5 p.m. ET

It's that time. For the most part our program has avoided conversation about the Michael Jackson trial, the jury is now deliberating and we'll have an answer any day now.

Today we'll take a look at the media coverage. Why are we so obsessed with this sad and bizarre case?

Also this afternoon, should online dating sites require background checks? Some people think they should.

And on the blogs, Republicans are reacting to the things Howard Dean said yesterday and the Democrats are more concerned about the things he didn't say. For example, no mention at all of the war in Iraq.

Tune in and we'll keep you Connected.

12 p.m. ET

Is Operation Lightning a flash in the pan?

The U.S. military, working in cooperation with newly trained Iraqi forces, has been trying to weed out pockets of insurgency around that nation, but the violence continues.  There are conflicting reports about whether the situation is more or less under control.  Today, we talk to experts to try to separate the facts from the spin.  How are we doing in Iraq?  Might be better than most people think, but could be worse.

We'll also incorporate into that conversation the criticism that the U.S. media only reports body count and rarely any of the positive developments in that region.  Is that a fair assessment?  I was watching the BBC evening newscast the other night and I can tell you that the stories being told in the foreign press are far more negative than ours.  Should make for a good conversation.

Also today, can a book be harmful?  The conservative weekly "Human Events" has asked a panel of 15 experts to compile a list of dangerous and harmful books.  The list includes "The Communist Manifesto" and "Mein Kampf," but Darwin also made the cut.  Is it constructive to consider ideas and literature dangerous?  It sounds like a process that could lead to censorship, but we'll let the creators of the list explain their rationale themselves.

Join us for a great show.

E-mail us: Maciulis@MSNBC.com and Connected@MSNBC.com!

Weblinks

Why isn't Iraq a topic among the Democrats?

Military recruitment threatened

Worst album covers

Online dating sites mentioned on the show

(And a completely different subject) Counter-terror blogger/guest

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