As promised, here are the winners of the Noble and Knave of the Year for 2005, as voted on by the readers of the Washington Times
First, the runners-up for Noble of the Year:
• Aage Bjerre: 23
• Judge Loretta Preska: 26
• The first responders: 31
• Simon Wiesenthal/Margaret Thatcher: 35
• The Marine Corps: 46
• Ike Boutwell: 75
• The American people: 78
• The Iraqi people: 115
And the winner is...
Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith was in an engineering unit supporting the 3rd Infantry Division's advance toward Baghdad in the early stages of the Iraq war. On April 4, 2003, while attempting to take Baghdad Airport, Sgt. Smith and his men were pinned down by advancing units of Saddam's elite Republican Guard. When his unit was hit by both a rocket-propelled grenade and a mortar, wounding three soldiers, Sgt. Smith's situation became desperate. "That was when Sgt. Smith made a decision with the gallantry of the Medal of Honor," said Lt. Col. Thomas Smith, Sgt. Smith's commander. "He got in the M-113 [armored vehicle] ... and had [the driver] back up to just the point where he could cover all three of the Republican Guard targets ... We know he went through three boxes of ammunition." Sgt. Smith's heroism saved 100 of his men, while costing his own. President Bush posthumously awarded Sgt. Smith the Medal of Honor in April -- the first of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. With a total of 172 votes, it gives the Editorial Board no greater pleasure than to name this year's Noble Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith.
Following are the runners-up for Knave of the Year:
• Nobel Prize Committee/Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: 15
• Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner: 20
• Kamau Kambon: 26
• Leah Hodges: 30
• Al Gore/Campus Pie Throwers: 36
• Harry Belafonte: 42
• Rep. Charles Rangel: 47
• The Democratic leadership: 160
And the winner is...
If elections consumed the news cycle in 2004, then the Iraq war filled the void in 2005. Taking its cue from the Democratic leadership mentioned above, the U.S. media was notable only for its refusal to be fair. Champagne corks popped across newsrooms with each uptick of the public's seemingly growing disapproval of the war. That's to be expected, especially when bad news is the only news deemed fit to print. A case in point: Left-wing stooge Cindy Sheehan draws hundreds of cameras and is on the front-page of every major newspaper in the country, while three successful elections in Iraq are somehow cast as a prelude to civil war. Americans have come to expect media bias in political matters, but when it's about our soldiers and the cause they're fighting for (and winning), the media's performance in 2005 was despicable. With a total of 176 votes, the U.S. media is the Knave of the Year.