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. PunditFact: When the U.S. goes to war, TV networks call the warheads


    When President Barack Obama decided to drop bombs in Iraq this month, television news turned to a group of familiar faces to decipher the plan for viewers.

    CNN told its audience that retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona's experience advising Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during the Persian Gulf War shows "he knows what he's talking about." Fox News turned to retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane. "Very well versed on all of these challenges."...

  2. PunditFact: Checking Ferguson shooting comments from the Sunday news shows


    The killing of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer in a St. Louis suburb is raising questions about the makeup of the police department and its response to the Aug. 9 shooting.

    In some cases, answers are hard to come by.

    On Sunday, actor and civil rights activist Jesse Williams appeared on CNN's State of the Union to discuss the shooting. Williams, right, best known for his role as a doctor on Grey's Anatomy, emphasized that journalists should not sensationalize findings that don't answer questions about why 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by police — like a security video Ferguson authorities released of Brown allegedly robbing a convenience store minutes before he was killed....

    Ferguson, Mo., police Chief Thomas Jackson is shown Saturday leaving the parking lot of a gas station, which was burned during protests, after he announced the name of the police officer responsible for the Aug. 9 shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. The officer was identified as Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the police force. Brown’s killing sparked several days of violent protests in the city.
  3. Your friendly Friday afternoon link party


    Yes, it's raining tons, and that's a downer. But we know you still can't wait to bust out of the workplace and jumpstart this whole weekend thing.

    Kick off whatever you have planned with our occasional, high-brow blog post series we have professionally deemed LINK PARTY!!!

    * Victoria Beckham, more relevantly known to us as Posh Spice, is selling her clothes from her years as a Spice Girl. And guess what? A portion of the proceeds will go to mothers2mothers, a group that helps mothers infected with HIV get jobs. The private sale is from Aug. 20-25. More details about how you can register for that authentic Halloween ensemble from mtv.com here. (h/t @craigtimes)...

    Posh Spice is selling her Spice Girls wardrobe. Expect even more fivesomes dressed up as our favorite all-girl British group come Halloween (with one who looks really, really authentic).
  4. PunditFact: Two claims that are definitely not true about Ebola outbreak


    As the Ebola outbreak grows in Africa, misinformation about the epidemic is spreading about the crisis here in America.

    The culprit: the Internet.

    Several conspiracy websites have raised questions lately about a "bioweapons lab" in Sierra Leone being the source of the virus. Questions like, "What's behind the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone? Could it possibly be a U.S. bioweapons project gone amuck?"...

    The body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus is sprayed with disinfectant in Monrovia, Liberia, on Tuesday.
  5. PunditFact: Townhall editor wrongly claims U.S. agency can shut down a business for any reason


    The statement

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau "passed a rule giving the agency unprecedented power to shut down businesses, no matter what the reason, at any time it wishes."

    Conservative journalist Katie Pavlich Weinstein, on Townhall.com

    The ruling

    Don't feel too bad if you've never heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It's the new kid in Washington, as far as government agencies go, created by the passage of the 2010 massive financial regulation overhaul known as Dodd-Frank....

  6. Snip, snip! Look, a new outfit


    I admire people who take scissors to their clothes and turn them into something more fabulous. Brave, creative people like Kameel.

    (Look, there's no rule that says your outfit cannot be featured twice in one week.)

    Like my fear of drastic hairstyles, I worry about cutting into fabric of, say, an old bridesmaid's dress or a pair of jeans with ragged hems even though something better could emerge. Yes, even though whatever happens will not be the worst thing in the world....

    This shirt was a dress before Kameel showed it the way it needed to be all along.
  7. Most favors are forgettable, and other real talk from a frequent wedding guest


    We've heard from the four-time bridesmaid. We took notes from wise brides. Now let's hear from the other important member of the wedding day experience: the constant guest!...

    Still from Sony Pictures' "Jumping the Broom" (2011).
  8. Wedding advice from Times writers who have been there


    Your Deal Divas have made no secret about our lack of wedding bands in spite of the advice and thoughts we've dished for #WeddingWeek. So, to fill the void of first-person wedding advice, we asked several Times writers and editors about their experiences.

