The Breakroom panel (l to r): host Celeste Headlee, Kathy Lohr, Hector Fernandez, Soumaya Khalifa, and Natalie Pawelski.

The Breakroom panel (l to r): host Celeste Headlee, Kathy Lohr, Hector Fernandez, Soumaya Khalifa, and Natalie Pawelski. / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, Soumaya Khalifa ​of the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, and Natalie Pawelski of of Cater Communications.


1. There’s a national debate over lying right now about how to cover politicians who lie. The Washington Post has now created a fact checker app for President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets. Over the weekend on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Wall Street Journal editor in chief Gerard Baker said he’s careful about using the word “lie."

Those comments have sparked a lot of debate about the role of news outlets in holding politicians accountable. Does it matter if news organizations decide not to use the word “lie?”

2. There’s also a debate over when a joke is inappropriate. Actress and author Carrie Fisher died just after Christmas.  She’s best known for starring as Princess -- and General -- Leia in the Star Wars film series. After Fisher’s death last month, the company Cinnabon tweeted this photo and message:

The company apologized for the Tweet and deleted it after coming under heavy criticism from those who claimed the post offensive. Do you think it was offensive?

3. We've heard about men-only social clubs. Now, there’s demand for women-only clubs. One called The Wing recently opened in New York City. It features amenities like a lactation room and makeup on demand. Do you think this seems like a step back in time when clubs and office spaces were segregated?

4. Food is serious business in the South. So here’s some important news. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken has been dubbed “Best Fried Chicken in Atlanta.” It’s being cooked and consumed at Gus’s, in the Mall on Peachtree. Agree it’s world’s best?

5. It’s the New Year. Some people have to make a decision. Where to retire? Turns out a growing number of Americans are doing just that. According to the Social Security Administration, nearly 400,000 retirees are living outside the United States. Would you want to retire in another country?

6. We're only about a week into the New Year. Did you make any resolutions, and if so, did you keep them?

7. There are, in terms of percentages, more Christians in Congress than in the population who elected them. According to the Pew Research Center, about 91 percent of Congress persons are professing Christians. That’s about where it was 50 years ago, but the U.S. citizenry has changed. About 70 percent of the adults say they are Christian. Why do you think Congress doesn’t more closely track with the religious beliefs of the people it represents?

8. During this week’s Sugar Bowl game between Oklahoma and Auburn, people in the stands chanted, “He hits women!” They were referring to Sooners running back Joe Mixon, who hit a female student in 2014. That left the student with several broken bones

During Monday’s game, players also motioned the crowd to get louder. Do you think this type of protest is effective against the prevalence of domestic violence among athletes?

9. We may see between two to four inches of snow in parts of north Georgia and metro Atlanta. The state is advising people to stay home during the weekend. Will you stay home, or do you trust that things will go better than what happened during the storm in 2014?