For Malia and Sasha Obama, it could be a green Christmas. “They’re teenagers,” First Lady Michelle Obama told kids at Children’s National Health System, a pediatric hospital in Washington. “They don’t want me to waste my energy picking out stuff they don’t want. So they’d rather just have the money.”
As for President Obama, she said, he’ll get “workout stuff” as a gift.
Obama’s visit to the hospital followed a Christmastime tradition of first ladies dating to Bess Truman.
The famously fit first lady read “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” and in an aside, observed: “St. Nick, he’s a little overweight, but he’s very healthy because he stays active.” Gavin Lindberg, who five years ago lost his 7-year-old son, Evan, to a pediatric cancer, neuroblastoma, played Santa during the visit.
The Obamas depart Friday on their annual holiday trip to Hawaii with friends.
Jenner interview a winner
Diane Sawyer’s interview with Caitlyn Jenner when the former Olympian announced, “I am a woman,” was among the 16 winners of the 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honoring work in broadcast, digital and documentary journalism. Also winning was a PBS’ Frontline documentary on transgender children and for the first time, a podcast. That award went to WBEZ and This American Life for “Serial,” which focused on the inadequacies of the criminal justice system. Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism announced the winners on Tuesday.
More politics: Showtime will launch a weekly documentary series next month on the 2016 presidential campaign, calling it “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth.” Showtime is making the show with Bloomberg Politics, and it will be hosted by that company’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, along with campaign strategist Mark McKinnon.
Sad news: The Irish fiancé of “Downton Abbey” star Michelle Dockery has died after a long illness. He was 34. Public relations director John Dineen died Sunday at a hospice in Cork, Ireland. A spokeswoman for the actress appealed for privacy. John Waples of FTI Consulting, the firm Dineen worked for, said, “John was an immensely valued colleague and friend and will be sorely missed.” Dockery, who turned 34 on Tuesday, plays Lady Mary Crawley on the hit costume drama. Its final episode is due to air in Britain on Dec. 25. She and Dineen were introduced by “Downton Abbey” star Allen Leech.