Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

As the streets of Baltimore quieted down Tuesday after a night of widespread looting and violence, the conservative blogosphere heated up with chatter that Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died after sustaining a severe spinal injury in police custody, may have actually injured himself before his arrest.

A rumor that Gray had a pre-existing spinal injury from a car accident appears to have originated Tuesday with a blog post on the conservative website and then spread to other conservative sites like the Free Republic.

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Conservative pundits and bloggers searched frantically on Tuesday for any one person (or problem) on which to pin the blame for the chaos and violence this week in Baltimore.

As Fox News host Shepard Smith chided his colleagues Monday afternoon, it's useless to point fingers while the situation on the ground is still unfolding. That didn't stop some from trying to find fault with Baltimore's mayor, President Obama, or the parents of the city's disadvantaged youth.

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Baltimore residents' anger at the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a mysterious spinal injury while in police custody, bubbled over Monday night into widespread looting and violence.

The turmoil in Baltimore was among the most prominent displays of anti-police sentiment since demonstrators marched through the streets of Ferguson, Missouri last fall after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Police said at least 15 officers were injured and nearly 200 people were arrested.

While the city's residents demanded answers, much of what happened to Gray remained a mystery. Police have given a timeline of the Gray's April 12 arrest while acknowledging that the timeline contains significant gaps.

An internal investigation into the arrest, which left Gray with a severe spinal injury that he succumbed to a week later, is expected to wrap up later this week. Here's everything we know to date.

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The white freakout over college students grappling with "the problem of whiteness” has just found a new target.

TPM previously reported on an Arizona State University course about "the problem of whiteness" that rose to national attention in January, prompting neo-Nazi types and white supremacists to threaten the professor teaching it.

The course also angered a white nationalist group, which put up flyers in the professor’s neighborhood labeling him as “Anti-White" and protested on campus to demand that the university administration fire him. Now that group, the National Youth Front, has turned its attention to a bulletin board campaign mentioning "white privilege" at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

The bulletin board aimed to get passing students to reflect on whether they benefit from white, male, class, Christian, cisgender, heterosexual or able-bodied privilege. Strikingly, news of the bulletin board bubbled up through the conservative blogosphere and made its way to Fox News before it came across the National Youth Front's radar. The group set its sights on the "problem of whiteness" class after conservative media shined a spotlight on it, too.

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