Facebook's Top News Exec Has Her Own Media Outlet Funded by Betsy DeVos That's Slamming Elizabeth Warren

Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Scott Olson/Getty Images

In January 2017, Facebook hired a former NBC news anchor, Campbell Brown. The goal was to create Facebook News, the social media company's "news partnerships team."

In addition to her duties establishing Facebook's "quality news" feature in a dedicated tab, Brown runs her own news outlet: The 74.


The 74 is not owned by nor officially affiliated with Facebook. It is unclear if it will earn a trusted news source designation like Facebook News under Brown's direction gave Breitbart News.

However, like Breitbart, The 74 is affiliated with a member of the Trump administration. The news outlet was created with a grant from Betsy DeVos' family foundation.

Brown also serves on the board of DeVos' The American Federation for Children (AFC). The nonprofit supports and funds Republican candidates.

In addition to connections with the Trump administration, Brown made The Daily Caller—a conservative publication known for its White nationalism, homophobia, transphobia and racism an "official Facebook fact-checking partner." Brown was also the one to defend naming Breitbart a "quality news source."

When writer Judd Legum discovered the Brown/DeVos connection, he also discovered The 74's recent favorite target is Massachusetts Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. DeVos—who personally profits from student debt, charter schools and promotes parochial education and the elimination of public schools—is no fan of Warren's platform of increased taxes for billionaires and reduction or elimination of student loan debt.

In The 74, Warren is described as:

  • a millionaire who raves about socialism
  • Republican before she was a Democrat
  • for school choice before she was against it
  • for charter schools before she was against them
  • for standardized testing before she was against it
  • Native American before she wasn't
  • the 2nd coming of Karl Marx
  • cut-and-paste genuflect to the public relations departments of America's national teachers unions

Brown is forthcoming about her connection to Facebook and The 74. But when Legum sent Facebook a list of questions about Brown, DeVos, Warren and a potential conflict of interest, he received a simple statement:

"The 74 is not part of Facebook News. Campbell's work with The 74 is well-known and she's been transparent about her role with the nonprofit for many years. Any suggestion otherwise is baseless."

When Legum published the statement, he eliminated the last sentence.

For this, Facebook Newsroom's Twitter account went on the offensive with a retweet of a post from the editor-in-chief of The 74—despite there being no connection between the two according to Facebook.

The Facebook attack against Legum did not go over well on Twitter.

In addition to backlash for their ill advised tweet, Legum also provided a response to the attack.

By Monday afternoon, Brown also decided to respond. However several claims she made were quickly fact checked and came up lacking.

As with Facebook Newsroom's response, it probably would have been better to not respond instead of responding with easily disproven lies.

What actions Facebook will take, if any, to eliminate conflicts of interest in their news division remains to be seen. But for now, Campbell Brown's presence appears to be more detrimental than helpful in bolstering public confidence.

The book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google is available here.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The health crisis in the United States continues to worsen in the face of the global pandemic, passing the 100,000 mark of confirmed virus cases—just days after earning the grim distinction of having more cases than any other country in the world.

Due to a dire shortage of lifesaving medical equipment, governors across the country are imploring the federal government to invoke its powers to compel private companies to manufacture more equipment and oversee distribution of what's already available.

Keep reading... Show less
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The saying "While the cat's away the mice will play" refers to people taking advantage of the absence of oversight to do as they like. While that is an apt description for what is happening now with the Trump administration using the public's focus on the global pandemic to roll back environmental protections, perhaps a better saying is "The inmates are running the asylum."

In other words, those least capable of running a group or organization are now in charge.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images // Senate Television via Getty Images

In the face of the public health crisis that's upended daily life in the United States, the historical impeachment trial of President Donald Trump—which ended on February 5—feels like a lifetime ago, despite captivating. a nation as late as last month.

One of the chief criticisms of the Republican party during the proceedings was the claim that Democrats were trying to undo an election that was only months away, out of fear that Trump would be reelected.

Keep reading... Show less

Rocco DeLauri Sr./YouTube

President Donald Trump, his administration, and his allies continue to accuse the media of promoting hysteria even as the pandemic that has taken over the United States claims over 93,000 cases and 1,400 deaths.

Keep reading... Show less
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

At a recent press briefing on the current health crisis facing the United States, President Donald Trump's pandemic response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, made a highly misleading claim.

Birx said that "almost 40 percent" of the country had experienced a low level of spread of the virus despite having early casesk.

Keep reading... Show less
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

As the national health crisis in the United States continues to worsen, New York has quickly become the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

New York City alone has over 20,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and the state's death toll skyrocketed by 110% in just 36 hours this week. The urgency is only exacerbated by a shortage of crucial ventilators to combat the respiratory virus.

Keep reading... Show less