The Epoch Times, Falun Gong, Edge of Wonder and the Sloppy Smear Campaign Against Them

Ryan DeLarme
September 4th, 2019

There are roughly six or seven umbrella corporations (soon to be less with the merger of Viacom and CBS) that own just about every news-source you can think of that is not purely independent. Consider the implications of that for a moment.

MSNBC appears to be running a smear campaign against The Epoch Times, one of their fastest growing competitors. On August 20th the network devoted a large chunk of air-time to a “carefully crafted picture based on false claims”. These claims include that The Epoch Times was created as an outlet to promote the controversial and highly oppressed Chinese spiritual movement “Falun Gong” or “Falun Dafa”.

It does appear to be true that a couple of the founders of The Epoch Times practiced Falun Gong (which is their inherent right as sovereign individuals), it is also true that the persecution and negative propaganda directed at the movement was a motivating factor in creating a truly free press for the Chinese people. The Chinese Communist Party has gone to great lengths to stamp out The Epoch Times. To many, the event of a publication being so targeted is indicative of being close to the mark with their reporting when it comes to political corruption.

Rachel Maddow led the charge with a few familiar strategies, things like biased character assassination, discrediting a target with a cheap, “guilty by association” smear, and painting a cruel and inaccurate picture of Falun Gong practitioners as wacky members of some bizarre cult. The truth is that Falun Gong has helped an incredible amount of people to improve their physical and mental health through Budhist Qigong practices that draw from Taoist traditions. The practice actually seems to encourage love, discipline, and mindfulness. In spite of this, it’s practitioners have endured some of the most harsh and dehumanizing treatment imaginable by the Chinese Government.

NBC, MSNBC, and Rachel Maddow are also equating The Epoch Times’ coverage of “Spygate” in an honest, nonpartisan way to being “Pro-Trump”. An interesting side-note is that MSNBC and Maddow’s coverage of the botched “Russian Collusion” narrative actually caused them to lose viewership to publications like The Epoch Times and other nonpartisan news outlets.

Editor-in-chief for U.S. editions of The Epoch Times Jasper Fakkert recently gave his perspective on the attacks:

Maddow and the NBC reporters dismiss but do not provide a single point of factual rebuttal to our extensive coverage of the actions by Obama-era officials to target 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…

-Jasper Fakkert, Editor-in-Chief U.S. editions.

Another sloppy (perhaps intentional) slip up was linking the popular Youtube Channel “Edge of Wonder” to The Epoch Times. The hosts Ben Chasteen and Robert Counts are former employee’s at The Epoch Times who have left the publication to create their own show where they could talk about pretty much any taboo subject you can imagine. The hit piece did a sort of slight-of-reporting to make it seem like the Edge of Wonder videos were instead Epoch Times videos, citing some of the more easily condemn-able video titles that Edge of Wonder have put out in an attempt to further discredit the Epoch Times. You’d think that a journalist with the slightest bit of integrity would have taken the small amount of effort required to confirm the accuracy of their reporting, but that does not seem to be the case here.

Before the dust had even settled, The Edge of Wonder YouTube Channel was being dumped on by everyone’s favorite “conspiracy debunker” Mike Rothschild over at the daily dot. The blatant disregard of accuracy and the venomous slander about the channels hosts and the community that supports them being “dark and violent” eclipses even Maddow’s belittling. 

The Edge of Wonder folks have made a statement about the rumors

We have heard baseless accusations that Edge of Wonder is mysteriously affiliated with or funded by external entities and production companies such as Universal Communications Network, Inc., The Epoch Times, Falun Gong, and Universal Studios. To be clear, we, Rob and Ben, have not been employed by The Epoch Times since we began Edge of Wonder, and if you actually watch our show, you will hear us mention our previous employment there; the meditation practice being persecuted in China called Falun Gong accepts no money from their followers and therefore does not monetize us; the Universal Communications Network, Inc. only serves as our production company; and neither the Universal Communications Network, Inc. nor Edge of Wonder are affiliated with the company Universal Studios. We are financially and completely independent from all other entities and companies at this time.

-Ben and Rob, EOW

The takeaway here should be that entities like NBC, MSNBC, and the Daily Dot are not necessarily interested in promoting objective truth or fair reporting, they are only interested in the propaganda that serves their board members political and financial agendas. This is discernment 101, deducing what the core motives are behind why and how certain narratives are circulated.


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