Is fake news free speech? Is it okay to have a racial preference in dating?

These are some of the edgy questions the new primetime PBS debate show “Third Rail with OZY” plans to tackle with a mix of expert and celebrity guests.

Hosted by Carlos Watson – the Emmy-winning journalist behind and New York’s interactive outdoor OZY Fest – the multi-platform show debuts Friday at 8:30 p.m. on New York’s channel 13.

The first episode features noted authors Malcolm Gladwell and Roxane Gay discussing the question, “Is truth overrated?”

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Co-produced by WGBH Boston’s Studio Six and OZY Media, “Third Rail” will commission advance national surveys on each of its questions from The Maris Institute for Public Opinion.

The show will also track the week-long social media conversation leading up to its in-studio debates and draw from academic research.

“‘Third Rail with OZY’ will be an arena for open and honest conversations about provocative topics, offering a variety of viewpoints and spirited debate on some of the most critical issues facing our society today,” Watson said in a statement.

“Now more than ever it is important we bring these conversations out of the shadows and into the light, offering people perspective and an opportunity to make their voices heard.”

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