Totally Real News Outlet 'Epoch Times' Loves Trump, Falun Gong, Heterosexual Healing, And Just Floating Right There Up In The Air
It never fails. Every single nasty, illegal accusation Republicans hurl at Democrats is something they themselves are up to their eyeballs in. They might as well confess to running a pedophile pizza parlor right now. Donald Trump is derping about Google illegally boosting Hillary Clinton's vote totals by 16 million based on some bullshit survey of 95 people, so of course there's an actual fake news outlet spending millions of dollars to pump insane QAnon and Spygate lies into America's bloodstream and boost Donald Trump. That train is never late!
NBC's Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins have a bonkers story out today on the conservative "newspaper" Epoch Times. Regular readers of Your Wonkette will already be familiar with this fine publication, both for its bizarro Spygate theories postulating that Donald Trump is constantly on the verge of doing LOCK HER UPS to the entire Deep State, and because it routinely produces highly selected excerpts of leaked House Intelligence transcripts, which it absolutely, positively does not get from Devin Nunes.
But did you know that Epoch Times is actually a Falun Gong front? We did, but we didn't know the half of it! That's partly because it's easy for consumers of actual news to ignore Epoch -- the site's a bit of a misfit among the conservative wingnuts, more a Blade Runner replicant that doesn't know it's a robot than a screaming performance artist like Alex Jones who's well aware that he's full of shit. While Jones is yammering about gay frogs, homosexuality does not even exist at Epoch Times, which covered the entire Pulse nightclub shooting without mentioning it.
"It's like we were supposed to be fighting so-called liberal propaganda by making our own," said Steve Klett, who covered the Trump campaign for The Epoch Times as his first job in journalism. Klett likened The Epoch Times to a Russian troll farm and said his articles were edited to remove outside criticism of Trump.
"The worst was the Pulse shooting," Klett said, referring to the 2016 mass shooting in which 50 people including the gunman were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. "We weren't allowed to cover stories involving homosexuality, but that bumps up against them wanting to cover Islamic terrorism. So I wrote four articles without using the word gay."
There's freedom of religion, and there's believing that meditation can cure cancer, "regrow wombs", and allow its true believers to levitate.
TIME: Have you seen human beings levitate off the ground?
Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi: I have known too many.
TIME: Can you describe any that you have known?
Li: David Copperfield. He can levitate and he did it during performances.
The fact that the Chinese government oppresses Falun Gong practitioners doesn't change the fact that they're bigoted weirdos who oppose racial-mixing, hate homosexuals, and routinely allow their adherents to die because they refuse medical care. As anyone who ever inadvertently took their kids to a Shen Yun show to see some pretty dancing (IT ME!) can tell you, Falun Gong practitioners are radical anti-communists who believe in an imminent End Times where their opponents will be cast into hell, accompanied by electronic music, holograms, and eye-searingly bright costumes.
All of which is subsidized by you, the American taxpayer, because Epoch, Shen Yun, and the related media company New Tang Dynasty are all non-profits, despite bringing in upwards of $26 million per year. Hooray! Aren't you excited to be paying for pro-Trump Facebook ads? NBC reports:
The small New York-based nonprofit news outlet has spent more than $1.5 million on about 11,000 pro-Trump advertisements in the last six months, according to data from Facebook's advertising archive — more than any organization outside of the Trump campaign itself, and more than most Democratic presidential candidates have spent on their own campaigns.
This past April, Epoch and New Tang Dynasty netted 3 billion page views across Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, beating out every single traditional media publisher. Who needs Russia when you've got China's best frenemy flooding social media with supportive propaganda?
But wait, there's more! Because your tax dollars are also propping up QAnon through New Tang's YouTube channels. These guys are a one-stop wingnut conspiracy emporium for all your anti-vax, uranium one, child abuse fantasy needs.
One such show is "Edge of Wonder," a verified YouTube channel that releases new NTD-produced videos twice every week and now has more than 33 million views. In addition to claims that alien abductions are real and the drug epidemic was engineered by the "deep state," the channel pushes the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely posits that the same "Spygate" cabal is a front for a global pedophile ring being taken down by Trump.
One QAnon video, titled "#QANON - 7 facts the MEDIA (MSM) Won't Admit" has almost 1 million views on YouTube. Other videos in the channel's QAnon playlist, which include videos about 9/11 conspiracy theories and one titled "13 BLOODLINES & their Diabolical End Game," gained hundreds of thousands of views each.
In response, Epoch Times publisher Stephen Gregory huffs that, "The Epoch Times and NTD Television, while they are sister media, are entirely separate entities." Which is entirely correct, if you disregard the fact that they share employees and are referred to collectively by Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi as "our media." Gregory further complains about NBC's anti-religious bias because of questions about what portion of Epoch's "staff" are volunteers who live in Falun Gong group housing.
"Would NBC ask about the role of the faith in the work of a New York Times reporter who happened to be Jewish," he wonders. Which is a weird line of enquiry for a guy whose employer is talking about "13 BLOODLINES & their Diabolical End Game" and who published a helpful primer for the Q-curious. But it probably makes more sense if you spend a lot of time doing synchronized meditation and avoiding the doctor. BUT NOT IN A GAY WAY!
And with that, we leave you Wonkcultists to your OPEN THREAD.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.