Friday headline news

"Is this still America?" wonders Omar Gallaga with the Austin American-Statesman, after learning that even Paramount has refused to allow theatres to show older film "Team America" (which skewers former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il with puppetry rather than bullets) in place of canceled flick "The Interview" (12,500 shares and rising). Mic's Jared Keller feels similarly, tweeting, "North Korea fought America and won without firing a single shot." Motherboard's Joseph Cox calls it, "Freedom of speech goes bat-s#!t crazy."

Actually, just go and look at all the different reactions from journalists, because there are too many perfect ones to quote them all--starring, lots of F-bombs. Meanwhile, Gizmodo says everyone's a coward and Brian Stelter reports that the hackers have congratulated Sony executives on their "very wise" decision. If only we could awaken to learn it was all a bad dream, or at the very least a really evilly genius PR marketing scheme. The thing of it is, "The Interview" apparently isn't even that good. We blame tthe hackers for making us even want to see this thing.

Well, while we're outraged, Slate invites you to get outraged over outrage in their all-inclusive online anthology "Everything you were angry about on social media this year" (10,300+ shares). "'I don’t know whether you’re white or what' was one of the most unintentionally hilarious lines I heard all year," admits Fusion's Anna Holmes, herself a featured victim of Twitter's perpetual outrage machine.

Turning our attention to much more sobering headlines, Australia's week of news seems bookended by tragedy: now eight children have been found dead in their home in Cairns.

The Guardian released riveting reads on the failed race to save hostage Peter Kassig through US backed talks between jihadi clerics and ISIS. The line to quote: “Someone described him as the Islamist [Noam] Chomsky. I think that gives Chomsky too much credit.” Meanwhile, U.S. officials claim several Islamic State leaders have been killed.

In ongoing sagas, the New York Times reveals that a CIA mole, now out of prison, helped the U.S. identify Cuban spies. Also, Google apparently is now bigger than Russia’s entire market (5,200+ shares). "While Kim Jong-un sips celebratory cognac, $GOOG tops Mother Russia," muses the article's author, Shawn Langlois with MarketWatch.

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