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United Facts of America to feature top-flight voices on elections, AI, vaccines

United Facts of America will stream Nov. 6-8. (PolitiFact) United Facts of America will stream Nov. 6-8. (PolitiFact)

United Facts of America will stream Nov. 6-8. (PolitiFact)

Matthew Crowley
By Matthew Crowley November 1, 2023

The stumping and stomping of the 2024 presidential election are here. Amid the rallies, debates and rhetoric, voters are trying to discern truth. 

The Poynter Institute and PolitiFact, its Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism arm, will help people separate fact from fiction at this year’s United Facts of America. Register for the free event here.

The three-day virtual festival of fact-checking, running Nov. 6 to Nov. 8, will cover the Republican presidential field, GOP front-runner and former President Donald Trump’s trials, Israel-Hamas war misinformation and Spanish fact-checking. The event coincides with big political events, including the Nov. 7 general election in Kentucky and the Nov. 8 Republican presidential primary debate in Miami, which NBC and Rumble will broadcast and PolitiFact will cover.

ABC News Political Director Rick Klein; PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor and journalist Hari Sreenivasan; The Bulwark publisher and "Focus Group" podcast host Sarah Longwell; Alliance for Securing Democracy Research Analyst Peter Benzoni; and Dr. Céline Gounder will deliver expert insights.

PolitiFact team members, including Managing Editor Katie Sanders, Executive Director Aaron Sharockman and Deputy Editors Rebecca Catalanello and Miriam Valverde, will lead interviews and join United Facts of America panels. 

This festival is for everyone interested in fact-based expression, civic engagement and facts’ function in a free society. Come celebrate facts with us.

Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the schedule:

Monday, Nov. 6
  • 10 a.m., The 2024 race. PolitiFact Senior Correspondent Louis Jacobson will interview ABC News Political Director Rick Klein about the 2024 presidential race and its candidates and issues. Discussion will cover Trump’s legal cases, President Joe Biden’s classified documents investigation and Republican accusations over Biden’s family business dealings. It will also touch on Trump’s rivals for their party’s nomination. Klein and Jacobson will analyze the candidates’ successes and stumbles and will forecast discussion topics for the Nov. 8 debate, including abortion and  immigration.
  • 11 a.m., Vaxxes and facts. Catalanello will interview Dr. Céline Grounder, an internist, infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist who is also a KFF senior fellow and host of the "Epidemic" podcast. Discussion will cover vaccine research, the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and whether anyone, especially children, is getting the new boosters. Catalanello and Grounder will also discuss vaccine misinformation following the deaths of celebrities, most recently "Friends" star Matthew Perry, and why it persists.
  • 1 p.m., The Russia threat. Sharockman will interview Peter Benzoni of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan advocacy group countering Russian efforts to undermine democratic institutions in the United States and Europe. Discussion will explore how Russian propaganda is bypassing U.S. content bans and posing as local news.
Tuesday, Nov. 7
  • 11 a.m., What do voters really want? Sanders will interview Sarah Longwell, who publishes The Bulwark, a conservative news and opinion website, and hosts "The Focus Group," a podcast. Discussion will cover how focus groups are chosen, how their members consume news and whether their political inclinations change given new information, particularly over the 2020 presidential election, which Trump falsely said was "rigged."
  • Noon, Fact-checking en español. Join Valverde and Staff Writers Maria Briceño and Marta Campabadal Graus about what motivated PolitiFact to start fact-checking in Spanish.
  • 1 p.m., The legal campaign overhang. If 2020 was the Zoom Year Election amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 2024 is emerging as the Courtroom Trial Election — Trump could be spending many weeks at the defendant’s table in Washington, D.C., Florida and Georgia as voters cast primary ballots. PolitiFact Staff Writer Amy Sherman will discuss the cases and their facts with Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg and Jon Sale, a white-collar criminal defense attorney in Miami. He's a former Watergate special prosecutor and a former lawyer for Rudy Giuliani, who declined a request to represent Donald Trump..
Wednesday, Nov. 8
  • 11 a.m., The artificial-intelligence threat. MediaWise Director Alex Mahadevan will interview PBS NewsHour Weekend anchor and journalist Hari Sreenivasan and Oxford Internet Observatory doctoral researcher Felix Simon about artificial intelligence’s misinformation threat amid the Israel-Hamas war. 
  • 7 p.m., Debate warm-up. PolitiFact staff and special guests at the Miami site of the third Republican presidential primary debate will discuss the candidates, campaigns and issues.
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United Facts of America to feature top-flight voices on elections, AI, vaccines