By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 4/15/2005 10:54:18 AM ET 2005-04-15T14:54:18

5 p.m. ET
My name is Tony, and I watch American Idol, but I can stop whenever I want. I don't watch all the time or anything, really.  It's not like I Tivo the show and play the tape of the performances over and over again like it's "The White Album."  Honestly, I don't.

OK, I do watch but I must say that Ryan Seacrest's stardom is a bit of a mystery to me.  The announcement that he is getting a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame kind of surprised me.  Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire have stars on that walkway. Call me old fashioned, but Seacrest isn't quite in that league.

It did get us to thinking though, about what it takes to earn a star.  Is there a specific list of criteria?  Can you buy a star by simply donating money to the right cause? We're going to explain this today, if for no other reason than we have all heard of that famous walk, but have no idea what the rules for membership are.

But at the top of the show, a look at the hunt for Osama bin Laden.  Other than the occasional intercepted correspondence or videotaped message "found" by Al Jazeera, we haven't heard much from terror's King Pin.  Has the trail gone cold?

And we'll also preview the conclave beginning next week at the Vatican.  This is the first time the cardinals have gathered for this task in this age of virtually unstoppable media coverage and technology. Cardinals will be asked to check cell phones and pagers at the door.  How will the Vatican ensure secrecy when there will be so many ways to leak information?

And now it's time to get connected.

TMaciulis@MSNBC.com.

12 p.m. ET
Those who know me well know that I have a propensity to be a potty mouth.  I'm not proud of that, but a fact is a fact. I always have been, for as long as I can remember.

Once in the sixth grade I let loose a vicious diatribe on the playground and lobbed an F-bomb or two, causing my classmates to squeal and gasp with delight.  All but one.  Beth marched straight to Sr. Mary Anne and squealed.

I felt betrayed and embarrassed and to this day I am holding a grudge.  Tattle tales suck.

Some Georgia schools have apparently established a kind of rewards program for snitches.  The schools actually take proceeds from the vending machines to pay informants, students who narc on their classmates.  Now, the intention is not to catch the foul mouths, but to nab more serious criminals.  Drug users, thieves.  These are crimes that merit some dramatic tactics.

But is this promotion of snitching a good thing for the students to learn?  There are two sides to the debate, and we'll bring them to you at noon.

Also today, an update on the arrests in the U.N. Oil for Food scandal that were just announced this morning, and a look at tax reform in America.

I don't know about you, but I for one can admit that I am paying way too much in taxes.  But what is the answer when we also have such a tremendous deficit?  Tax discussions make me yawn, but we have two guests with such different views that this is bound to get heated.

And finally, two professors at Penn State run a project on race relations, and their findings from conversations with students will really surprise you.

Tune in and get connected. TMaciulis@MSNBC.com.


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