The persistence of a fool
By JEFF RISTINE
W ASlIIN(,T0N - PERSISTENCE, the trait that
pushes certain men and women forward long
after others lose the will to do battle, generally
falls into one of two distinct categories.
One is the persistence of heroes and winners.
As these people ultimately attain their tantalizing
goal. others look on with jealousy, admiration or
awe. Persistence rewards these fighters hand-
Then there's Rabbi Baruch Korff, leader of the
President Nixon Justice Fund.
Korff, hardly a winner and not much of a hero,
persists toward his aim of restoring Richard Nixon's
soiled name to the level of popularity and rever-
ance it enjoyed before the White House tapes prov-
ed the President was a bald-faced liar. Two years
after Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace, Korff
maintains the man was unfairly hounded from of-
fice in a cotp d'etat by opportunistic Democrats and
the liberal Eastern press.
6INCE THE ERVIN Committee hearings over
three years ago, the rabbi has headed various
organizations with various names, first to attack
Nixon critics, then to stem the impeachment drive
and finally, to help raise money to pay -the ex-
president's debts. He has yet to drop his defense
of the San Clemente recluse.
It came as no surprise, therefore, when shortly
before the bicentennial weekend Korff offered his
26-page "Birthday Gift to the American People"
-a 142-point rebuttal of "The Final Days", the
bestseller account of Nixon's decline and fall by
reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
The document is a long list of errors Korff dis-
covered in the book, minor mistakes he believes
compromise the integrity of the entire journalistic
effort. He offered the "Birthday Gift" as an "ex-
clusive" to a national correspondent for Knight
newspapers, who asked me to pick up the material
for him at Korff's suite in Washington's semi-
fashionable Fairfax Iotel, near "embassy row".
Korff, smoking a cigar and wearing a rumpled
dress shirt unbuttoned at the collar, did not have
the document when he greeted me at his cluttered,
dimly-lit apartment, which held stacks and stacks of
old newspapers. magazines and correspondence. He
directed me to Edward Cooperstein, a colleague of
Korff's at the Justice Fund headquarters on Con-
necticut Avenue a few blocks away.
Before I left, I asked Korff if his list was simply
a reaction to the strong popularity "The Final
Days" had earned.
" DO NOT REACT," Korff said indignantly. "I
The Justice Fund office, squirreled away in a
dark fifth-floor corner of an old building, is lined
with pro-Nixon pamphlets and color pictures of the
ex-president and his family in their happiest days.
Cooperstein, seated at the front desk, eyed me
suspiciously and asked for some identification prov-
'So why did Korff do it? ... Persist-
ence.. Korff has that rare quality
which keeps people plugging away
long after all hope has evaporated.
Korff honestly believes Nixon was
innocent and, by God, he's going to
keep working until everyone else
feels that way, too.'
ing I was who I said I was. I wasn't carrying any.
He telephoned my office, asked for me, and be-
came satisfied as to my identity when he was told
I wasn't there.
"We have to be careful," he explained, as if the
list was in danger of falling into enemy hands.
Finally he produced a Xerox copy of the "exclu-
sive", which was also given to UPI and probably a
handful of other news agencies.
Woodstein fans need not be alarmed. The errors
are little more than a mishmash of incorrect trivia
and unsubstantiated denials. Embarrassing in some
respects - how the reporters missed President
Ford's middle initial is almost incomprehensible-
but Korff picks nits smaller than the eye can see.
The book refers to Leon Jaworski as 'the son of a
Baptist minister." "This is wrong," Korff contends.
"His father was a Methodist minister."
t5/OODSTEIN: "Nixon sent his strip steak back to
the galley because there was fat on it. A steward
cut the fat off and returned the steak to the Presi-
dent." Korff: "This is not possible. Manolo Sanchez
Woodstein: "He looked up at Scowcraft's soft grey
eyes." Korff: "Scoweraft's eyes are brown" (but
And this Agnewesque shot at the book's statement
that "it was the first time both doctors had ac-
companied him on a trip"-"There were always
two doctors," Korff reveals, "but one often rode
with the press to cure their hangovers."
Korff raises technical challenges, too. The book
states that "Thirty minutes out of Damascus, the
President's plane was cruising at fifteen thousand
feet." Asks Korff: "Does the plane cruise at 1S,eoe
feet?" (According to TWA, the answer is yes.)
KORFF REBUTS the book's innocuous statement
the "Rebozo, as he usually did, went off to chat
with the crew." One can see the clergyman's face
turn sizzling red with rage. "This statement, in both
present and past tenses, is not true," he writes.
And where Woodward and Bernstein dare sug-
gest Rose Mary Woods "was anguished," Korff
maintains "this is not true." Period.
