The Epoch Times | JASPER FAKKERT
August 22-28, 2019 | USA Edition
Dear readers, As you know, The Epoch Times is a proudly independent news organization dedicated to truthful reporting.
Thanks to your support, we are now America’s fastest-growing newspaper.
It appears, however, that not everyone is thrilled with our growth and our dedication to restoring honest journalism.
On Aug. 20, NBC News and MSNBC dedicated a good amount of their time to The Epoch Times in an attempt to discredit us.
We at The Epoch Times were surprised ourselves at witnessing what appears to be a new low that media are willing to drop to in an effort to quash voices they don’t agree with.
False Accusations of ‘Conspiracy Theories’
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, known for her biased coverage of the Trump administration and for getting the Trump– Russia collusion story wrong, dedicated a whole 30 minutes of prime-time television to us on Aug. 20.
In her segment, Maddow presents a carefully crafted picture based on false claims that The Epoch Times is a purveyor of “conspiracy theories.”
As Maddow and the staff at NBC News know themselves, nothing could be further from the truth.
Maddow and the NBC reporters dismiss but do not provide a single point of factual rebuttal to our extensive coverage on the actions by Obama-era officials targeting the Trump campaign in 2016, which have become known as “Spygate.”
Instead, Maddow engages in a description of Spygate that borders on lunacy, saying the scandal is “something about Donald Trump saving America from ‘satanic Democratic pedophiles.’” The reality is that The Epoch Times has become a recognized leader in its coverage of the Spygate scandal. The tireless reporting by our team of reporters based on actual evidence— including court documents, congressional testimony, and interviews—has received wide acclaim from readers across the country and validation from other media outlets, including The New York Times, which has cited our coverage.
In a further attempt to discredit The Epoch Times, Maddow tried to mix The Epoch Times’ reporting with content from an entertainment show called “Edge of Wonder,” which is produced by NTD Television.
Maddow and the NBC reporters intentionally chose to ignore The Epoch Times’ written statement, published on June 20, which clarified that “The Epoch Times and NTD Television, while they are sister media, are entirely separate entities. While we are aware of the entertainment show ‘Edge of Wonder,’ which was founded by former Epoch Times staff, The Epoch Times is in no way connected with it, as the show’s website makes clear.”
Maddow’s intent to discredit The Epoch Times and its reporting was revealed through her bizarre depiction of the Spygate scandal, alongside her repeated attempts to conflate our journalism with content from an unrelated entertainment show that explicitly focuses on the most audacious conspiracy theories out there.
Misrepresenting Subscription Ads
NBC News also sought to intentionally misrepresent a popular digital marketing campaign The Epoch Times is running to sell print subscriptions. In the video advertisements, we discuss The Epoch Times’ editorial and feature content and encourage people to subscribe to our print newspaper.
Facebook has specific rules for advertising that require everyone—including publishers like The Epoch Times—to label content as political advertising if it touches on social issues or politics, something some news content naturally does.
Many other media run advertising campaigns for their content and products in the same category on Facebook.
For example, The New York Times and CNN have run many advertisements in that category.
NBC and MSNBC misrepresented our print-subscription advertisements despite our clarifying this in our June 20 statement, which they again chose to ignore. The statement read: “We take advantage of different marketing platforms to grow our subscriber base, including Facebook. On Facebook, we use video ads to drive subscriptions. The Epoch Times’ subscription advertisements have no political agenda. The only reason some of them are run as ‘political advertising’ is that online platforms require them to be categorized as such.”
It appears that because NBC News and MSNBC disagree with our independent and fact-based journalism, they have resorted to these unwarranted attacks.
Attacks on Religious Belief
But the most disturbing part of the coverage by Maddow’s show and NBC News is their deliberate effort to attack a group of religious believers currently persecuted in China.
This comes at a time when tens of millions in China still don’t have religious freedom and face arrest, illegal incarceration in labor camps, torture, and even forced organ harvesting, for practicing their beliefs.
The Epoch Times was originally founded by Chinese Americans who had fled communism. In America, they saw the opportunity to create an independent media that would benefit people around the world.
The founders of The Epoch Times believed in truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, the principles of Falun Gong. This is a fact that we have never shied away from. And it is exactly this commitment to truth that can be seen in our reporting. That said, The Epoch Times is an independently owned media and not owned or operated by Falun Gong, as we clarified in our statement to NBC News.
Unable to attack The Epoch Times’ reporting based on factual inaccuracies, NBC News and MSNBC opted to dip into the well of 20 years of Chinese Communist Party hate propaganda aimed at demonizing Falun Gong.
In such low attacks, and in the brazen misrepresentation of our subscription ads and our Spygate reporting, one sees the very image of what has come to be called “fake news.” I believe that this and similar betrayals of journalism are why so many people are turning to The Epoch Times for our independent and factual reporting.
Immigrants have played an enormous role in building this great nation. It is a country built on the principle of religious freedom. As such, we see The Epoch Times’ story as a quintessential American story.
Our pledge to you, our readers, is that we will not waver from our commitment to truth, and will continue to bring you the highest quality of journalism.
Jasper Fakkert Editor-in-chief, U.S. editions