The Gawker Archives on Village Voice Hooker Ads.

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 straight forward 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.

Let’s Write Some Hooker Ads!

7.53K

07/03/07 09:40AM

Filed to: LIES WELL DISGUISED

94 years ago, liar H.K. McCann launched his NYC ad agency with the slogan “Truth Well Told.” That was a big fat lie. Advertising copywriter Copyranter brings you instances of advertising lies and the lying liars who sell them.

Last week in AdAge Lenore Skenazy got her panties (or whatever her choice of undergarment is) in a bunch over the adult classified ads in the back of reputable newspapers and magazines—she claims they’re for hookers! The ads also upset me—they’re boring! I’ve lined up three ads for alleged Ladies of the Night. Let’s see if we can come up with some come-ons.

Back In May, I took a stab at writing lines for a SheMale escort ad. This time, I grabbed the latest copy of the Village Voice and turned to the “adult bodywork” section. It’s spread out on my desk right now. My art director Keri just walked by, shaking her head.

First up, Yoko. As you may or may not know, the adult classifieds are chock full of Asian women. So Yoko needs a little something else to break through the clutter. Iif she’s gonna use that name, then I think she’s gotta play it up:

  • Be My John?
  • Oh No, You’ve Never Had Better.
  • Give This Piece A Chance.
  • Next: Atasha. Yes, she certainly is a piece of (yawn) dark chocolate. I do like the fun typeface on her name, but she needs to sweeten that sales pitch!
  • What Can Brown Do For You?
  • Godiva’s Got Nuthin’ On My Box Of Chocolate.
  • Fudgie The Tail (eh).
  • Lastly, there’s Ruth. Well, I applaud the effort here with the candy bar reference. But we can do a little better.
  • Ruth Likes It Uncouth.
  • RUTH. BABE. (big Helvetica type, ghosted over her pic)
  • Ruth something something…
  • OK, I wrote this post this morning at 8, because I had to work past midnight last night because my boss is in the goddamn Hamptons this week in his fancy house on the bay. So, feel free to write your oh-so superior lines in the comments, Or not. I don’t care. I’m tired.
  • Previously: The Best Ad In The World

Mazzio, Oz: Kids are no match for ‘Backpage’

hc1

Reposting here for those that have no access to a subscription at the Houston Chronicle

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Mazzio-Oz-Kids-are-no-match-for-Backpage-11107837.php

April 28, 2017

What you are about to read is going to shock you.

Every minute of every day in this country, children are bought and sold for sex on the internet. Scheduled on the hour, by the hour. With the ruthless efficiency of technology, these children are shuttled from motel room to motel room and raped upwards of 15 times per day.

It happens to children of all incomes, ethnicities and color. Mostly girls, but also boys. Many are first preyed upon in chat rooms, at the mall, or at fast-food restaurants. And then these children simply disappear, without a trace.

Many of them do resurface, on a website called Backpage.com. According to a recent U.S. Senate report, this company, headquartered in Dallas, has earned hundreds of millions of dollars per year from its sex ads, including those of children. In all 50 states.

How can it be legal to host ads selling children for sex?

It shouldn’t be. Yet despite multiple lawsuits filed by child victims and a lengthy Senate investigation headed by Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, Backpage has dodged every bullet, winning every legal challenge to date. Armed with an expensive team of lawyers, Backpage has deftly managed to shield itself with an outdated internet freedom law that protects web sites from being sued for content posted by a third party. This law (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act) was originally intended to protect a budding internet industry from lawsuits based on defamatory posts by its users. However, Section 230 now allows for the proliferation of fake news, scam ads, and is being interpreted by judges to protect websites that facilitate child sex trafficking.

And Backpage has some surprising allies. Two internet special interest groups funded by technology companies, The Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have swooped in to defend Backpage, actively intervening in several cases and doing so persuasively.

That is worth repeating. Via these special interest groups, tech industry giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others are financing the defense of Backpage. This can no longer continue.

Let’s be clear. We cannot stand for the idea that the sale of children is acceptable collateral damage for a free and open internet. Especially since companies now have the technological means to stop it.

Last month, Backpage announced that it was shuttering the Escorts section of its website under pressure from the government. However, analysts reported that a majority of these sex ads simply moved to the dating pages of Backpage. The many other sex sites owned and operated by Backpage in the U.S. were not shut down, and the purchase and sale of children continues online today.

