- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 27, 2002

Noble: D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey, for maintaining control of an ill-tempered mob, which could easily have turned to mayhem, or maybe even murder.
Chief Ramsey came through another trial by crowd control last weekend, and came through with colors flying far higher than the placards raised against the order he had pledged to protect. Sure there were a few tense moments, but the tiny number of newsmaking, er nasty, confrontations almost reduced the reporters covering the protests to tears.
That there were no tear gas tears in the air was at least partially a consequence of the up-close presence of Chief Ramsey and Assistant Chief Terrance W. Gainer. There are not many other top cops who would march in the middle of a mob of maddened men and women intent on making mug shots a part of their memories of the day. Yet, even on a gimpy leg, Chief Ramsey seemed to be everywhere, coordinating with protest organizers (who kept changing the march route), talking to reporters (who kept asking, plaintively, if something even slightly horrible would ever happen), and pausing for photos with hooded anarchists (who kept trying to figure out how to make something horrible happen, once they figured out the right direction to march).
Not that keeping Washington's streets free of marcher mayhem was cheap. Chief Ramsey estimated that the tab for the extra Metropolitan Police officers and their overtime could run to more than $5 million, a cost that Congress should cover. After all, the chief's performance was so exceptional that even Robert Blake wasn't seen in town all weekend.

Knave: Actor Robert Blake, for apparently losing so much control of his ill-temper that he turned to mayhem, and maybe even murder.
If found guilty of the charges filed against him this week conspiring against, and subsequently murdering, his wife Mr. Blake should be hung from a television tower high enough to accommodate every camera covering the case. That angry confrontations have probably already occurred between camera crews angling for a shot says as much about the celluloid quality of the circumstances as it does about the demons driving Mr. Blake.
He received his highest acting accolades for portraying characters of twisted moral clarity. His breakout role was Perry Smith, a remorseless killer in the 1966 movie "In Cold Blood." He won an Emmy for his portrayal of gritty street cop Tony Baretta in the 1970s, and he received an Emmy nomination for his 1993 lead as an accountant who murdered his family in the reality-based "Judgment Day, the John List Story."
Mr. Blake said that childhood abuse by his parents helped him understand List's motivations, and his history of substance abuse may well have focused, rather than diffused, such pain. Certainly his marriage to grifter-apparent Bonny Lee Bakley upon the unfortunate coloring of a paternity test only deepened his shadows.
But, Mr. Blake could certainly see bright and shining lines of morality as well. While the mob should not mete justice upon him, there is little reason for it to pity him either.

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