    Answering our questions about what they loved about their special day, as well as what they would change, are book editor Colette Bancroft, Pasco bureau editor Molly Moorhead, deputy editor of editorials Joni James, St. Pete business writer Katherine Snow Smith and food critic Laura Reiley....

    The scene in Bride Wars when everything worked out for the best.
  9. Awkward questions about Bridesmaid World answered by a four-time bridesmaid


    My friend Hilary is a wise person whose opinion I ask about most things. She has particularly strong credentials in Bridesmaid World: An August wedding will mark her third occasion as a bridesmaid this year, and fourth overall.

    So, yeah, she has real talk for the alleged recycling qualities of bridesmaid dresses and spontaneous, lavish bridal party expenses. 

    Here's to hoping her advice helps you as much as it helped me....

    As bad as it gets for a bridesmaid?
  10. Questions to ask a wedding caterer -- and yourself


    I always heard weddings were expensive, but it didn't really hit me until I started researching services for my own.

    Food and drink costs are cray, basically. I want my guests to eat, drink and be merry, of course, BUT AT WHAT COST? 

    Times food critic Laura Reiley has our backs. Last year, she wrote a story detailing what questions to ask potential wedding caterers, as well as some basic questions to ask yourself before letting costs go out of control for reasons you do not understand....

    Well, here's one catering option for a wedding reception. In this 2012 Times file photo, Chef John Sellers of Chef Images checks the roasted pig at Christopher and Megan Inthiraj's Lord of the Rings themed wedding reception at the Hernando Beach Yacht Club.
  11. PunditFact: Whoopi Goldberg flubs fact about female Thor


    This fact-check has it all: A deep dive into comic lore, epic superhero battles in alternate universes, female empowerment and a bombastic but mistaken celebrity.

    We couldn't refuse a reader's plea to fact-check Whoopi Goldberg of ABC's The View about big news last week in the comics world.

    "Thor, the God of Thunder, he messed up," she said July 15. "He is no longer worthy to hold that damn hammer of his. And for the first time in history that hammer is being held by a woman."...

    This image released by Marvel Comics shows a female superhero who will appear in upcoming Thor comic book issues. The new Thor was debuted on “The View” where artwork was revealed showcasing a buxom blonde clad in a caped costume and brandishing the trademark hammer.  Series writer Jason Aaron said in a statement that “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. ... This is THE Thor.” (AP Photo/Marvel Comics) NYET207
  12. PunditFact: Whoopi Goldberg flubs fact about female Thor


    This fact-check has it all: A deep dive into comic lore, epic superhero battles in alternate universes, female empowerment and a bombastic but mistaken celebrity.

    We couldn't refuse a reader's plea to fact-check Whoopi Goldberg of ABC's The View about big news last week in the comics world.

    "Thor, the God of Thunder, he messed up," she said July 15. "He is no longer worthy to hold that damn hammer of his. And for the first time in history that hammer is being held by a woman."...

    Whoopi Goldberg
  13. Is the DIY gel mani more than an illusion?


    I've probably had more manicures in the past month than in my whole life.

    Like Deal Diva Keeley, I normally don't enjoy the pricetag for something I can do pretty adequately on my own. Plus, I always said, it's not really worth the cost when my nail-chipping obsession reliably kicks in and ruins the day (a post for another time, hopefully once I figure out how to stop doing it)....

    Portrait of an Unsustainable Lifestyle.
  14. My Outfit Monday: Teal for a steal


    You really can't go wrong with basics punched up by color and fun accessories. Groundbreaking information, I know. Hear me out.

    I have a known obsession with Express Portofino button-downs. With good reason! They're light, professional and vibrant. Reliable, too. But they're also expensive at $50 or so, so I did what any of us would do: I waited for a sale and bought two at once. (20 more styles to go!) ...

    I loved how hot pink and teal worked for Mindy here and tried to replicate it a little bit for work. Summer days!
  15. When will we take our own rainy day advice?


    This is for every person who cannot even deal with the rain this week -- for our cold toes trapped in soggy flats, for soaked hems of office pants, for the sweater we need but do not have now that we're cold from running through the summer rain.  

    Think your Deal Divas have it all figured out? (Ha ha, why would you do that?) Reconsider. We're eager to dish out advice for weathering stormy days, but we rarely take it ourselves....

    When it rains, we're just like SPLASHHHH.