Filed to: NEW TIMES
Village Voice Managing Editor Deborah Kolben has been let go; Ward Harkavy will be taking over the number two spot at the paper. With the recent resignation of Deputy Managing Editor Adamma Ince and the earlier dismissal of Executive Editor Laura Conaway, this means that the top of the Voice masthead now consists of four white guys and Film Editor Allison Benedikt. Attempts to reach Editor in Chief Tony Ortega were unsuccessful. Probably because it was some chickcalling.
EvilEmpire registered in Denmark. No surprise there.
Just when you thought Lacey and Larkin couldn’t get more evil. Do you know how many kids that are Star Wars fans Google “Evil Empire”?
The content creators of bigcity.com and evilempire.com are Mike Lacey and James Larkin. Owners of Backpage.
Worldwide revenue from sex ads topped $3.1 million in just one week in 2015, according to a court affidavit. It says Ferrer (The C.E.O. for Lacey and Larkin) expanded Backpage’s share of online sex marketing by creating affiliated sites including EvilEmpire.com and BigCity.com with related content.
Their big hit was Backpage, the classified section of the Village Voice they put on the Internet and floated around the world. It turns out Big City . com which has been registered since 1998, links into Backpage. As well as EvilEmpire.com. So people are linked onto Backpage when they Google those sites.
Big City. com is a tool for pimps to sell women and children. As the domain states: ADVERTISING FOR OTHERS VIA ON-LINE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK.
In 1996, circulation of the Village Voice was so low they had started started giving it away for free.
So, the purpose of the paper was not to sell papers! Nope, it was for using the paper as a front for Backpage sex classifieds. And to obtain the income, from advertisers. And Tony Ortega was holding up that front, for five and half years. Which is one reason nobody cared how he used the paper as a front. And Tony Ortega did take liberties. Such as the one right above attacking Kutcher for having enough courage and integrity to speak out about the child sex slave trade the Village Voice was fronting. Because all of the income was being generated from the classifieds section. The back page of the Village Voice, which was called “Backpage” which went digital on the Internet.
Never mind, this is not a critic for a free flyer, which is what the Village Voice newspaper was, under Tony Ortega.
Again, Never mind, this is not a critic for a free flyer, which is what the Village Voice newspaper was, under Tony Ortega.
With wide spread scandal about child sex trafficking, as Ortega kept that front holding strong, while Backpage, it’s classifieds section, ballooned into the largest on line brothel in the world, Ortega eventually went to the front door of his office to find protesters. See photos above.
On May 03 2012 Tony Ortega watched as the top companies pulled their advertising from the Village Voice over the notorious child sex trafficking victims overflowing into the court systems. It seems the people on the streets protesting were aware of what was going on, and the companies withdrawing their names from the Village Voice such as Starbucks, were aware. So were the city counsel members and Brooklyn’s District Attorney who said in two years he had had 40 sex trafficking cases and 70 percent of them involved ads on Backpage.com.
Nevertheless, Tony Ortega unashamed, and feeling no remorse, released a harsh reprimand accusing all concerned of trying to extort funding from Congress. That included the children who were raped and pimped and used as sex slaves.
A true warrior on the front line, holding up the front!
“We’re being told that there’s a widespread, growing and out-of-control problem to fear in our country. And it has a catchy name: ‘trafficking,'” wrote Tony Ortega, editor-in-chief of The Village Voice, in an editorial last year. “The actual data behind this ‘epidemic’ is wanting in the extreme. It involves guesses by activist professors, junk science by nonprofit groups trying to extract money from Congress, and manipulation by religious groups hiding their real agendas about sex work.”
Even the Daily Beast must have been hallucinating?
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.”
Probably just more “junk science”? Even though the photos of the children were on Backpage. Right.
During one of these protests when someone finally did get the hiding Ortega to make a comment, Ortega tried to pretend the Village Voice actually was not connected to Backpage. And that he and his building and employees were not tied to Backpage.
Tony Ortega told a reporter from ” The Gawker” on November 16, 2011:
As for the protests today, I wish them the best of luck. No one who actually works in this office has anything to do with Backpage, but still, I understand why they picked our building.
I repeat: “No one who actually works in this office has anything to do with Backpage, …” Tony Ortega
With the link to Backpage, the paper’s classifieds section, glaring at anyone who pulled the Village Voice up on the Internet.
Phoenix-based Village Voice Media – headed by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey– resisted calls from child advocates, clergymen, police and states’ attorney general’s to shut down the ads, citing the First Amendment. But, the real reason for Larkin and Lacey’s fierce opposition to critics was the money – the company raked in an estimated $2M monthly from the adult ads.
Even that revenue was not enough to save Village Voice Media, which owned 13 publications across the country (all which link to Backpage.com from their websites).
Ortega explains it himself in statements he later published.
“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.”
