Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

There aren't too many people out there defending New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo or the decision by a grand jury not to indict him in the death of Eric Garner.

The dearth of defenders likely stems from the disturbing footage of Pantaleo placing Garner, who had been suspected of selling individual cigarettes outside of a Staten Island store, in a fatal chokehold.

"I will say, that upon seeing the video that you just saw, and hearing Mr. Garner say he could not breathe, I was extremely troubled," Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said on Wednesday night. "I would have loosened my grip. I desperately wish the officer would have done that."

Garner should not have resisted arrest, O'Reilly said, but the 43-year-old unarmed black man "did not deserve what happened to him."

"And I think Officer Pantaleo and every other American police officer — every one — would agree with me," O'Reilly said. "He didn't deserve that."

He might be surprised. While most share O'Reilly's grief about Garner's fate, certain politicians, commentators and law enforcement personnel have turned the death into a lesson about the dangers of resisting arrest.

That's in contrast with the recent case of Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson, who had a broader array of defenders in the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, and who was also cleared by a grand jury.

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Two top editors have stepped down from their posts at The New Republic as the century-old magazine makes way for new blood.

Franklin Foer has resigned as editor-in-chief at TNR while Leon Wieseltier is out as the magazine's literary editor, according to Politico.

Multiple outlets reported on Thursday that TNR will replace Foer with Gabriel Snyder, a former editor at Gawker and the now-defunct Atlantic Wire. Most recently, Snyder worked on digital products at Bloomberg Media.

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If reaction to the situation in Ferguson, Mo. has been bitterly divided along partisan lines, the immediate response to the grand jury's decision in a police chokehold case in New York City has been anything but.

Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man, was suspected of selling individual cigarettes (or "loosies") outside of a Staten Island store in July when he was confronted by several New York City police officers. One of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo, put Garner in a fatal chokehold. The confrontation was captured on video, but a grand jury decided on Wednesday to not indict Pantaleo.

But unlike the decision last week to clear white Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown, few conservatives were applauding the grand jury this time around.

Whereas many conservatives said Wilson was simply doing his job, some on Wednesday said Pantaleo was enforcing a punitive big government policy. And while Brown was nothing more than a "thug," Garner was the victim of the dreaded nanny state.

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You probably could have predicted some gloating from Bill Simmons after an arbitrator overruled the NFL's indefinite suspension of Ray Rice last week.

After all, the former federal judge who handed down that decision concluded that Rice didn't lie to the league about assaulting his wife inside an Atlantic City hotel elevator — contradicting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's claim that the former Baltimore Ravens running back was "ambiguous" about what exactly transpired.

Simmons, the multimedia sports commentator and editor-in-chief of the ESPN-owned Grantland.com, famously earned a suspension in September after he called bull on Goodell's claim and dared his bosses to punish him for repeatedly calling the commissioner a "liar."

On his podcast Monday, Simmons found a way to address Rice's overturned suspension by making light of his own.

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