By Mike Kinosian
Irrespective if he actually believes or means it, Donald Trump consistently receives thunderous applause at his numerous rallies whenever he utters that proclamation.
Never holding back when it comes to isolating by specific name those he deems to be the worst offenders, the president seemingly takes immense delight in watching his base react in vociferous endorsement when he denigrates the mainstream media.
Most notably spared, of course, are conservative talk radio, as well as the Fox News Channel, and a few select others.
It is, therefore, particularly attention-grabbing when Trump is supposedly to have been quoted – albeit in a convoluted way – as saying that one particular publication is “the most credible newspaper.”
Such exemplary tribute… for The Epoch Times…clearly requires proper attribution.
Back in April 2018, Epoch Media Group interviewed Paul Taylor regarding (what would turn out to be his unsuccessful) candidacy for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Following the interview, Taylor mentioned that a close Trump friend indicated the president reads The EpochTimes every day, further detailing it is the newspaper he believes to be truthful, correct, and the only one he trusts.
Anxious for confirmation and further follow-up, The Epoch Times reached out to the White House, but the paper has yet to receive a response.
Uncovering “fake news”
By way of introduction for the uninitiatedto The Epoch Times, the multi-language newspaper has a mission statement asserting that it aims to serve society by “providing credible, quality news that is honest and unbiased, and never slanting from the influence of outside interests.”
That sentiment is further underscored on an Epoch Media Group website banner, which reads (in all capital letters), “To report truthfully on important topics that other media choose not to touch.”
According to TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison, “The Epoch Times is an amazing worldwide news organization. It is an objective counterpoint to communist propaganda that should be on the radar of every American news/talk media hostinterested in the facts about the serious threat presented to US interests by our so-called ‘frenemy’ – China – and other worldwide events.”
A company spokesperson elaborates by telling TALKERS that the non-profit news organization “is providing coverage on the issues that matter to Americans. We exist to give people hope that media can live up to its purpose of truthfully informing the public. Fostering understanding and increasing goodwill between one another is our hope, our responsibility, and our promise.”
Regarding a Trump administration cornerstone mantra, The Epoch Times declares it has “the courage” to expose “fake news” to “safeguard the values this country was founded on, and to report important stories not covered by other news outlets. Built on the values of ‘truth’ and ‘tradition,’ and based on the virtue of compassion, [we] promote long-established universal values that represent the best of humankind. While other media may twist the facts to serve political agendas, we deliver stories while upholding our responsibility to society.”
Massive worldwide reach
Founded in May 2000 by John Tang and a group of Chinese Americans who said they were responding to censorship inside China, this New York-based global news/entertainment company – rooted in traditional Chinese culture – operates across multiple content platforms.
Bureaus exist in several US cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, as well as elsewhere in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Distributed free in approximately three-dozen countries, the printed version of the paper – in English, Chinese, and nine other languages – focuses on news about China and that country’s human rights issues; it is also available online in nearly two-dozen different languages.
Despite the fact that the publication’s websites are blocked in mainland China, they can be accessed using virtual private networks (VPNs) that function there. Dajiyuan is the oldest of The Epoch Times editions and has been in operation since May 2000. There was a web launch roughly three months later that year “to provide uncensored news to a people immersed in propaganda and censorship in China.”
With a total weekly circulation of 1.6 million copies, Dajiyuan is the world’s most widely-published Chinese newspaper, serving as a unique bridge between the East and the West. Ten of the paper’s correspondents were imprisoned in China in 2000; current Dajiyuan staff work in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, the English-language edition – which started in September 2003 as a website – went to print in New York in August 2004. In addition to the United States, it is now published in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Reportedly among the world’s top 10 media and entertainment properties, parent company Epoch Media Group has over 115 million fans on its Facebook channel network and a staggering eight billion monthly video views.
Socialism inevitable in US?
Maintaining that “the very fabric of America is under attack,” the publication contends “our freedoms, our democracy, and our constitutional rights have become contested terrain.” The publication says it has “reported truthfully” on the Trump administration from the start and reported on “the real possibility of a Trump victory” in 2016.
This country, it warns, “is in trouble,” considering that “51% of voting age young Americans surveyed would prefer to live in either a socialist or communist society.”
Should this trend continue, it contends that America faces the serious prospect of becoming socialist within the next decade. “Six corporations control 90% of news outlets in America. They’re not out to tell the truth [about] what is happening – they only present the picture of the world they represent. For decades, communist ideas have been shifting America away from the free society grounded in traditional values that our founding fathers created.”
In a letter to the paper’s readers regarding BuzzFeed’s reporting about The Epoch Times, The Epoch Times editor-in-chief Jasper Fakkert notes, “Whether one agrees with the policies of the Trump administration or not, there is no denying that Donald Trump’s presidency is transforming America. This is something that most Americans genuinely care about. We see the Trump administration’s efforts to change socialist policies in America, as well as set policies to counter infiltration and subversion by China, as remarkable reversals from past policies, and sincere efforts that, if fully realized, will benefit America and the world as a whole.”
