About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

New audio of the Ferguson shooting. Plus, Obama approves reconnaissance flights over Syria.

New audio of the Ferguson shooting. Plus, Obama approves reconnaissance flights over Syria.

pop lead

January 1st, 2014
06:23 PM ET

Lessons from roastmaster/comedian Jeffrey Ross

(CNN) - Comedy Central's roasting of actor James Franco brought in over 3 million viewers for its inaugural broadcast. Franco's buddies Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Jonah Hill unleashed nasty and hilarious insults towards the thespian and each other.

But the real burns come from the "roastmaster general," comedian Jeffrey Ross.

"Franco comes from humble beginnings. Your first job was working at McDonald's. That's the last time someone ever said about your work, 'I'm loving it,'" Ross joked at Franco's roast.

Ross sat down with "The Lead" to talk about the art of roasting celebrities, his work with U.S. troops, and to roast – just a little – CNN's very own Jake Tapper.

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national lead

January 1st, 2014
06:14 PM ET

Female WWII pilots honored with float in Rose Parade

(CNN) - As a young woman growing up just miles from O'Hare Airport outside of Chicago, Lorraine Rodgers was fascinated with aviation.

It was the early 1940s, and Amelia Earhart had become the first woman to fly solo, nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean a decade earlier. Charles Lindbergh had done it a few years before that.

"I read every word I could about them and what they did," said Rodgers, now 93. "I wanted to fly."

Rodgers got a job so she could pay for flying lessons every Saturday. In the fall of 1942, she read in the paper about an experimental program to train female pilots for domestic duty and free up men to fight overseas.

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pop lead

January 1st, 2014
06:05 PM ET

Movie executivess warned about misleading trailers

(CNN) - Movie studios are using a savvy, or shady move, depending how you look at it, releasing trailers touting Golden Globe nominees as "Golden Globe nomination winners."

It's a subtle, but no doubt very intentional way of boosting a film's credibility.
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money lead

January 1st, 2014
05:57 PM ET

Which billionaire gave the most to charity in 2013?

(CNN) - America's wealthiest philanthropists went big last year, donating more than $3.4 billion to charity, according to a new tally by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
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politics lead

January 1st, 2014
05:08 PM ET

Roundtable: Could de Blasio represent a return of progressivism?

(CNN) - Michael Bloomberg was New York City's mayor for 12 years, but the day his reign ends, and his successor Bill de Blasio's begins, Bloomberg was sent off with a parting shot.

"Changing the stop and frisk law is only the tip of the iceberg in changing our deeply Dickensian justice system," singer Harry Belafonte said at de Blasio's inauguration.

Not exactly a compliment. And the digs didn't stop there - one pastor went so far as to refer to New York City as a "plantation."

A focus on race, and the divide between the haves and the have-nots were common themes for de Blasio on the campaign trail, and he's not shying away from the progressive agenda he promised his constituents.

"Those earning between $500,000 and $1 million a year will see their takes increase $900 a year, three bucks a day, the cost of a small soy latte at Starbucks," de Blasio said.

Is a new era of progressivism really upon us? And does it stand a chance on the national stage?

Democratic strategist Doug Thornell, managing editor for The Hill Bob Cusack, and CNN political contributor and Republican strategist Kevin Madden discuss.

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