After Pak-Lee Report, Epoch Times Papers Vanish from San Francisco Boxes

After Pak-Lee Report, Epoch Times Papers Vanish from San
Francisco Boxes

By Matthew Robertson
Epoch Times StaffCreated: Aug 23, 2011Last
Updated:
Aug 24, 2011

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articles: United States > West

 

A montage of photos of four empty Epoch Times newspaper
boxes in the Financial District in San Francisco, taken on Aug. 22. (Jan
Jekielek/The Epoch Times)

 

In an odd coincidence of events, after The Epoch Times published an article
about alleged collusion and corruption between Rose Pak and Ed Lee, hundreds of
newspapers carrying the report vanished from
boxes around the city.

The report, titled San Francisco Mayor’s Race Deeply Corrupted,
Says Former Legislator
, appeared above the fold on the front page in
the local edition of the paper, on Thursday, Aug. 18.

Based primarily on
an interview with former president of the
Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin, the article claimed that Pak, said to be
Chinatown’s political boss, is attempting to keep Ed Lee in office in order to
maintain her influence over city politics.

Quoting Peskin, the report
also alleged that Pak has ties to the Chinese regime, and is promoting the
interests of that foreign government in San Francisco.

The Epoch Times
prints weekly in San Francisco, and the
papers were placed in the boxes on Thursday morning before 7 a.m.

But
mysteriously, between 9:15 p.m. on Friday evening and 6:40 a.m. on Saturday
morning, hundreds of newspapers from over a dozen Epoch Times boxes simply
disappeared.

Cornelia Ritter, The Epoch Times circulation manager in San
Francisco, was checking 34 boxes in the
Financial District morning and evening to monitor pick-up
rates.

On Friday night when she finished checking the boxes at 9:15 p.m.,
every box had papers in it, many with more than 25, and some with more than 50.

Based
on past surveys, it is highly unlikely that there was a sudden rush on the
papers between 9:15 p.m. Friday and 6:40 a.m. Saturday.

— Cornelia Ritter, The Epoch Times circulation manager in San
Francisco

But by Saturday morning, when she
next checked, 19 of those 34 boxes were completely emptied, some with only the
display copy remaining.

“Based on past surveys, it is highly unlikely that there was a sudden rush
on the papers between 9:15 p.m. Friday and 6:40 a.m. Saturday,” Ritter said in a
telephone interview.

According to California Penal Code section 490.7, it
is illegal to take more than 25 copies of a free newspaper in order to “deprive
others of the opportunity to read or enjoy the newspaper.” See: http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/490.7.html

Papers
belonging to The Epoch Times, and especially its Chinese edition, have been
targeted by thieves before. But not since 2007 have papers belonging to the English edition been confirmed stolen.

Steve
Ispas, local publisher of The Epoch Times, acknowledged that there is a
high-demand for the newspaper’s journalism in San Francisco. “The Epoch Times is
very well received by the public,” he said in an interview. “Peskin’s testimony
is a bombshell, alleging Pak’s influence over Ed Lee, and her connections to the
communist regime in China. Naturally people are going to want to read
that.”

But really—is the demand that high?

“It’s mysterious, isn’t
it?” he mused. “Could hundreds of people all have taken a paper between late
Friday evening and early Saturday morning? That would be a first."

“And
it happened right after the Pak coverage,” Ispas continued.

He wouldn’t speculate as to
whether the papers disappeared as part of a politically-motivated theft, and to
stop the story about Rose Pak’s influence over San Francisco politics and her
connections to the communist regime in China from getting out.

He did
have a police report filed though, just in case. “Either way,” Ispas said, “our
reporting must have been rather
effective.”

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