Catalanello

Rebecca Catalanello

Rebecca Catalanello is a contributing editor to PolitiFact. She spent 18 years as a staff writer and reporter at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, the Tampa Bay Times, the Press-Register and the Charleston (W.V.) Daily Mail. She has covered education, crime, health care, hurricanes, courts and issues related to sexual trauma. She also briefly oversaw and edited freelance charter school reporting for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans. In addition, she spent three years at the University of New Orleans, where she was the publications and communications manager. Her journalistic work has been honored with three regional EMMYs as well as awards from the Education Writers Association and several state and local journalism organizations. Rebecca is spending 2018-19 in Cambridge, Mass., but calls New Orleans her permanent home.

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Recent stories from Rebecca Catalanello

PolitiFact’s Mueller Report Book Club, Volume 1

PolitiFact has been hosting the Muller Report book club via PolitiFact’s weekly email newsletter; read the book club’s first four weeks of material.

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate

Under her campaign’s "Brave Wins" mantra, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York pitches herself as a candidate willing to "stand up for what’s right and repair what’s been broken." Gillibrand says that health care should be a right and not a privilege, that Americans should have better public schools, and anyone who wants to work hard enough should have the ability to transition into the middle class.

Who is Seth Moulton? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate

Seth Moulton served four tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine, then won election three times to a U.S. House seat in Massachusetts, representing the district where he grew up.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the U.S. is running concentration camps. Many historians are skeptical

Recent assertions by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., that U.S.-run detention centers for migrants are "concentration camps" drew immediate rebukes from some Republican politicians, Jewish groups, and social media users.

Who is Bill de Blasio? A bio of the Democratic presidential candidate

Bill de Blasio, the incumbent two-term mayor of New York City, is running for president, hoping to become the first New York mayor to be elected to any higher office since 1869.

What Mexico has done to curb illegal immigration to United States, a look beyond Trump’s tweets

Given all the discussion and dispute about a U.S.-Mexico immigration deal, we wanted to take a step back and revisit what we know about Mexico’s recent history regarding migrants seeking new homes in the United States.      

“Muslims laughing” at Notre Dame and fact-checking photos in the era of false news

Within hours of the first spark of a fire that damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, people on social media started sharing an image of two men ducking under what looks like police tape as the cathedral burned behind them. One Facebook post, which was shared more than 2,000 times, had this caption: "Muslims laughing while Notre Dame is burning." Commenters piled on. "Islam sucks," one person wrote. "Burn their A** out," someone else said. That post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation its News Feed. Editors at PolitiFact, which has a partnership with the social media company, decided we should fact-check the claim that Muslims were laughing in front of the fiery cathedral. I started to look into the claim the same way I check other questionable Facebook photo posts.  

No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez probably didn't say that

There are fake photos, like a doctored image of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez holding her legs open or the picture of a woman in a Facebook post that claims Ocasio-Cortez was fired from Hot Dog on a Stick for incompetence. Other posts falsely claim Ocasio-Cortez disparaged socialism or celebrated the American woman who joined ISIS. One post spread a fake rumor that she had a credit score of 430 and was evicted twice. They’re all false. And they all seem designed to discredit the youngest U.S. House representative, or to make her look stupid.

Did Donald Trump pay hundreds of workers to help in search-and-rescue efforts days after 9/11?

Since Sept. 11, 2001, President Donald Trump has faced criticism and backlash for things he has done and said involving that tragic day, but one meme making the rounds on social media paints him as a hero in the days immediately following the attacks.  

Could Donald Trump declare a national emergency for a border wall? Here's what we know

Here are the answers to questions you may have about President Donald Trump’s ability to declare a national emergency over the border wall, what it means for the shutdown, border wall construction, and what precedent it sets for future presidents.