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Katie Sanders, PunditFact Staff Writer

Katie Sanders

Katie Sanders is a staff writer for PunditFact , a website founded by the Tampa Bay Times and Poynter Institute to fact-check talking heads. She previously reported on state politics and government for PolitiFact Florida from the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee bureau and on breaking news for the Times in St. Petersburg. She earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and English from the University of Florida.

Phone: (727) 893-8037; cell: (850) 673-1511

Email: ksanders@tampabay.com

Twitter: @KatieLSanders

Blog: Deal Divas

Website: PunditFact

  1. A Chevy in Japan is indeed a rare sight. But why?



    Billionaire businessman Donald Trump's presidential campaign hinges on Americans who share Trump's assessment that the United States is losing all over the world.

    In Mexico, we're outsmarted on the border. In China, it's trade and currency manipulation. In the Middle East, it's the terrorist masterminds of ISIS.

    In Japan, we're losing at selling cars.

    "When did we beat Japan at anything?" Trump said in his campaign announcement speech back in June. "They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn't exist, folks. They beat us all the time."...

    A 2004 Suburban is the lone Chevy for sale at BUBU West, a Japanese car dealership selling U.S. and European imports. 
  2. What it's like to sit through a fish pedicure


    I had the pleasure — no really, the pleasure — of trying out a fish pedicure during my recent reporting trip around Japan (dispatch No. 1 here, with reported stories to follow).

    I figured the price tag of 500 yen, or about $4, for five minutes would lend itself to a good story even if the experience of tiny fish swarming my feet and peeling dead skin left me hollow and shaken....

  3. Happy Halloween from Asia's fashion capital


    Quick bit of context: I'm in my first of three weeks in Japan today as part of a generous reporting opportunity from the International Center for Journalists. After conducting interviews this morning and afternoon, Times photographer Eve Edelheit and I set out to find Halloween in Tokyo. 

    When I told Junko, my Japanese translator, that I planned to check out whatever was happening in Tokyo for Halloween, she told me not to get too excited. Halloween "is not big here in Japan," she wrote by email a few weeks ago. The costume-loving country didn't embrace festive outfits and jack-o-lanterns like we do in America. ...

    Stores in the famous Ginza shopping district of Tokyo celebrate Halloween on Oct. 29, 2015. |
  4. PunditFact: Does Donald Trump's 'SNL' appearance trigger equal time for the Republican field?


    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will return to reality television, in a way, when he hosts Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7.

    You might be wondering, like we did, if the government's "equal time" rule means Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republican presidential field will each get a shot at hosting the show.

    The answer, PunditFact found, is no. But candidates could score some free airtime in certain markets if they ask for it....

    Hillary Clinton, right, portrays Val the bartender serving herself, played by Kate McKinnon. NBC said Clinton appeared on SNL for three minutes and 12 seconds.
  5. Balmain X H&M hitting stores in November


    Just in time for your holiday party realness comes the fabulous collaboration between French fashion house Balmain and a favorite cheap house of Deal Divas, H&M.

    I couldn't picture what the clothes would look like when I read that Balmain's esthetic is "couture spirit and rooted in the moment, with a showbiz flair" in the press release. But in perusing the lookbook (h/t Elle), you start to get it. ...

    H&M's collaboration with Balmain is a sight for bored eyes. But will we ever afford it?
  6. PunditFact: Donald Trump's campaign hats are made in USA, not China


    The statement

    Says Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" hats were made in China.

    Tweets, on Sunday, Oct. 4

    The ruling

    Donald Trump's presidential campaign was forced to address a widespread allegation of hypocrisy recently, and it had nothing to do with his former liberal ways or his company's overseas investments.

    Much worse. Social media posts claimed his unmistakable "Make America Great Again" hats are not made in the USA....

    Presidential candidate Donald Trump wears one of his official campaign caps, which are made by Cali Fame of Los Angeles.
  7. PolitiFact: Fact-checking the first Democratic debate


    The first Democratic presidential debate featured a surprising display of political harmony when Bernie Sanders agreed with Hillary Clinton that Americans are "sick and tired" of her email issues.

    As Clinton grinned and the Democratic crowd hollered, you almost forgot that Clinton had attacked Sanders moments earlier for his votes against the landmark Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which mandated a five-day waiting period for background checks for gun purchases....

