- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 16, 2002

Noble: The newly knighted Sir Rudolph Giuliani.
Mr. Giuliani has won such spurs many times over, even if can't legally wear the title unless he abdicates his American citizenship.

As a U.S. attorney in New York during the 1980s, he took down Mafia bosses with a fury that would have frightened even Tony Soprano. He applied the same persistent prosecutorial touch to New York's out-of-control criminals when he took over as mayor in 1993, so much so that New Yorkers publicly wondered if they were getting soft.

They weren't, and neither was their mayor.

On September 11, Mr. Giuliani barely escaped death only to be confronted with a catastrophe wrapped in a nightmare. Yet, Mr. Giuliani's head never bowed, unless it was in prayer at the innumerable funeral services that he somehow found time to attend in the days that followed. He displayed such a mix of tenderness, toughness and tenacity that perhaps only Winston Churchill could have accorded him an appropriate accolade.

Yet, receiving an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth for aiding and comforting the British victims of September 11, wasn't bad either. Mr. Giuliani's ancient honor for outstanding service to the citizens of the Queen only confirms the ageless nobility of his actions.

Knave: The outrageous Ted Turner.

Mr. Turner has won knavehood many times over. He certainly deserved demerits of all orders for calling Christians "Jesus freaks" last April. However, he set an even higher mark for verbal outrage this week, when, during a speech at Brown University, he compared President Bush to Julius Caesar and suggested that the hijackers of September 11 were "brave," even though "they might have been a little nuts."

Putting aside the fact that squirrels could spend lifetimes collecting (and burying) Mr. Turner's nutty remarks is the simple fact that the hijackers of September 11 were hardly courageous even by the nuttiest standards. Even if you don't believe Osama bin Laden's video testimony, that most of the hijackers did not know their destination, they were hardly surprised to learn that their ultimate fate landed them in the depths of Hades. After all, it takes no courage to bully women and children into submission with boxcutters.

Mr. Turner's few remaining defenders suggest that his outrageous verbal tacks are merely one of his more endearing eccentricities. They may have a point. After all, in his "Devil's Dictionary," Ambrose Bierce defined eccentricity as a "method of distinction so cheap that fools employ it to accentuate their incapacity."

It would be foolish to think otherwise of Mr. Turner's ageless knavery.

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