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FROM THIS EPISODE

We start with a discussion of President Obama’s end-of-year news conference this morning, plus a look back at the biggest news stories of the year. Then, writer and performer Mike Schlitt fills us in on some of the most bizarre Christmas traditions from around the world. And finally, a two-parter in our weekly film segment, in which we look at new releases and the controversy over the Sony film The Interview.

Banner Image: U.S. President Barack Obama responds to a question at his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington December 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

The Year in News 18 MIN, 28 SEC

There have been a lot of big news stories this year: The massive Sony hack by North Korea, the restoration of diplomacy with Cuba, the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the rise of ISIS, Ebola, the Republican takeover of Congress, a new immigration policy… the list goes on. President Obama reflected on some of these developments at his annual year-end news conference this morning. We discuss what he said, and what these events have meant for us.

Guests:
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist (@MZHemingway)
David Corn, Mother Jones magazine (@DavidCornDC)

Christmas With Schlitt 8 MIN, 26 SEC

From “Elf on a Shelf” to the fact that holiday music now seems to start before Easter, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas is getting weirder and weirder. But lest you think it’s just Americans who’ve strayed from the original meaning of the holiday, writer/performer Mike Schlitt joins Madeleine to discuss some of the stranger Christmas traditions the world over.

Guests:
Mike Schlitt, contributor, 'Press Play' (@schlitthappenz)

Holidays at the Movies Part I 10 MIN, 59 SEC

The buzziest film of the year is one that just about nobody has seen -- and maybe never will. The Interview has been shelved by Sony after the studio’s hacking disaster and threats from North Korean operatives. We discuss that and other new releases in our weekly film roundup.

Guests:
Dave White, Film Critic (@dlelandwhite)
Alonso Duralde, Film Critic (@ADuralde)

Holidays at the Movies Part II 10 MIN, 45 SEC

In part two of this week’s film roundup, a look ahead at more upcoming releases including the acclaimed Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma, plus a look back at the best films of 2014.

Guests:
Dave White, Film Critic (@dlelandwhite)
Alonso Duralde, Film Critic (@ADuralde)

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