Clear Bias: Tony Ortega’s Reporting on Danny Masterson Vs Paul Haggis

Tony Ortega writes a blog post with a clear bias against Scientology every day, sometimes more than one. And so it really is tiresome for me to be talking about Tony Ortega’s bias against Scientology every day, but the latest accusations of rape against Paul Haggis, a recent poster boy for anti-Scientology, show Tony Ortega’s bias so clearly, and so decidedly, that I couldn’t resist.

Here’s what Tony wrote as the 2nd item on his blog today:

Paul Haggis suspects Scientology behind allegations

On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter published a statement by director Paul Haggis’s attorney, Christine Lepera, who said about sexual misconduct claims against him that Haggis “questions whether Scientology has any role here, which he notes has been attacking him for years with false accusations.”

We’ve heard from a lot of readers who wonder the same thing. Last month, Haggis sued a woman named Haleigh Breest claiming that she was trying to extort him for $9 million. Breest filed her own lawsuit the same day, claiming that she had been raped by Paul Haggis in 2013. In his suit, Haggis said that he had back surgery shortly before the alleged event and was incapable of doing what Breest accused him of. This week the AP reported that three additional women had come forward with their own allegations of sexual misconduct between 1996 and 2015 after seeing the news of Breest’s claims. Breest added their claims to her lawsuit in an amended complaint.

Breest’s attorney denied to Page Six that Scientology is involved in the claims against Haggis.

Until we see any evidence to the contrary, we’re going to reserve judgment. We simply hope that justice is served as this situation develops.

I bolded that second-to-last sentence of Tony Ortega’s post to show that he seems here to be saying that until he finds evidence to the contrary that Scientology is behind these rape accusations, he’s going to reserve judgement.

Let’s examine Tony’s statement here:

  1. Tony is “reserving judgement” until he sees evidence that Scientology was NOT involved in Paul Haggis’ rape accusations. Perhaps someone should tell him that it’s impossible to find evidence for something that did not happen. So what he is waiting for can never be delivered.
  2. He is also stating that he is assuming that Scientology is behind Paul Haggis’s rape allegations, and so that’s how he is proceeding until he sees evidence to the contrary (which, again, is impossible).

So Tony is assuming that Scientology is behind Paul Haggis’s rape accusations.

That is a clear bias.

But there’s more.

If you go back and look at Tony Ortega’s reporting on Danny Masterson, he provides detailed accounts of his’ accusers’ accusations. Each of the accusations against Danny Masterson is described by Tony in gruesome detail.

In Tony Ortega’s sub-item today though, he does not provide any detail on the accusations against Paul Haggis, even though there are many details available. Instead, Tony only provides Paul Haggis’s defense to the first of 4 rape accusations against him.

I don’t remember Tony Ortega ever presenting any of Danny Masterson’s defenses, do you? If he did, he certainly didn’t emphasize them as much as the rape accusations against him.

This is another demonstration of the clear bias that Tony Ortega has for anti-Scientologists over Scientologists.

Tony even shows bias in favor of Paul Haggis’s lawsuit against his accuser’s, which, because they were filed on the same day, suggests weeks of preparation by his accuser with her lawyers. This pretty much rules out Haggis’s claims of blackmail. Why would someone who was blackmailing someone be working with her lawyers to sue him, too?

Because of Tony’s biased blindness, this goes straight over his head. And if his past reporting is a guide, Tony Ortega will never report any skepticism of Paul Haggis’ claims – only his defense.

That so many other journalists seem to consider Ortega an unbiased source on Scientology shows the degree to which they are letting their own bias’ against Scientology rule their reporting.

Take Yashar Ali for example, one of Tony Ortega’s anti-Scientology acolytes. He also laid the accusations on thick against Danny Masterson with little mention of his defense.

Yashar revealed yesterday what he thinks of ALL SCIENTOLOGISTS in this tweet to Kirstie Alley:

yashar ali on all scientologists

When Yashar was asked about his statement about Kirstie Alley and all scientologists being hypocrites, he doubled down on it:

yashar ali all scientologists are hypocrites

So this is what’s passing for reporting from Anti-Scientology “journalists” now. No claim is being made here by me about the validity of the accusations against Paul Haggis, or Danny Masterson. I am focusing solely on Tony Ortega’s and his never-in anti-Scientology acolyte’s reporting of them.

I’m claiming that their reporting is biased.

Does anyone even care? Or is it just too fun to go after Scientologists right now?

See, I think a journalist has a duty to remain objective, especially on matters as volatile as sexual assault and religious beliefs. What we need is unbiased reporting by non-ideologues, not biased reporting by anti-Scientology ideologues. Because of the volatility and importance of this news to so many peoples’ lives, biased journalists are last thing we need.

But that’s what we have right now, and too few people are noticing that.

With Tony and Yashar, are we seeing the next Butch and Sundance of biased anti-Scientology journalism here?

I think so.

There’s a lot more to say, but these events are developing rapidly and my mouth is stuffed with popcorn right now.

Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “Clear Bias: Tony Ortega’s Reporting on Danny Masterson Vs Paul Haggis”

  1. Paul Haggis has very recently struck again. This time in Italy:

    And here is how that vaunted journalist Tony Ortega reported it:

    Like that objective headline? No, not biased at all!

    Some Ex-Scientologists are pointing out that this woman, the alleged victim in Italy, is a sex worker. Yes. The article I posted above doesn’t mention anything about her being a “sex worker”. Apparently the Daily Beast is reporting this. But I can already tell how the smear of this alleged victim will play out in the Paul Haggis apologist world. “Well, she is a sex worker after all…….” Which can be slanted several ways: If Paul ordered a “rough sex” session then she knew what she was getting into. Right? Or OSA fixed it to where she was set up with Haggis. This is the more humorous way to spin it. But in they’re already doing it.

    The term “sex worker” rings a bell with me in regards to Tony Ortega. Oh! I remember now. Back when he was regularly defending himself against his former association with ‘Back Page’ advertisements on the Village Voice, he called the underaged sexually trafficked victims, “Young sex workers”. Or it may have been “Underage sex workers”. Basically insinuating that these minors were sex workers by choice. “No big deal. No harm done, so get off my back!”

    Nice guy, that Tony. Real nice guy. Backpage Tony is who and what he is. He’s certainly not a credible journalist.

    I understand he’s now moving to Substack so he can make enough money to quit living off his productive wife. Of course Backpage is no longer available for an income source.

  2. Yet another fine example, of taking up for those “who’ve done so much to expose Scientology'” at any cost.

    I guess it comes down to what’s more important, attacking Scientology, protecting ones buddies, or reporting all the un-biased facts.

    Tony Ortega would have been better off walking away from the keyboard and staying out of it!

  3. This comment was contributed by STATPUSH

    I read a number of news sources that covered this story. And here’s a sampling of the headlines:

    • Paul Haggis Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 3 More Women
    • 4 women accuse filmmaker Paul Haggis of sexual misconduct
    • ‘Crash’ Director Paul Haggis Accused of Multiple Rapes
    • Paul Haggis: Oscar-winning director denies rape and sexual misconduct allegations made by four women

    They are all roughly telling the same story, some not even bothering to mention Scientology, or Haggis’ theories.

    Now, notice Ortega’s re-framing of the information:

    • Paul Haggis suspects Scientology behind allegations

    Huh? How was this ever a Scientology story?

    The church could be using it to do further damage Haggis. Things like: “See, what did we say?”, “Moral and ethical lapses…”, “His downfall was leaving Scientology”, “Critics are criminals”, geez, lots of mileage out of that. I find it incredulous to think the church orchestrated this. These accusers, four no less, will be investigated and scrutinized by some clever people. If this was an OSA black op, it would blow-up in their faces.

    The Underground Bunker is NOT a news website. It’s Tony Ortega telling a story. Like a movie on Lifetime…”Inspired by actual events”.


    • Very good point, SP.

      Yesterday’s **otherwise excellent** article by Tony Ortega on Joy Villa was marred by one more of his evidence-free assertions that Joy Villa is being a fake Christian, which he has been demagoguing on Twitter for at least 3 months now.

      Tony Ortega is using this idea that Joy Villa is a “fake Christian” to rile up the Christians in the Anti-Cult movement who follow Scientology because they believe it is a “demonic cult”. Tony, being an atheist, plays his fellow ACM members by pushing their “Christian buttons”. He does this as an atheist, of course, never telling them what he really thinks about their religious beliefs.

      Here’s Tony’s latest biased insertion:

      Mike Rinder quote

      Like I said, this otherwise excellent article on Joy Villa by Tony Ortega is ruined by his toxic anti-Scientology bias.

      Mike Rinder knows that this quote isn’t known to those who are only ‘Clear’. Tony says he told him that Joy would be ‘handled’ on her Christian beliefs prior to getting to “Clear”.

      Oh really? You’re going to take a celeb (recording star) with a wealthy spouse who is a PAYING PC MOVING UP THE BRIDGE, and you are going to invalidate her belief in Christianity?

      Right. If he’s not outright lying here, it’s obvious Mike Rinder never worked in a service org. No reg or ethics officer would ever invalidate an “upstat pc” who is moving on the by giving them upper level material on their religious beliefs.

      In addition, the “There was no Christ” quote is from the highly confidential OT 3 lectures, which no clear would have ever been “exposed to”. And if they had, Mike Rinder knows they would have been lied to by Scientologistd and told that Xenu doesn’t exist, and Hubbard never said there was no Christ.

      BOTH Mike and Tony know this. So, once again, the truth takes a back seat to their tribal rhetoric – what they can get people angry about vs what is the actual truth.

      FACT: There ARE sincere Christians in Scientology who are “Clear” – just like Joy Villa says she is.

      This bias is horrible, and both Tony Ortega and Mike Rinder should be ashamed of themselves.


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