MSNBC
updated 3/18/2005 1:48:43 PM ET 2005-03-18T18:48:43
Live blogging

Did you lose the remote again?  If you can't watch Keith Olbermann — voted Playgirl's Sexiest Anchorman — at 8 p.m. ET, get your fill online. Live blogs of 'Countdown' are available exclusively at Countdown.msnbc.com.  Click and let the fun begin!

Steroid hearings — Sports fans were facing quite a dilemma today...Having to choose between watching the first-round games of the NCAA basketball tournament.  Or the Congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball .  It's a Tivo-tastic situation. Well, if you chose basketball, consider the Countdown crew your own personal recording service because it was Game Day on Capitol Hill.   Some of the biggest names (and bodies) in baseball traded in their double-knit polyester for double-breasted suits.  Congressman grilled the players.  Two major highlights: Selig defended the current policy; McGwire refused to say whether he took performance-enhancing drugs.  If you want to know what Countdown's fearless leader thinks of today's hearings, Keith has turned today into a working vacation .

Jessica Lunsford — He is a registered sex offender who took a bus from Florida to Georgia after he knew police were looking for him.  He had planned to keep moving — with an eye on Tennessee.  However, he did not put up a fight when he was arrested this morning.  John Evander Couey — the person of interest in the disappearance of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford — is now in police custody.
The charge: failure to notify police when he left Florida to go to Georgia, a requirement for sex offenders.  Couey lived about two miles from Jessica Lunsford's Florida home.  But he sometimes stayed with a half-sister who lives across the street from the missing girl's house.  While they have questioned the man all day, police say they want to stay focused on him without developing tunnel vision.

Letterman kidnap plot — David Letterman is no stranger to unwanted guests.  For years, a woman named Margaret Ray stalked the comedian. She repeatedly broke into his home and she even told people she was Mrs. David Letterman, that is, until she killed herself.  Now, there has been another disturbing incident at Letterman's home. "The Late Show" host's one-year-old son, Harry, was allegedly the target of a kidnapping plot .  Authorities today announced the arrest of 43-year-old Kelly A. Frank.  A painter at Letterman's north-central Montana ranch, Frank allegedly approached an acquaintance about a plan to kidnap Harry Letterman and his nanny from the 2,700 acre property and hold them for a $5 million ransom.

Iditarod — The race has its origins in legend.  The tiny Alaskan town of Nome faced a life-threatening epidemic in the dead of winter 80 years ago.  Twenty teams of sled dogs were dispatched, traveling hundreds of miles.  One team eventually arrived with medicine that would save the town.  Fast forward to the present.  We bring you the the famous race, the Iditarod — eleven hundred miles of treacherous Alaskan terrain, sub-zero temperatures, and lots and lots of snow.  The fastest "musher" has already crossed the finish line.  But the real victory may belong to first-time racer 20-year-old Rachael Scdoris.

Da Vinci diss — Last night on this broadcast, we told you about the Vatican's sudden awakening to the book, "The Da Vinci Code," which has sold 25-million copies since it hit bookstores back in May of 2003.  Top religious expert Father Guido Sarducci weighs in on the big " Da Vinci Diss ."  A Vatican official spoke to a packed auditorium in Genoa, with the backdrop of a painting of the last supper.  He rebutted the "Da Vinci Code's" premise, including the idea that Jesus married, and had children with Mary Magdalene.  One day earlier, the Cardinal had called on Catholics to snub the book saying, "Don't buy it, don't read it, it's rotten food." 

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