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

After a grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown sparked protests overnight in Ferguson, Mo. and throughout the country, the nation's newspapers on Tuesday morning told the story.

Below, a compilation of front pages from 20 newspapers in Missouri and elsewhere that captured the stunning scenes out of suburban St. Louis.

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"Washington Journal," C-SPAN's morning call-in program that features a rotating cast of placid anchors interviewing various lawmakers and journalists, is mostly for the true political obsessives.

But the show's callers, emboldened by anonymity, often steer the program well beyond typical Beltway chatter. The format not only surfaces viewpoints well outside the mainstream. It also generates many, many prank calls and moments like the one earlier this month, when "Anthony," a self-identified Republican from California, phoned in to diagnose his party's problem with President Obama.

"This is about race," he told host Steve Scully. "The Republicans hate that nigger Obama."

It certainly wasn't the first time the usually tranquil program veered into racist territory - an event always cut short as rapidly as possible by the mild-mannered host. And it won't be the last. Herewith is our catalog of these iconic moments of awfulness when the civic-minded environs of Washington Journal collide with the raw underbelly of American politics.

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When Chris Christie was mired in political turmoil, he had a friend in "Morning Joe."

While everyone else on MSNBC gave critical, nearly round-the-clock coverage of the George Washington Bridge scandal, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and the rest of channel's sunrise crew readily provided cover to New Jersey's embattled Republican governor.

As Christie lost much of the goodwill he gained after Superstorm Sandy, "Morning Joe" remained his cable news sanctuary.

Scarborough and Brzezinski have taken thinly veiled shots at their MSNBC colleagues for giving so much attention to the story. They've repeatedly splashed cold water on reporting by the New York Times about "Bridgegate." Christie was their guy, and no traffic jam was going to change that.

But the alliance, like a forbidden romance between members of rival families, was always liable to get rocky.

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When Keith Olbermann returned to ESPN last year, he pledged that his days as a liberal firebrand were behind him. His new show would only touch on politics, he said, if the story also intersected with sports.

"If the House is considering a bill to make (performance-enhancing drug) use a capital offense, we'll cover it," he told USA Today.

Under that rubric, a famous political pundit storming off a sports talk radio show would probably qualify. And if that pundit also happens to be the former MSNBC host's erstwhile nemesis, then it's probably a safe bet that it will make it to air.

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