Tuesday, March 30, 2021

'The EPOCH TIMES' - A REICH Rag By Any Other Name

 'The Epoch Times'  is a sometime free (sample) right wing rag that has ended up in my mailbox three times now.  (Ordindarily, if you're dumb and gullible enough you pay $139 a year - for 12 issues.)  The fact this rag - compliments of renegade Reich editor Jasper Fakkert-  could even be offered and distributed free as samples - shows there's a huge appetite for fake news, propaganda and disinformation in this country.  

Going through this sample issue one finds the usual right wing buzzwords like 'freedom', e.g. atop the banner headline, 'A Long Awaited Gift to Americans Who Cherish Freedom'.   Hardly.  More in the way of a long awaited sop to morons who love bullshit, fake news, propaganda and distortions.   And it starts with the first sentence on the first page, i.e. "They aren't telling you the truth of what's happening   They paint a picture of the world they want you to see."

Who is 'they'? Well, the usual Trump targets: the 'liberal' media and academic "elites"!   Basically, the same  culprits often targeted by OAN, FOX News and the WSJ op-ed pages.  Are people really dumb enough to believe this twaddle?  Well, sad to say it's possible. A recent letter writer in The Mensa Bulletin noted the depressing statistic that in the U.S. now 16 percent of the population has an IQ of 85 or below.  Think about that!   That translates into roughly 55 million Americans within 2 standard deviations of moron level (51-70) and many more below.  That is more than ample to cover all the QAnon bunch, plus a lot of the insurrectionists and even "lawmakers" like Bimbo Lauren Boebert.  (The  last sending out tweets that "They're gonna take our guns away!" within hours of ten people slaughtered at a supermarket in Boulder. )

 According to a recent piece in The Atlantic about this rag:

The Epoch Times is unreservedly pro–Donald Trump, and coverage of the newspaper tends to portray it as either a recent entrant into the Trumpist media stable or a case study of Facebook-enabled misinformation. To an extent, it is both. Following Joe Biden’s election as president, the newspaper reconstituted itself into a vehicle for esoteric voter-fraud allegations. In Georgia, heading into the two January special elections  for the U.S. Senate, people affiliated with the newspaper materialized to stick copies under car windshields. Balmakov himself now has his own YouTube channel, Facts Matter, devoted to the notion that the election is not over; in less than two months, the channel has amassed more than 400,000 subscribers


The newspaper, whose revenues have quadrupled in the Trump years, has used every opportunity to call Biden’s victory into doubt. It has interviewed promoters of election-related falsehoods ad nauseam and eagerly publicized the January 6 Trump rally that turned into an insurrection at the Capitol. Even after the violence of January 6, The Epoch Times has continued to publicize doubts about the outcome of the presidential election. One of its columnists postulated that the riot was a “false flag” operation.

This is basically all the astute reader needs to know, apart from the fact that:  

"conventional descriptions of The Epoch Times don’t adequately capture the singular mix of straight news, religious belief, conspiracy-peddling, Sinophobia, science denialism, legitimate grievance, and political expediency at the heart of the institution—a mix that, despite the paper’s mysteries, makes it a strangely fitting poster child for this unsettled moment.."

All of which was amply on display in the sample rag dropped into my mailbox Saturday.   For example:  

Study: CDC Overstated Covid 19 Deaths

Which balderdash has been a mainstay topic of the Right media for the past year.  The reason? To diminish the import of the disease and encourage more minions to flout mask mandates, social distancing and lockdowns.   Trump actually originally tweeted this crap and as you might expect with the conspiracy nonsense  repeated and widely shared across social media, with users claiming the statistics were evidence the coronavirus pandemic was not as severe as public health officials have warned or that the deaths were not the result of the virus.

The report in “Science, Public Health Policy, and The Law,” led by an imp who has spread misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, relies on a debunked claim that the way the CDC requires comorbidity to be reported on death certificates-  which means that many deaths are incorrectly attributed to the virus.   According to the illustrious Epoch Times, by August last year when the CDC had tallied 162, 392 deaths, there were really only 9, 684.  The character was also quoted in the rag as asking: "Did the CDC knowingly alter rules for reporting cause of death in the presence of comorbidiy?"   

Well, uh, NO!  As usual in this Trumpian fake news environment boneheads entered the frame and mucked things up.  In fact, the CDC data on comorbidity at the time was incorrectly interpreted. While comorbidities - like the prostate cancer I have - can be chronic conditions a person can live with and may even contribute to a person's death - that doesn't mean Covid  19 wasn't the immediate cause of death.  And in nearly all those cases the classic Covid signs were already clearly in evidence, such as the "silent" oxygen level depletion.  It is also well to bear in mind 6 in 10 U.S. adults live with a chronic disease and 4 in 10 have more than one. This means that technically going by the suspect study virtually no one would ever be declared dead of Covid 19!

In another piece in this sorry excuse for a newspaper we encounter this headline (on page A6):

A Closer Look Behind The Rise In Anti-Asian Hate

And what might we be missing?  Well, while "some of the incidents might be due to racial bias the others aren't so clear."   This according to Charles Fain Lehman of the Manhattan Institute.  He cited the case of some poor homeless bloke who just got carried away when he shoved three Asians in Oakland's Chinatown.  He also cited the guy's defense council who insisted it was clearly  a case of "mental illness" and any other narratives or claims were "false, misleading and divisive."

 A criminologist named Jeff Asher is then introduced who refers to crime rates - including murder- soaring in 40 cities and concludes most of the Asian attacks were "a product of free roaming criminals" given that "the pattern of crime appears in cities where Asians are being attacked."    So by this spiel the two recent attacks in NYC - with a large black man pummeling a Chinese lady outside an apartment building, then stomping her on a sidewalk-  and another where a young black thug is choking a Chinese man on a subway,  are just plain lawless acts. 

In other words, the so-called "hate crimes" are really just general crimes committed by lawless refuse with zero undertones of racial hate bias.  This is given the cities they occurred in (like NYC)  were all in the midst of a general 2020 crime wave.  Again, note the effort to diminish these attacks, which of course gets the Epoch Times' golden boy Trump off the hook.  But recall all the times he yapped about "Kung flu" and the "China virus".  Which the piece defended given "Most viruses are named after their places of origin".    

Yeah, but it's not rubbed into our faces day after day by a bigot president!   Suffice it to say my sample copy of The Epoch Times has now found its rightful place once again: in the dumpster.

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by Jill Richardson | March 27, 2021 - 5:09am | permalink

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