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 fact-checks the Sunday Aug. 31 shows


    President Barack Obama's lack of a clear strategy to confront the Islamic State set off resounding frustration among Republicans Sunday.

    U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., lamented Obama's reluctance compared to tough talk from British Prime Minister David Cameron, who raised his country's terrorism threat level to "severe" and announced new plans to seize jihadists' passports.

    "What is President Obama waiting for?" King said on CBS' Face the Nation. "It was a year ago this all started. I remember being in the White House with (White House Chief of Staff) Denis McDonough talking about the importance of air attacks in Syria, and we had allies lined up and then the president pulled the rug out. And those allies are going to be very hard now to get back into a coalition."...

  2. Labor Day sales in Tampa Bay this weekend


    If you have money to burn -- in which case, hi, have we met? I would like to show you the styles that work for me. -- then it's a good weekend to hit the mall.

    Get on these Labor Day sales! 

    Gap is offering 40 percent off of everything. No exceptions! 

    Loft has 50 percent off of new fall and summer sale merchandise. ...

  3. My Outfit Monday: Want Mindy Kaling's style? Shop your closet.


    Mindy Kaling is not nominated for an Emmy tonight for her work as Dr. Mindy Lahiri, the love-hungry gynecologist of The Mindy Project. And that makes us sad.

    She deserves a nod for her killer lead actress wardrobe at least. On her show, a dress isn't just a dress -- it's a multi-dimensional royal blue number over a star-specked button-down that lives on the border of ridiculously confident librarian and fashion magazine czar (pictured in slideshow)....

    Stephanie brought in a bold necklace and a shirt full of hearts to punch up a black and purple dress from Ann Taylor.
  4. PunditFact: Fact-checking the Aug. 24 news shows


    Republicans say President Barack Obama's decision to pull U.S. armed forces out of Iraq created an incubator that allowed the Islamic State to thrive.

    But according to ABC's Martha Raddatz, Obama himself wanted to keep troops stationed in the Middle Eastern powder keg.

    The Obama administration originally "wanted 10,000 troops to remain in Iraq," Raddatz said Sunday on ABC's This Week. "Not combat troops, but military advisers (and) special operations forces, to watch the counterterrorism effort."...

    News analyst Juan Williams said on Fox News Sunday that the "No. 1 cause of death, (among) young black men 15 to 34 — murder. Who's committing the murder? Not police. Other black men."
  5. 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."...

  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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?"...

    Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates speaks during the opening session of  the Abu Dhabi Media Summit in United Arab Emirates, Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) XKJ102
  9. 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....

  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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 My Best Friend's Wedding when everything worked out for the best.
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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