Chris Weinkopf writes at American Enterprise Institute Online that if Hollywood had made a movie about all of Islam being a sham, with a murderous sect that kills all those who try to reveal the true secret, the media would have denounced the movie as hate speech, sure to inflame the terrorists and defame a major world religion.



Let's be clear: the Da Vinci Code portrays Christianity as a fraud and the Roman Catholic Church as a murderous conspiracy.



It's the weekend, so under the more relaxed weekend rules, permit a somewhat aged item. Like a nice cheese. MRC's Geoff Dickens just recently found a Geraldo Rivera rant from the end of his syndicated show on the night of the May 1 work-boycott protest for illegal immigration.



Okay, selling Oprah as God-like has been done as a joke before, but Yahoo is highlighting an Ann Oldenburg article in USA Today taking it seriously, headlined "The divine Miss Winfrey?" Oldenburg began:



The host of NBC's "Meet the Press" Tim Russert gave an interview to New York Times Magazine. Editor and Publisher obtained a preview.

Russert criticized Arriana Huffington of HuffingtonPost.com for her regular critiques of him, saying he doesn't read it because there are "so many untruths, it is scary. You know, there's a long history there."



The liberal media are nothing if not militantly in favor of sex, and everything that enables it to be more frequent and fearless.



In what was perhaps an attempt to innoculate themselves against criticism of their hyping of the The Da Vinci Code next week with Matt Lauer’s "On The Road With The Code," NBC’s Today show looked at the rise of "Christian conservatives," this morning complete with an interview with Pastor Joel Osteen.



Today's starters-- Media: Reacting to Muhammed cartoon controversy, student newspaper prints offensive Jesus toons, nothing follows. Popular blog web presence provider Hosting Matters is down at the moment, taking a number of popular blogs down with it. Tonight is opening night of "Flight 93;" in it's scoring 94 percent positive in Rotten Tomatoes online reviews (HT Roger Simon.)

Politics:  Hillary Rodham Clinton polls better than Hillary Clinton, coinicdence or not? Howard Dean et al. start legal defense for accused "nonpartisan" CIA leaker Mary McCarthy. Jeff Goldstein has more. Dean Esmay asks readers for help with "overlooked news from Iraq" effort.

Misc: Quentin Tarantino to direct life of Jimi Hendrix movie. Pamela Anderson provides further proof that not just anyone can get an op-ed printed. France's Jacques Chirac wants to create European Google rival.


Dear Boston Globe Readers:

You may not have known it from our coverage, but Easter was last weekend.

- The Ombud



On Friday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann plugged the Rolling Stone cover story by historian Sean Wilentz which argued that George W. Bush may be the worst President ever, citing the opinions of over 400 historians. As he introduced his interview with Wilentz, Olbermann sympathetically referred to the recently fired CIA employee who leaked classified information on the agency's use of secret prisons in Europe in the War on Terrorism, calling her a "whistleblower," and asked the question: "President Bush, whose administration is now firing, perhaps prosecuting whistleblowers, is he simply the worst?"

While introducing the segment, Olbermann listed several of Wilentz's attacks against Bush without challenging their validity, including accusations of "fabricated evidence" of WMD, a "retro fiscal policy" of "massive tax cuts" for the wealthy that "racked up monstrous deficits," and a criticism citing an unnamed Republican strategist who claimed that the Republican Party is "the first religious party in U.S. history." Olbermann, who perennially makes comparisons between George Orwell's novel 1984 and the Bush administration, managed to work in yet another reference to Orwell as he ended the interview mocking the administration's use of the term "pre-9/11 thinking," charging that Bush would accuse Wilentz and the other historians of being "guilty of pre-9/11 thinking, as George Orwell might have said." (Transcript follows)



There are a few other more personal notes in the Barbara Walters interview with Jane Fonda on PBS. Ted Turner's first words on his first date with Fonda are a little bizarre: "We got in the car. His first words to me was, ‘some of my best friends are communists. I’m thinking, ‘did he say that because he thinks I’m a communist, and it won’t get in the way’?" He named Gorbachev and Castro as his close friends.



Actor Dennis Quaid was on this morning's Today show promoting his new movie American Dreamz whose movie poster proclaims: "Imagine A Country Where The President Never Reads The Newspaper, Where The Government Goes To War For All The Wrong Reasons And Where More People Vote For A Pop Idol Than Their Next President." But according to Quaid the movie is, "not a political statement," and that he’s &