Opining in a BuzzFeed piece three months ago (10/23/18), news reporter Hayes Brown acknowledges that the “exact logic behind” promoting Trump by The Epoch Times is unclear, “but it may be connected to the administration’s current feud with Beijing over trade. As ties between the Trump administration and China have deteriorated, The Epoch Times has ramped up its rhetoric against Trump’s enemies – foreign and domestic. Aligning itself with the Trump White House’s attempts to curtail China’s rise would make sense for the paper.”
Well-informed on China’s threats to United States interests in politics, economics, cybersecurity, and defense, TheEpoch Times investigative reporter Joshua Philipp explains the nature of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has changed very little since the days of Mao Tse-tung, who was Party chairman from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. “It is a totalitarian government that has destroyed the Chinese culture and still persecutes as we speak,” Philipp states on PodcastOne’s “The Michael Harrison Interview,” which Harrison emphasizes is a “must-listen” for news/talk hosts wanting to learn about subversive ways China and the Chinese Communist Party operate domestically and behind-the-scenes on the world stage. “They have been manipulating the currency and stealing our intellectual property.”
State-run companies “infiltrate Western companies to create research deals to steal our information, eliminate Western competition, and dominate markets,” Philipp insists.
For them, it is warfare and, as far asPhilippis concerned, even 1984 author George Orwell “couldn’t have imagined this. There are scanners and sensors all over the place. The social credit system monitors your every action and every purchase. It grades you by your friends and your every choice in life; it is high-tech tyranny… used to punish you in different ways. If you believe in religion, you can be labeled ‘superstitious’ or an ‘extremist.’ This is the type of mass-controlled state system they are implementing as they build infrastructure across projects in Africa, Latin America, and different parts of Asia.”
While there are “mixed reports” on why Meng Wanzou – the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei – was recently arrested in Canada, Philipp divulges, “The Chinese Communist Party is pressuring Canadian authorities to let her off.” The world’s second-largest Smartphone-producer, Huawei “produces quite a bit of next-generation technology like 5G. You’ll find many people in Europe who have Huawei phones. They are dominating the markets because they are able to pretty much copy US technology and sell it [considerably] cheaper.”
During the Clinton administration (fall 1999), the United States signed an agreement to bring China into the Switzerland-headquartered World Trade Organization (WTO) on terms that (then-President) Bill Clinton detailed would “open its market” to American products and investments. “The idea was that, if you engage them economically, you can work with them if they ever become more democratic,” Philipp puts forth in the Harrison podcast. “The opposite happened: The Chinese Communist Party immediately started to violate WTO rules, manipulating technicalities on how international law works. Pretty much every time we have worked with China in the past, [they’ll agree on paper, but then] immediately violate [the agreement]. This has been the pattern over and over again.”
Countries such as Iran and North Korea partner with China because, as Philipp suggests, “The CCP is trying to spread the ‘China Model,” a system of international diplomacy and governance that doesn’t care about human rights abuse. It goes in the opposite direction of the US-led system, which – for all of its flaws – still maintains some degree of respecting the idea that people are endowed with some degree of natural rights.”
People in the “real China,” as Philipp terms it, are “tired of living in absolute tyranny. You have mass protests every day in various parts of China; mass unemployment; mass pollution; and ghost cities. There are ‘zombie factories,’ which are companies that just have the lights on and produce nothing. It is [even] worse than it sounds.”
An interesting and highly-noteworthy development in the last eight years or so, however, is that, per Philipp, “Chinese people no longer fear the Chinese Communist Party. Chinese grandmothers [can be seen walking] the streets, smashing police car windows.”
Reporting without dictating thought
Particularly given that some early staffers – including Philipp- practice Falun Gong, there is a perception that The Epoch Times is a religious newspaper, but he deflates that notion. “We have plenty of Christians and [people of other] religions working for us,” Philipppoints out. “[Founder John Tang] is a theoretical physicist and one of the witnesses of the  Tiananmen Square massacres [in Beijing]. He came to the United States and wanted to move on with his life.”
Actual stimulus for debuting The Epoch Times was when the Chinese Communist Party began “persecuting 70 million to 100 million people.” This was broadcast nonstop in China, and as Philipp, who joined The Epoch Times as part of a 2008 summer internship, emphasizes, “You couldn’t get away from it. They tried proving that Falun Gong was a cult but couldn’t find anything harmful about it to society and that it was actually beneficial [by being] honest, kind, and tolerant. More people practiced it than there were CCP members.”
Western media’s only sources for its reporting were Chinese outlets. “Chinese people in the United States who watched this were horrified by it,” Philipp recounts to Harrison. “They said they needed to create [a source to report] what was actually happening. There was a huge demand for independent media. That media was The Epoch Times, [where] to the best of our ability, we try to get the story right. We are nonpartisan; draw our own conclusions; and we don’t follow the pack. One of the most common comments we get is that we don’t try to tell people what to think – that’s a pretty accurate way to explain our content.”
To listen to the entire 51-minute Harrison-Philipp podcast, please click here and scroll down to the specific installment.
Talk show hosts and producers interested in availing themselves of resources and guests from The Epoch Times are invited to contact Lisa W. by phone at 917-521-6028 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The publication’s website is www.theEpochTimes.com.
Managing editor Mike Kinosian can be reached at Kinosian@TALKERS.com