By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 5/18/2005 11:24:30 AM ET 2005-05-18T15:24:30

5 p.m. ET

Today, more on the Newsweek story, and hopefully a few fresh takes.

First, a look at the complicated political climate in Afghanistan that led to the protests and riots over the weekend.  Was it an anti-American demonstration, an anti-Pakistan demonstration or both?

And then, a look at a possible timeline for the ripple effect as this story spread through the Middle East.  The man at the center of the storm, if you trust blog reports, isn't really Michael Isikoff or an unnamed source at the Pentagon, it is Imran Khan.  Who is he?  I'll explain on the show, and it is fascinating.

And later in the hour, we'll go live to Princeton University where students are holding a protest of their own-- over the President's judicial nominations.  We'll talk to students on both sides of the issues.

Send us your e-mails.

12 p.m. ET

Eartha Kitt's star was on the rise in the 1960s. From Broadway hits to her turn as Catwoman, she was very much an "It" girl. In 1968 that all changed thanks to one lunch with Lady Bird Johnson.

At a White House luncheon, Kitt spoke out about the Vietnam War, which I'm certain made people uncomfortable and angered Mrs. Johnson.  The result--Kitt couldn't find work in the United States for a decade.  She was blacklisted.  While some maintain that the "blacklist" did not exist, a litany of writers and performers attest that they got the cold shoulder during this era.  They were considered "traitors" for speaking out during a time of war.

And that brings me to Newsweek. I heard Brent Bozell of the Media Research Council on Joe Scarborough's show last night , calling Newsweek's story unpatriotic and anti-American.  While his views tend to be passionate and pointed, he is certainly not alone and this deserves analysis.   

I simply pose this question for discussion:  Should free speech ever be labeled "anti-American?"  Was it also anti-American when Michael Isikoff brought Bill Clinton to his knees during Monicagate?  Depends on which side of the aisle your spitball lands.  Send me some emails on this, please.

This is an extremely serious story on several levels.  First, there is the allegation of Koran desecration, then the reaction in the Arab world, but there is also the fallout in mainstream media.  How should this story affect the way we report the news?

Newsweek has not retracted the story, only the part about the incident appearing in the Pentagon's documents.  If you believe that a Pentagon source told Isikoff about this, should we know who this person was, and where the leak came from?  Question his motives and integrity, as well?

Should the media rely on anonymous sources?

Today on Connected, an in depth look at the wide wake of the Newsweek story--from all angles and viewpoints.

And now a shout out I should have written yesterday.  We had on the terrific columnist James Taranto from The Wall Street Journal, and in my haste I failed to include him in the blog.  The segment on religion and politics was outstanding.

We are already receiving tons of emails about Newsweek and I encourage you to send more.  There is a wide array of opinions and theories and it is our job to bring them all to the table.  We'll do that today.

Send us your e-mails and favorite blog suggestions to Maciulis@MSNBC.com and Connected@MSNBC.com!

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