After the coffee. Before figuring out if I can get out of town next week.
The Skinny: I'm almost over this annoying cold that has hampered me for over a week. So don't cough around me. Thursday's stories include a look at whether Tom Cruise is big enough to pull off "Jack Reacher", and three senators criticize "Zero Dark Thirty."
Daily Dose: Fox Business News is wrapping up its best year ever while CNBC will be happy when 2012 is over. Although CNBC is still dominates among viewers and adults 25-54, it is down 14% and 15% respectively in those key categories. Fox Business, meanwhile, is up 2% in viewers and 17% in 25-54. Fox Business sent out its Christmas card to media earlier this week poking fun at CNBC, noting that its hosts Andrew Ross Sorkin "might cry" and Larry Kudlow "should pout."
Cruise control? Tom Cruise's "Jack Reacher" may be the actor's biggest challenge. Playing Jack Reacher, the fictional hero of Lee Child's books, Cruise is hardly the ideal choice. Reacher is blond and tall and beefy. Cruise isn't. Then there's the other issue of whether Cruise's personal life now overwhelms anything he does on the screen. If I were advising Cruise, I'd suggest strong supporting roles along the lines of what he did in "Magnolia" and more cameos along the lines of "Tropic Thunder." Of course, he doesn't need my advice. A look at the challenges Cruise's "Jack Reacher" will face from the Los Angeles Times.