President Trump recently signaled that he would bring the full weight of the government to help in the fight against human trafficking, including giving law enforcement agencies better tools to go after criminals. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is among those working on legislation to do the same. It can’t come soon enough. But Congress also has to act by specifically amending Section 230 to make it clear that it is not legal to facilitate child sex trafficking.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Missouri, has recently introduced legislation to do just this, and we hope that a Senate version will be drafted in the coming months. We’ve started a petition on Change.org to tell the tech community that it’s time to switch sides, and we hope you will join us, too.

Mazzio is an award-winning filmmaker. Her new film, “I AM JANE DOE,” which chronicles the battle that several children are waging against Backpage, debuts on iTunes May 12 and with Netflix on May 26. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon, Emmy Award-winning host of the Dr. Oz Show, and father of four.

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

 

hc

Backpage -Murders Claim Lives In Detroit. Plagues Community, Families And Police.

dp
Photo from 2011 press conference on Village Voice Classifieds section – Backpage Briefing on Backpage Murders

Murders 

 

In 2011 The bad news just kept on coming for Village Voice’s Classifieds Backpage.com—already the target of an anti-sex trafficking campaign in 45 states.  In one week. Two car trunks. Four women dead. Backpage clients. A serial killer, a fan of Backpage.

No problem.  The owners of the Village Voice and editor in chief took it all in stride. Collateral damage. As bodies of young women dropped in Detroit, The Village Voice ran a special called:  “The 11 Most Infuriating Songs Of 2011.”  One of them, “Bitch suck dick”. It was front page headline when you logged onto the site, right next to the link for Backpage.com classifieds.  “Bitch suck dick”.

http://www.villagevoice.com/music/the-11-most-infuriating-songs-of-2011-no-8-tyler-the-creator-bitch-suck-dick-6633260

Huh?  Guess I wasn’t listening to the same radio station. Anyway, apparently the dead bodies were not the main issue, it was poorly arranged music. Or, headlines prompting you to click on the Backpage link?  With a serial killer on the loose.

It was front page news all over the nation. “Backpage murders”.  A serial killer was killing women he found on Backpage.  In fact, I just Googled, “Backpage murders” and more than five years later, About 182,000 results (0.52 seconds).

The editor in chief at the Village Voice, Tony Ortega, didn’t have the decency to put an alert on Village Voice site or their classifieds Backpage website about it, warning others that a Backpage serial killer was on the loose.

Nah….that would have been bad for “the brand”.

Some part of me wonders if owners and staff at the Voice were not celebrating the press coverage and free publicity for further advertisers.  Nobody from the Village Voice bothered to send a card to any of the families, as the bodies floated to view.

A film expose was released in January 2017 about the Backpage murders which totaled 13 as of 2016.   “Black Girls Die Too”.

bgdt

bgdt2

 

 

bgdt

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-girls-die-too-the-backpage-murders-tickets-30639982011#

Man Convicted Of Killing 4 Women From Escort Site

https://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2011/12/27/detroit-free-press-killer-targeting-women-on-backpage

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2011/1228/After-deaths-in-Detroit-Backpage.com-advertising-comes-under-scrutiny

Young Detroit woman found stabbed to death in an alley.  Backpage ad:

Man Gets At Least 30 Years For Killing Woman He Met On ‘Backpage’ Date

Detroit serial killer murders through Backpage ads:

Man Convicted Of Killing 4 Women From Escort Site

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/arrests-encouraging-for-families-of-detroit-backpage-murders-victims

Sex Trafficking Slavery

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/24/detroit-police-online-prostitution-ring/2359671/

https://trenchreynolds.com/2013/06/03/tragic-case-of-backpage-sex-trafficking-in-detroit/

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/11/11/prostitution-sting-port-huron-marysville/93662236/

 

I am Jane Doe

Village Voice – Backpage Spread Out Like A Cancer Through Chicago

https://trenchreynolds.com/2014/03/13/illinois-senator-to-introduce-anti-backpage-trafficking-legislation/

Chicago pimp beats hooker on the street in Chicago.  This is domestic terrorism. Caught on video.  For once. Because these episodes happen DAILY on America’s city streets. I have seen it myself many times on the streets of New York City growing up there.  I could not walk by this when I was fourteen years old, and not intervene.

How the executives of Village Voice sat around dismissing this kind of sadism and brutality, and even promoted it for profit, profiting off of this kind of misery, still baffles me.  Could this have partly been because owner Mike Lacey was a cowboy parked in Phoenix Arizona?  Far far away from having to live down on the city streets where this affects entire neighborhoods and the lives of everyone that has to live in them.

If you have not been assaulted on a city street like this, perhaps this is “unreal” to you.

