Now and then, people or organizations can express their beliefs and feelings without meaning to show support for someone or something. The Epoch Times is one of those examples. They are a nonprofit New York-based news outlet which ended up being one of the biggest advocates for President Donald Trump.
Spending over $1.5 million on around 11,000 advertisements for Trump supporters, The Epoch Times has become the largest spender for the Trump campaign.
The funny thing is their advertisements were never meant to support a campaign, but rather, it was meant to show the world the conspiracy theories concerning the “fake news,” and the “Deep State.” It just so happens to fall right into place with the same thing President Trump has been working so diligently to put an end to.
The president has taken notice as he always does when it comes to those with the same beliefs and love for America as he has within him.
The ownership and operation of the media outlet are tied behind the scenes to Falun Gong. This is a Chinese spiritual community which has the goal in mind to take down the government of China, which is Communist. The Epoch Times has been geared toward the end of Communism and stopping America from becoming a Socialist third world nation. They feel President Trump is a key factor in their beliefs as they believe he is the leader sent by Heaven to put an end to Communism.
Former Falun Gong practitioners and former Epoch Times employees explained to NBC News, “Believers think the world is headed toward a judgment day, where those labeled ‘communists’ will be sent to a kind of hell, and those sympathetic to the spiritual community will be spared. Trump is viewed as a key ally in the anti-communist fight.”
In the beginning, The Epoch Times had a hard time getting in with the conservatives, and there was not much talk about the nonprofit group due to the unusual background and their beliefs. A.J. Bauer, a visiting professor of media, culture, and communication at New York University stated, “It seems like an interloper, not well integrated socially within the movement network, and not terribly well-circulating among right-wingers. Even when discussing more fringe-y sites, conservative journalists tend to reference Gateway Pundit or Infowars, The Epoch Times doesn’t tend to come up.”
Now that their agenda aligns with everything Trump is doing, things are changing for the media outlet.
One former worker, Steve Klett of The Epoch Times, described what it was like to work for the media outlet. Each worker was paid $35,000 a year on a monthly salary, and every writer had to come up with no less than five articles a day. He stated, “Their content was to be critical of communist China, clear-eyed about the threat of Islamic terrorism, focused on illegal immigration, and at all times rooted in ‘traditional’ values. This meant no content about drugs, gay people or popular music. Slave labor may not be the right word, but that’s a lot of articles to write in one day.”
Klett covered the Trump campaign as his first assignment for The Epoch Times. He explained the style of writing they look for in the content, “It’s like we were supposed to be fighting so-called liberal propaganda by making our own.” In 2016, he covered a mass shooting, which killed 50. He stated, “The worst was the Pulse shooting. 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.”
President Trump took notice of the articles and began following the publications. However due to the content, eight days before the election, the team was terminated as a group for not following policy. Klett never had the joy of covering the Trump administration. Another worker who was terminated within the group stated, “I guess the experiment was over.”
In 2017, the media outlet brought in $8.1 million in revenue due to the stories it covered involving the president and the alignment of their agendas to the Trump administration. The subscriptions and donations covered only ten percent of the $8.1 million. The remaining balance of the revenue comes from “web and media income” along with advertising. $7.2 million was spent on “printing newspaper and creating web and media programs.” There are many different segments within The Epoch Times. Some have become controversial, but when the truth matters, nothing else does.