    Left to right, Democratic presidential candidates Jim Webb, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee take part in presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at the Wynn Las Vegas on Tuesday in Las Vegas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
  8. Worried about an unethical manicure? Consult this guide


    If you read the New York Times' damning May investigation of NYC nail salons — where many workers are paid below minimum wage or nothing at all, among other health problems and humiliating circumstances — you may find yourself worrying, like me last week, whether your favorite nail salon treats its employees fairly....

    AP file photo of NYC nail salon.
  9. My Outfit Monday: Moody weather, uplifting prints


    Welcome to October. It's been waiting for us!

    Yes, I have a birthday-month bias, and yes, it's rainy today, but you have to admit that it feels plain awesome.

    With the weather turning crisp, I'm turning down summer's bright hues (yellow Target purse excepted) in favor of toned-down, moodier wardrobe choices that match my midnight pedicure.

    That doesn't mean the fun's over. With mixed patterns, the fun never stops. ...

    Stephanie captured a bunch of candids outside of Times HQ instead of one glamour shot, like this...
  10. Here's where to get your free coffee in Tampa Bay today


    Don't be like me, coffee fiends. I made the awful, unforgivable mistake this morning of bringing my own coffee into work from home.



    Never again.

    I should have consulted the Times' helpful guide on where to get free coffee today. Check it out. There are deals at Kahwa, Wawa, Whole Foods, Dunkin' Donuts, Nature's Food Patch and Krispy Kreme (+ a free donut, whaaaaaaat)....

    Tuesday is National Coffee Day, and lots of retailers are offering free (or very cheap) coffee in honor of the holiday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  11. The so very real issue facing Americans in 2016


    As Deal Diva Lisa pointed out, we write for Deal Divas on the side of our usual beats at the Times. I work for PunditFact, which fact-checks pundits like PolitiFact does politicians, and today I'm reporting about Ronald Reagan's record of tax increases and cuts in the '80s.

    Today I'm also taking a moment to point out something not so serious, because what's life, and politics, without some whimsy?...

    "Cruzin into 2016," for Sen. Ted Cruz, get it?
  12. Anna Kendrick's latest video for Kate Spade? Everything.


    Kudos to Kate Spade New York for making it so easy to stomach a three-minute video campaign for clothes I cannot afford.

    All it took was hiring one of my favorite women in Hollywood as a brand ambassador, Anna Kendrick, and giving her an all-too relatable script with gems like:

    - "Hashtag DatingMyPurse ... is that funny, or kind of worrying?"

    - "What was that business venture I told you about? And I told you to remind me to write it down? Oh, you weren't listening, that's fine." (To her dog in a bag.)...

    Big fan of the #missadventure campaign for Kate Spade.
  13. When wedges become flats, a fun weekend game


    Let's kick off the weekend with a super fun game: Ratchet or Resourceful?

    All you have to do is tell me if I pulled off a real thing that happened a couple weeks ago. 

    I was traipsing to happy hour, see, at the end of a Thursday that promised to be rainier than it delivered. I was traipsing in my Walmart rain boots and a red rain jacket when a "friend" who "blogs" here named "Stephanie" pointed out that I looked like a desperate TV reporter covering a hurricane....

    A humiliating breakdown or a smooth recovery? You decide.
  14. How and why you should apply face primer before foundation


    I tend to use samples with the most obvious purpose and payoff from my Ipsy beauty bags first — the bold lipsticks, fun eye shadows and liners, etc. Their use is straightforward and don't make me feel a million years behind my most glamorous friends.

    The remnant Ipsy and Birchbox samples fall into an "IDK/W/E" catch-all pile of neglect, irritation and plain misunderstanding — packets of masks, exfoliants, foot creams, "HD powder" (no really, what is that), as well as samples of primer for every part of the face, including lips and eyes....

    I received a Smashbox sample as part of my Ipsy bag delivery recently, and a good friend is telling me why I should keep it up as part of my beauty routine.
  15. PunditFact: Why we fact-check political cartoons


    As fact-checkers of pundits and media, we try to stay on top of where people are getting their information, constantly mining the usual places — TV and radio shows, columns, and Sunday shows, Facebook and Twitter — for ideas. Every so often, we scope out a source that isn't as intuitive but is just as valid: an editorial cartoon.

    Take this fact-check of a cartoon by Matt Wuerker, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for Politico. Wuerker's cartoon shows a confused Uncle Sam standing on top of a pipeline of aid to Afghanistan riven with cracks that spell the word "corruption" and spew resources to drunken contractors and military officials....

    The Doonesbury claim is accurate but needs some additional information.