Spies and Sex Scandal

We have recently been informed that two Marty Rathbun agents were uncovered for spying on behalf of Rathbun Inc. The agents, Dani and Tami Lemberger, have been pretending to fly under the radar for some time while stabbing their fellow Scientologists in the back. They were brought under ecclesiastical justice for their dishonesty and as soon as they received notification of their expulsion from the Church their puppeteer, Marty Rathbun, hooked them up with Tony Ortega, an individual who so obsessed with Scientology that he has become incapable of reporting honest journalism like, for instance, his own employer (Village Voice Media) profiting off sex-trafficking minor girls through online ads placed in their publications.

According to an article entitled, Ortega’s ethics called into question over “sex with source” scandal, Ortega has been having an affair with one of the Village Voice sources, Arielle Silverstein. We are publishing the article in full:

Ortega’s ethics called into question over “sex with source” scandal
by Jason Mark
June 8, 2012

Arielle Silverstein & Tony Ortega

A former Village Voice employee recently provided shocking revelations about Tony Ortega, the editor of the Village Voice, stating that not only was Ortega instrumental in amending the Backpage.com ad form to provide easier access to place prostitution ads online, but the same Tony Ortega has been caught sleeping with one of his news story sources, a major break in journalistic ethics.

When Tony Ortega arrived as editor at the Village Voice, the paper was the home to such journalistic stars as Nat Hentoff (who joined the paper in 1958) and Lynn Yaeger, a fashion writer since the 1960s. Ortega’s first mission from the Phoenix owners of the paper was to cut costs in the newsroom, which included laying off almost half of the editorial and advertising staff. He next had a hand in what was then a back-water brand of the company, Backpage.com. While at one level, Backpage competes with Craigslist with classified ads for housing and jobs, about one-quarter of the ads on the site are run in the “Adult Services” section, including escorts, strippers, and “dom and fetish workers.” On a typical New York City Backpage, there are over 500 women listed under escorts, advertising their services with headlines such as “Blow and Go” and “$50 specials.” These ads, which run $17 each, now bring in an estimated $30 million a year to the parent company, according the AIM Group, a media research and consulting firm. The New York Times recently calculated that Backpage now hosts 70% of all online prostitution ads according to the New York Times. Other sources state that Village Voice Media’s Backpage.com has cornered as much as 80% of the online sex-for-sale ads.

If profiting from sex-trafficking ads was not bad enough, the main component of the Backpage ads that has elected officials, human rights activists, religious leaders and the nation’s prosecutors and law enforcement up in arms is that they are being used by criminal elements for sex-trafficking of minors. Despite the double-speak pronouncement by Liz McDougall, attorney apologist for Backpage.com, that they are “allies in the fight against human trafficking” Village Voice Media has refused to mandate in person age verification for those placing sex ads on Backpage.com and have attacked a Washington state anti-trafficking law that sought to reduce the number of minors posted for sale online by filing a lawsuit to prevent its use. Village Voice Media owners pretend there is some legitimate use of the online sex ads but how many interpretations can there be for ads that state “blow and go”? The site has – drawn the attention of all 51 state attorney generals who are looking for any abuse of minors. Last year, Tony Ortega defended Backpage against charges of trafficking by writing in an editorial that “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.”

Last Summer, while the Village Voice was experiencing another round of editorial staff layoffs and Backpage.com was just starting to arouse the interest of the State Attorney Generals, Tony Ortega violated the long held journalistic principle of separation between editorial and the business side of running a newspaper by using his newspaper and online site to staunchly defend Backpage.com by attacking activists who were exposing the sordid business of sex-trafficking in the United States, which his company was now playing a major role. Around this time Ortega violated another long held journalistic ethics edict when he became “romantically” involved with one of his sources, Arielle Silverstein. Silverstein is an Israeli-born lawyer who works at the United Nations in its Management Evaluation Unit.

In November 2011 Ortega and Silverstein traveled to Israel and she was the principal source for a story that Ortega published later that year.

By January of this year, Ortega had moved in with Silverstein into an apartment on East 89th Street. On the surface, Silverstein looks like every other single, well-educated, polished professional woman living in New York. But on the Internet, Silverstein becomes a whole new person with a much racier identity. Using false names on her Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts as well as postings on blogs including the Huffington Post, she rants in ways that would be unbecoming of an employee at the U.N. She calls herself Bozuri on a site called Why We Protest, an Anonymous owned forum where she is Ortega’s source—Bozuri also makes sure that the Village Voice copyrighted articles are removed from the Anonymous forum at Ortega’s behest. Several of her postings on Why we Protest have been made from computers located at the U.N. This is outrageous since most of Silverstein’s postings are anti-religious rants (she describes herself as a “Jewish Atheist”) and no group seems to be spared—she’s anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-Jesus, anti-God, anti-Jewish, anti-Scientology and anti just about anything religious. In fact, Silverstein goes to great pains to re-tweet and forward all of Ortega’s anti-Scientology columns to her various “followers.”

One problem with Silverstein’s online anti-religious ravings is that she frequently makes them during normal working hours, from her desk at the U.N. Silverstein is violating several U.N. staff rules and regulations which state “while staff members’ personal views and convictions, including their religious convictions, remain inviolable, staff members shall ensure that those views and convictions do not adversely affect their official duties of the interests of the United Nations.” It is unlikely that the Christian and Islamic members of the United Nations would take too well to one of the U.N. staff “committing blasphemy” by posting images of Mohammed or images of demeaning pictures of Jesus.

Ortega and Silverstein also recently traveled to Italy together, and it’s not known how long their affair will last, but it seems highly unlikely that Ortega will return to his wife, Fatimah, who came to the U.S. from Indonesia in 1999 and was an advertising account executive at the New Times in Los Angeles, also owned by the Village Voice. Now that Ortega is taking $17 a pop from women like “Thick Booti Amber” and “First Time Collage [sic] Student” is it any wonder he has been caught shacking up with one of his sources?

How the United Nations reacts to this abuse by one of its officials will be closely monitored.

(Should the author of the above article have any copyright problem please contact me).

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