Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

The longtime New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) turned himself into the FBI Thursday morning in Lower Manhattan on federal corruption charges. A five-count criminal complaint alleged Silver, who has held the speakership for two decades, used the power of that office to obtain $4 million in kickbacks and bribes disguised as income.

The complaint against Silver grew out of the ashes of the Moreland Commission, a panel New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) set up in summer 2013 that was tasked with investigating public corruption. When Cuomo suddenly disbanded the commission in March 2014, eight months before it was to wrap up its work, federal investigators picked up the pieces. The investigators also reportedly began looking into Cuomo's shutting down of the commission.

The complaint against Silver noted Cuomo announced that he had agreed to end the Moreland Commission as part of budget negotiations, in which Silver and his staff played a key role. A three-month-long New York Times investigation last year found that the governor's office had repeatedly hamstrung the commission's investigations into his political allies and associates.

So does Silver’s arrest signal turbulence ahead for Cuomo?

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Much hay has been made this week over Fox News' disavowal of the term "no-go zones," which alleges that some neighborhoods of European cities are ruled by Sharia law and off-limits to local police. CNN's resident media critic Brian Stelter noted that Fox apologized last weekend for four separate errors involving Muslims and "no-go zones."

But as the Washington Post's Erik Wemple detailed on Tuesday, CNN aired some chatter about "no-go zones" earlier this month in the immediate aftermath of the Paris terror attacks. TPM also found other examples.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) was widely ridiculed Monday when he slammed so-called Muslim “no-go zones” during a speech to a conservative London think tank. He made the statement even after the term had forced Fox News to disavow it no less than four times.

A terrorism expert for the network, Steven Emerson, had injected the term into the national and international conversation earlier this month when he said "there are actual cities like Birmingham [England] that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go in." The backlash was swift and Emerson issued an apology.

It would take Fox News a week to issue four separate corrections for its coverage of so-called Muslim "no-go zones" and admit there was “no credible information” to support the notion that there were areas in Europe that excluded anyone based solely on their religion.

So where did Jindal's debunked, anti-Islam talking point come from? Here's a brief history of the myth.

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