When did “alternative facts” become the new normal for American journalism? It began in 1985, when Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch infected the U.S. market with his British tabloid brand of pseudo-journalism. He started with the New York Post, bought 20th Century Fox, started Fox News, and the age of weaponized propaganda began. George Orwell said it would happen in 1984 … he was off by a year.

Since then, Murdoch has bought The Wall Street Journal, DirecTV and Dow Jones. He tried to buy Time Warner, in order to eliminate CNN, but his $60 billion offer was turned down.

Is there a nefarious foreign influence in the U.S. elections? Yes, and his name is Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Fox News. He has taken a profession that was once one of the most respected in America (remember Walter Cronkite?) and gutted it. And why? For greed.

Shock and awe journalism has always been profitable. How did Jerry Springer and Howard Stern became stars? By appealing to emotion rather than reason. Car crashes are impossible not to look at, but they are not the American dream.

Now, in the interest of being “fair and balanced,” Murdoch did become a U.S. citizen in 1985. Federal Communications Commission regulations barred noncitizens from owning TV stations. So, to expand his media empire into the United States, he had to renounce his Australian citizenship. But what of the requirement that applicants for U.S. citizenship live in the U.S. half of the previous five years? Murdoch’s lawyer, McCarthyite Roy Cohn, simply funneled $400,000 to Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra campaign and a waiver was granted.

So it turns out that Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. citizenship is as “fake” as his Fox News. Want to stop foreign influence in U.S. elections? It’s simple: Boycott Rupert Murdoch’s F(au)x News!

Erwin Rupert

Scarborough