It’s official now – and just as I suspected. Backpage founder CARL FERRER, has pled guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to promote prostitution. Two days ago, I mentioned that I’d never met either Lacey or Larkin, the other two big fish in the Backpage takedown. But while admittedly, I was just a bag man for the Voice, it wasn’t like word of Dollar Bill hadn’t reached up to the lofty heights of the executive offices. And in fact, I would have met the boys had it not been for one second tier executive who was happy to flash my work in front of his bosses to impress them – but in no way willing to introduce me to the higher ups. And here’s how that went:
One day many years ago, an Asian owner/advertising client showed me a carefully laid out grid depicting exactly from which advertisements all her customers had arrived the previous month. So impressed and informed was I that I wrote an “Economics 101” entry on this blog. Fortunately for the Voice, they had come in number 2 in the rankings. And the publisher of the paper had seen the blog and reported the results to either Lacey or Larkin (not sure which).
I believe Michael printed out the blog page and presented it to one of the biggies no doubt to score points. The executive’s response was “This guy should write a blog for us.” (I know this because I ran into Michael one day in the outer office and he himself related this story.) Naturally, I asked for the extension of the boss so I could solicit him with a blogging plan. To which Michael responded with a look of “Why the fuck did I tell this guy what I just did?…”No way I want him cozying up with my employers!”
For what reason only he could tell you, Michael always viewed me with suspicion (I knew him from the NY Press and Voice. He was publisher of both at different times). Not only did he cockblock me on that occasion…but we made a handshake rate deal which he reneged on the next day in a mutually exclusive event. Not exactly my favorite guy as you can imagine.
Maybe it was because I was a jewish dude with a street vibe. Or he knew I was making much more money than he was. Either way…I got the idea he wanted to keep me barefoot and down on the farm, and not rising through the Village Voice hierarchy.
Not really a huge deal. I’m sure meeting the other two principals would have at best simply landed me a token blogging gig that led nowhere. Or who knows? Maybe I’d have had a best seller by now (very unlikely). Whatever…the point is that corporate politics prevented the meeting. What are ya gonna do? Wouldn’t be the first time – and it won’t be the last.