Korff's document received almost no attention
over the July 4 weekend. It was not news, and
most newspapers treated it accordingly.
So why did Korff do it? Why did he spend
much time researching and "correcting" 142 etrors
in the bestseller? Why is he still defending Nixon'
Persistence. Korff has that rare quality wtih
keeps people plugging away long after all hope tins
evaporated. Korff honestly believes Nixon sas in-
nocent and, by God, he's going to keep working un-
til everyone else feels that way, too.
But it is not the category of persistence tvich
inspires jealously or admiration, or even mae
Korff's is not the persistence of a winner or a tvro
It is the persistence of a fool.
Daily Manain t 1di/or eff R'/ine is a 1C/
ington based in/ern for the Knigh/-Rid,,r c
The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Tuesday, July 20, 1976
News Phone: 764-0552
THE RECENT DONNYBROOK precipitated by last
week's brawl between Sheriff Frederick Postill, Wash-
tenaw County Sheriff's Deputy Basil Baysinger and his
wife, and County Jail Administrator Frank Donley is an
embarrassing episode which threatens to discredit the
name of law and order in this county.
The quartet demonstrated its pre-school type antics
at a reception ten days ago. Counsel for Postill claimed
the incident was a "political dirty trick" aimed to be-*
smerch the sheriff in an election year. Meanwhile, the
Baysingers claim that Postill mistreated Mrs.,Baysinger
and Donley attempted to choke Baysinger with, of all
things, a pair of handcuffs,
Whatever reason is behind this incident, we cannot
condone such behavior. Officials such as the sheriff, Don-
ley and Baysinger, who are in the public eye, must
uphold behavior which sets an example for the commun-
ity. Clearly, throwing punches, strangling people with
handcuffs and trading accusations may be accepted in
a nursey school classroom, but is an appalling display
among people who purport to be community leaders.
The Daily urges the State Attorney General's office
to speedily and carefully continue its review of the in-
cident before it further develops as a blot on the com-
Health Handbook: On reversin
vasectormies, X-ray radiation
T/>e Daily ill occasionally re-run sote of
las/ year's maost frequently asked ques/ions of the
IHealth Ser e Ilandbook Serice. Sylvia and
Nancy will bc I'ack in the fall with a new week-
ly olumn on the Edit Page.
By SYLVIA HACKER and NANCY PALCHIK
Question: I read about a San Francisco re-
searcher who was doing vasectomy operations
that were highly reversible. After reversal the
males had reasonable sperm counts and most
were able to impregnate their wives. As a
young, single male, I would like to know: what
is the word on vasectomy and is anyone around
the University doing them with a high potential
Answer: His technique is very new and in-
volves microsurgery which utilizes a high-pow-
ered microscope and very finely-honed, small
surgical instruments. These enable the surgeon
to rejoin, more exactly than before, the sev-
ered sperm ducts (vas deferens) in men who
had undergone vasectomies.
A vasectomy is a simple, quick and safe
operation which is highly effective. By cut-
ting the tubes which carry sperm from the
testes, the male ejaculate remains as copious
as before but becomes free of sperm (sperm
is actually only about 5% of the male ejacu-
late). Up until now attempts at re-connecting
the severed ends of the sperm ducts have been
relatively unsuccessful. The success rate for
reversal has only been about 30%. Because of
this, young single, males have been generally
discouraged from having the operation.
The new microsurgical techniques for re-
versal look very promising and may oftfer u
hope for vasectomized men who change the'
minds at some later date. Iowever, a urologO
whom we contacted at University lospital, wb
does many vasectomies and who has also us
microsurgery for reversal, still feels very stron
ly that vasectomy should be considered an
sentially irreversible procedure. As he said. ev
though techniques will continue to improve, vase
tomies in general reduce fertility. Damage
the vas deferens (even when repaired) for man
physiological reasons cause a diminished spet
production. Perhaps in the near future a ne
birth control method will be discovered whic
will make surgery unnecessary.
Question: I recently had a compound fra
tare in my right arm and many X-rays we
taken to check for healing. How safe was th
for my body?
Answer: We consulted our in-house radiat
expert, Brad Pearse, whose office is easy
find because radiations of friendliness and
formation issue forth from there. He explai
that X-rays, unlike natural radiation, are c
trolled to produce a picture for diagnosis. Ra
ation protection procedures are routine here
Health Service and any radiation received
a patient is limited only to the area of intere
To quote Robert 0. Gorson of the Bureau
Radiologic Health: "Many-of us intuitively d
that the risks (however defined) to the indiviu
and probably to the human race, from expos,
arising from diagnostic uses of radiation cam
out under optimum conditions are so incons
tial that practically any medical benefit is