When Backpage.com  was finally shut down for inventing, aiding and propelling this kind of social intercourse, owners Mike Lacey and James Larkin played the victim card. Claiming their “freedom of speech” rights had been violated.

That came after years of attempting to discredit and discount anyone in the community efforting to take responsibility for the homeless children they were exploiting through the Village Voice  Newspaper.

vic0

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/backpage-com-shuts-down-adult-ads-after-senate-committee-report/

Backpage.com Shuts Down ‘Adult’ Ads After Senate Committee Report

http://chicago.suntimes.com/person/backpage-com/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-man-24-charged-for-promoting-prostitution-on-southwest-side-20150221-story.html

http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/crime/12802778-story

http://abc7chicago.com/news/man-charged-in-sex-assault-of-woman-he-met-on-backpagecom/982158/

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/backpage-sues-cook-county-sheriff

http://www.nbcchicago.com/on-air/as-seen-on/WEB-5P-VO-DART-BACKPAGE_Chicago-351196621.html

Man Accused of Slitting Throat of 16-Year-Old He Met on Backpage.com, Leaving Her Body in Suburban Chicago Garage

chic

“Backpage will take all steps necessary to end this frivolous prosecution and will pursue its full remedies under federal law against the state actors who chose to ignore the law, as it has done successfully in other cases.” Liz McDougall  attorney for Village Voice’s Backpage.com

“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.”

“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

https://www.change.org/p/facebook-tell-google-facebook-and-microsoft-to-stop-supporting-child-sex-trafficking-b0818037-0e87-4d68-85b2-481c2ef6881a

Tony Ortega Lies To The Press In Backpage Child Sex Trafficking / Human Trafficking Cover Up

hc33
Tony Ortega

 

 

 

When Tony Ortega was sent from Florida to New York, by Mike Lacey to manage the Village Voice Newspaper, it was already so worthless, the new owners were giving it away, for free. 

You can read more about that here:

http://thedailycannibal.com/2010/10/25/the-village-voice-out-of-stories-and-running-out-of-time/

In 1996, circulation of the Village Voice was so low they had 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.

akvv

Never mind, this is not a critic for a free flyer, which is what the Village Voice newspaper was, under Tony Ortega.

 

vvfree

 

 

 

Again, Never mind, this is not a critic for a free flyer, which is what the Village Voice newspaper was, under Tony Ortega.

With widespread scandal about child sex trafficking, as Ortega kept that front holding strong, while Backpage, it’s classifieds section,  ballooned into the largest online 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 council 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.

http://abc7chicago.com/archive/8636125/

 

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.”

Ruthless!

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.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/15/backpage-is-bad-banning-it-would-be-worse.html

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.

http://gawker.com/5860101/pickets-lawsuits-sex-ads-and-hard-times-at-the-village-voice

I repeat:  “No one who actually works in this office has anything to do with Backpage, …” Tony Ortega

Oh, they had everything to do with Backpage. Otherwise, Ortega would not be out on the front lines defending it. The Village Voice is a free give away paper. His paycheck comes from selling homeless children and disenfranchised women on Backpage, the paper’s classified section.

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)  they paid off Ortega and according to testimony he was paid to go away and lay low. Obstruction of justice. After they parked him in the woods,  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.  Which suggests all of the paper was only being used as a front for launching the International Sex Syndicate, Backpage.

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:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/09/village-voice-media-split-from-backpage.html

After the above article hit the net,  Ortega tweets later in the day:

totweetsvv

About Backpage he bragged:

“I helped turn a weekly newspaper with a Web site into a digital enterprise.” Tony Ortega bragged to the New York Times September 24, 2012

https://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/at-village-voice-editor-and-music-editor-depart-and-weekly-will-have-a-new-address/

 

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.

This is why they got rid of all of the staff!

https://www.democracynow.org/2006/4/13/village_voice_shakeup_top_investigative_journalist

https://www.democracynow.org/2006/4/20/headlines/village_voice_fires_music_editor_chuck_eddy

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/09/27/female-employees-drop-lik_n_66073.html

http://www.clydefitchreport.com/2008/12/the-village-voice-fires-nat-hentoff/

http://gothamist.com/2011/01/04/village_voice_fires_wayne_barrett_t.php

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2006/09/xed_out.html

http://gawker.com/5002390/village-voice-fires-art-critic-for-conflict-of-interest

http://www.adweek.com/digital/village-voice-fires-michael-musto-robert-sietsema-and-michael-feingold/

 

 

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 online 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).

vvaddy

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 staunch 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.

http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2010/newspapers-summary-essay/alternative-weeklies/

 

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 was there, 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:

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

 

vvp

top