The Gawker Archives – Pickets, Lawsuits, Sex Ads, and Hard Times at the Village Voice

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.

 

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

 

Pickets, Lawsuits, Sex Ads, and Hard Times at the Village Voice

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11/16/11 12:42PM

Filed to: MEDIA

The Village Voice has problems. The paper had yet another round of layoffs last month, as part of a nationwide cull by its parent company. (Not to be confused with the other layoffs earlier this year.) Like most alt-weeklies, the Voice depends on sex and drug ads for its very survival. The paper’s so desperate for revenue that it’s suing Time Out NY for using the phrase “Best in NYC.” You know that belongs to the Village Voice, right?

And today, Voice staffers get the funnest bonus yet: a big protest at their headquarters! (Photos here.) An anti-sex-trafficking group is picketing the Voice today to protest the sex ads on Backpage.com, the Craigslist doppelganger that more or less keeps Village Voice Media afloat. (A recent lawsuit against Backpage failed, and considering the financial situation of alt-weeklies today, don’t expect it to cut off any revenue streams voluntarily any time soon.) Alicia Keys and Gloria Steinem will both be there, reportedly, so be sure to go and stare slack-jawed!

Village Voice Media sent out an internal letter to employees telling them to “respect the rights” of the protesters, but making clear that the company disagrees with them, and asserting that “Village Voice Media is the industry leader in policing our site to keep underage kids out of adult classifieds.” Well… who else would be to be policing your site? Eh. We asked Voice editor Tony Ortega for his take:

Ah, you know. I loved Nick Pinto’s story last week about NYU. I thought Graham Rayman had a good get this week on Ray Kelly. Next week, for Thanksgiving, we have a treat from Jen Doll. I mean, that’s what you do, right? You just keep it going, week after week, while hoping someday Obama pulls his head out of his ass and gets this economy going again. I’d like to start hiring again, dammit.

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. The people who work for Eater and Foursquare — won’t they have stories to tell.

Keep on truckin, alt-weeklies. Keep on truckin, protesters. And keep on truckin, online classified sex ad patrons. You’re all in this together.

[Photo via VillageVoicePimp.com]

Village Voice Backpage.Com 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 effects 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.

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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

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“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

Complete Findings On Senate Investigation Into Backpage.com

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Below is the senate findings, statistics, and other relevant data discovered on Backpage.com human trafficking .

It has cost the taxpayers of America millions of dollars to investigate and discover the criminality behind the Village Voice giveaway paper.  Prior to it’s separation from backpage.com late 2012.

https://www.portman.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=fd56bb15-565e-4af4-9f4f-736d083917c5

http://www.iamjanedoefilm.com

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 Newpaper 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

Well Hallelujah! Former Employee of Village Voice Comes Clean.

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“You’d have to be pretty willfully ignorant not to realize that part of the revenues that went into your check on a weekly basis were derived, at least in part, from marketing for prostitution.”

Which included child sex trafficking.

Marketing for prostitution means pimping.

http://citypages.com/news/mike-lacey-backpagecom-and-the-mystery-of-the-5000-checks/396646721

You would have to be very willfully ignorant not to be able to figure this out for yourself, just by understanding the structure of Village Voice – Backpage.

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Are some people around here being willfully ignorant?  You betcha!  Another word for being “willfully ignorant” would simply be, “apologist“.

a·pol·o·gist –  a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial.
Synonyms: defender, supporter, upholder, advocate, proponent, exponent, propagandist, champion, campaigner.
Are there child sex trafficking apologists out there?  You betcha!  They are defenders and supporters of child sex slavery /  trafficking.
I am  not one of them. Profiting off of the misery of homeless children, that is as unholy as it gets.