“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.”
(Note: For the record, there is no such thing as an “underage prostitute” . Minors are trafficking victims. There is no such thing as a child prostitute. By definition & law, minors are trafficked.)
“We’ve spent millions of dollars putting in place strict policies and monitoring services to make sure that it is only adults finding each other through Backpage.com‘s adult pages.”
Tony Ortega July 06 2011
Shortly after Lacey and Larkin sold the paper, (without the Backpage) paid off Ortega and put him out, they separated Village Voice from Backpage, in yet another corporate shill game.
The Village Voice, decimated from mass firings by editor Tony Ortega, watched its circulation slip by a staggering 12.4 percent in the last six-month reporting period Ortega was in charge.
Ortega – who was known as the chief water carrier for his Phoenix bosses – was also a staunch defender of the adult ads, choreographing stories for the Voice and the company’s other publications which have quibbled with widely-held statistics illustrating the national epidemic of human trafficking.
The Village Voice Owners and executives admitted themselves, September 24, 2012, as they played the corporate shill game, there was a marriage between the two, and there was going to be a separation. You can read all about it here:
Greedy investors and politicians have made corporate shilling and acquisitions so complex in efforts to defraud American citizens, the average person on the street has no education of corporate law and acquisitions. But it doesn’t take anything more than simple common sense to know if the Village Voice is a free give away paper, The investment is not in the paper.
The only investment value in the Village Voice newspaper, which had fallen into the red, was in the New York City real estate holding and the name. Which fronted the on line brothel at 39 Cooper Square.
This area is not even the in the Village, it is NOHO (North of Houston Street). NoHo, for North of Houston Street, is a landmarked, primarily residential upper-class neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. SOHO is the area South of Houston Street. These areas are not the Village. (In case you aren’t from New York City).
By the end of 2009, Tony Ortega was having a difficult time giving the Village Voice paper away for free. Village Voice Media was threatened with involuntary bankruptcy over an uncollected court judgment.
The Village Voice’s circulation averaged 213,358 for the 12 months ending June 2009, down 11% from 240,265 during for the same period in 2008. And continued to spiral south.
Ortega said the paper reduced the number of copies printed to save money. Saving money by printing fewer copies of the paper was a “better way to stanch the bleeding” than laying off employees.
Although Village Voice would not publicly release figures, Ortega said ad revenue declines for the paper were “consistent with the rest of the industry”. He said the company was seeing fast growth in Web revenue (Backpage.com) and expected print revenue to increase in 2010.
You do not need to understand corporate shilling and acquisitions to know the dollars back from this investment were dollars from human trafficking. The money that paid the staff that wasthere, after it was purchased by Mike Lacey, that money came from human trafficking.
If you buy a pizza shop and then you do not charge anyone for the pizza, but the pizza shop is making two million $ a month, what are you going think? This is “business as usual”?
Anyone should be able to wrap their head around that.
Former Village Voice employees attest the Village Voice was turned into a human trafficking criminal enterprise under Lacey, Larkin, and Ortega. For more information see:
“I AM JANE DOE” TAKES ON TONY ORTEGA of VILLAGE VOICE BACKPAGE
Mother Opens Up About Finding Her Missing 14-Year-Old Daughter In the Escort Section Of Classified Ad Website Backpage.
A mother has spoken out after finding her missing teenage daughter being sex trafficked on classified advertising website, Backpage. The adult classifieds section of the Village Voice.
Kubiiki Pride’s 14-year-old daughter had been missing for nine months in 2009 until one night she found the girl while scrolling on the ‘escorts’ section.
Pride said she had been up at 4.30am desperately searching for her daughter when she made the discovery.
After finding her daughter’s picture among other listings, Pride has opened up about ‘one of the most painful experiences’ she has faced, saying her daughter is ‘still broken’.
The documentary filmmaker Mary Mazzio interviewed some of the more than a hundred thousand American children who are being trafficked. Both Pride and her daughter are interviewed.
I will continue to be at every theater opening through April 2017.
I AM JANE DOE chronicles the epic battle that several American mothers are waging on behalf of their middle-school daughters, victims of sex-trafficking on Backpage.com, the adult classifieds section that for years was part of the Village Voice.
Reminiscent of Erin Brockovich and Karen Silkwood, these mothers have stood up on behalf of thousands of other mothers, fighting back and refusing to take no for an answer.
It is a gut-wrenching human story and fresh look at a social and legal issue that affects every community in America.
I am Jane Doe (and/or Backpage – The Aftermath)
ABOUT THE FILM
“a gripping legal thriller” – Esquire
“a powerful call to action” – The Los Angeles Times
“a viscerally emotional case” – The Washington Post
“especially impressive… a powerful piece of work” – Elle
“striking… powerful” – The Film Journal
50% of all profits will be donated to organizations which serve Jane Doe children