Facebook enlists ‘diverse’ anchors from major networks to do news shows. One guess who they named from Fox News.

[sharenow]

Facebook wants to decide what is authentic journalism for you and is now enlisting anchors from CNN, Fox News and Univision for a new video service.

The social-media giant announced Wednesday that it is fully funding original news content for its video service, known as Watch, by producing shows from seven partners and hosted by Anderson Cooper of CNN, Shepard Smith of Fox News and Jorge Ramos of Univision among others.

(Image: screengrab)

The shows will feature live breaking news, daily news briefings, and some weekly series, according to Variety.

“We tried to assemble a diverse set of partners who are already doing quality news who are also really adept at engaging the audience,” Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, said. Brown happens to be a former CNN host and NBC News reporter.

With the recent controversies around Facebook’s changes to its newsfeed, which boosted certain “trusted” news outlets and suppressed other – usually conservative – voices, the move to produce its own brand of “trustworthy” news does more than raise eyebrows.

“We’ve talked a lot over the last six months over the quality of news on Facebook,” Brown said. “This is another investment in quality journalism on Facebook.”

“Anderson Cooper Full Circle” will be airing daily on Facebook Watch, and will include interactions with Facebook users directly through live polls and conversations. A twice-daily news report from Fox News, “Fox News Update,” will also be launching featuring 3-5 minute segments and with FNC chief news anchor Shepard Smith hosting each weekday afternoon.

Though Brown touted the initial shows as “diverse,” it seems the diversity is only left of the aisle. Certainly planting Smith as the face of the Fox News component will not win over many who consistently bash the liberal host on Fox News Channel.

In fact, viewers repeatedly beg Fox News to remove the anti-Trump, left-leaning Smith even though the network announced a multi-year deal in March to keep him in place. Smith’s over-the-top hatred of Trump has raised the ire of conservatives while simultaneously crowning him a liberal media darling. His on-air shouting rant about a “lying” Trump last year earned Smith plenty of backlash.

Sean Hannity blasted his “clueless” colleague earlier this year after Smith dismissed what he characterized as opinion shows on Fox News Channel – like “Hannity” – as existing “strictly to be entertaining.”

Despite Smith’s obvious bias and frequent overly-dramatic, on-air meltdowns, the new Facebook news service deemed the Fox News anchor a good example of its “diverse” commitment to “quality journalism.”

Smith’s enthusiasm for the new platform was obviously not shared by Twitter users.

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Frieda Powers

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