- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2007

Nobles: Floyd Lipscomb, Duke “Showtime” Kelley and DeLeon Butler, who helped rescue a man who had fallen into the river Monday night.

The first reports about the miraculous rescue of William “Al” Slaughter Monday night said that the three men who saved him from drowning were all homeless. Mr. Slaughter, who lives in a houseboat on the Southwest Waterfront, slipped and fell into the 38-degree water around 10:30 at night. Mr. Slaughter, who couldn’t get a good hold on the dock and kept sliding back into the frigid water, started to lose muscle control — a sure sign that hypothermia was close to setting in. He had been struggling for about 10 minutes when he saw three men walking near the dock and shouted out to them.

Two of the men (Messrs. Kelley and Butler) helped Mr. Lipscomb scale the fence. He then rushed toward Mr. Slaughter, grabbing his coat to keep him from sinking deeper into the icy river. But Mr. Lipscomb couldn’t pull him out, so he just held on to him, shouting to Messrs. Kelley and Butler to get help.

According to a report in the Washington Post, Mr. Slaughter’s rescuer told him: “You’re not going to die tonight. I’m going to hold on to you.” And so he did, until Messrs. Kelley and Butler returned with a police officer, who helped Mr. Lipscomb pull Mr. Slaughter out of the water. But after this amazing rescue, all three saviors vanished, leading to the misconception that Mr. Lipscomb was homeless.

The mystery wasn’t solved until Thursday when Mr. Lipscomb reappeared in Mr. Slaughter’s hospital room at George Washington University. While Messrs. Kelley and Butler are indeed homeless, Mr. Lipscomb actually lives in Temple Hills.

For their quick thinking, Messrs. Lipscomb, Kelley and Butler are the Nobles of the week.

Knaves: Mayor Adrian Fenty, who should have more class.

By refusing the White House’s offer to sit with First Lady Laura Bush at the State of the Union, Mr. Fenty likely imagined he was exhibiting some bold moral principle. Although he told the press that his decision to be the guest of Speaker Nancy Pelosi was solely the result of her asking him first, the mayor surely weighed how refusing the president of the United States would play politically.

That’s unfortunate. Everyone knows that Mr. Fenty is a Democrat; everyone knows that President Bush is unpopular; and everyone knows that Mr. Fenty is a big proponent of D.C. voting rights. Yet instead of taking an opportunity to show a bit of respect and class and sit with Mrs. Bush regardless, Mr. Fenty took the easy political meat. In doing so, he broke his predecessor’s tradition of representing the nation’s capital by sitting with the First Lady in spite of political differences.

For adding to the partisanship, Mr. Fenty is the Knave of the week.

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