- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2007

Noble: Effi Barry, Washington’s former first lady who died last week of acute myeloid leukemia.

When Mrs. Barry met former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in 1976, she was introduced to a Washington she had never before experienced: the world of politics and the excitement of being in the public spotlight. The scrutiny was difficult. But even as her marriage to the notorious politician crumbled — and she watched and listened in court in 1990 as a mistress described her relationship with Mr. Barry — Effi Barry maintained an unshakeable poise and grace.

Mrs. Barry, who left Washington for Hampton University following the Barry trial, returned years later and worked in the D.C. Department of Health as a program director for the HIV/AIDS Administration. After being diagnosed with leukemia, she urged black Americans to become mor involved as organ and bone marrow donors. Her work in the public-health sector was not self-serving, but she was able to use her own experience to reach out to America and urge good samaritans to come forward.

In 1990, Mr. Barry was arrested in an FBI sting operation in a hotel, where he was caught smoking crack cocaine and making advances on a woman not his wife. Mrs. Barry not only supported her husband during his trial, but she returned to the city many years after their divorce and supported his 2004 campaign for a seat on the D.C. Council. Mrs. Barry died Sept. 6.

For her work in the health community of the District, and for being an ever-elegant and respectable first lady, Effi Barry is the Noble of the Week.

Knave: Keith Olbermann, the MSNBC commentator who says that Fox News is “worse than Al Qaeda” and “as dangerous” as the Ku Klux Klan.

Mr. Olbermann has a long history of clashes and feuds with conservatives via his “worst person in the world” diatribes, and certainly he is no stranger to the art of the shocking statement. But his latest, in an interview in the October issue of Playboy magazine, takes the cake. Mr. Olbermann was quoted as saying: “Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda — worse for our society. It’s as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was.”

Strange how, during the week of the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Mr. Olbermann has not gotten more blowback. It’s a different climate for a liberal to compare Fox to the terrorist group responsible for the most violent and deadliest attack on American soil? And the comparison to the KKK?

For comparing Fox News to al Qaeda and the KKK, Keith Olbermann is the Knave of the Week.

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