On the same gritty Garment District block where a spelling-challenged fortune teller advertises a “$5 speical” and promises to “put your mine at ease”…in the same rundown office building where The New York Crank plies his trade… you’ll find the New York office of The Epoch Times.
The Epoch whut?
It’s a giveaway newspaper that seems dedicated to headlining anything bad they can find about China (not a difficult task) and criticizing immigration laws that would limit the flow of Chinese immigrants – legal or otherwise – into the United States.
I suspect the paper is the propaganda arm of Falun Gong, an outfit that would easily qualify as a creepy religious cult if only Peking’s political bosses would stop arresting and brutalizing them, thus turning them from a nutcake movement into martyrs.
The Epoch Times is also the worst-written paper on the planet. It reads like a high school newspaper edited by B-minus students. It has the news and language sense of a stale piece of tofu.
They can barely give the paper away. It sits in hundreds of freebie newspaper boxes that litter the streets of New York – side by side with real estate magazine giveaways, neighborhood newsrags financed by classified sex ads, and offerings of one-night courses during which Donald Trump will explain to you the simple ABCs of making a billion dollars in real estate. (I wonder if he tells his audiences, “Start with a multi-million dollar real estate fortune you inherited from your father.”)
Usually, The Epoch Times’ headlines about scandalous happenings in China are written in such a perversely bland tone that they’re almost as funny as headlines in The Onion, a spoof newspaper that often goes like hotcakes in adjacent pieces of street furniture while The Epoch Times just sits there.
But the other day, I simply had to pick up an Epochal copy. The lead headline, top right, front page, read: “Man Caught Stealing Epoch Times.”
Hey dudes, it’s a FREE newspaper. How can you steal something the owners are begging you to take?
Well, if you read far enough into the story – seven paragraphs into it to be exact – you’ll discover that the unnamed man was taking these papers that The Epoch Times is trying to give away and then destroying them – same as what The Epoch Times people undoubtedly do themselves with all their uncirculated issues.
If you keep forcing yourself to read the article, there’s a not-so-subtle implication that "stealing" free newspapers is one of the highest priority missions of China's secret intelligence operations here in the United States.
Look, I don’t much like China. I think the people running and regulating the country are a bunch of mean bastards who’d poison your dog with tainted wheat gluten and your kid with lead-painted toys and then shrug it off as business-as-usual.
But with enemies like The Epoch Times, they really don’t have much to fear.