The Nixon camp reveled in the sort of subterfuge ordered by this memo. During the 1972 campaign, they employed at least two who used their cover as journalists to spy on the Democratic presidential candidates. The first was Seymour K. Friedin and the second was Lucianne Goldberg, who followed the McGovern campaign on its No. 2 aircraft, the "zoo plane," Washington Post reporter George Lardner Jr. writes in this 1998 account. Friedin died in 1974. Goldberg says she never heard McGovern make the alleged comment.
Clawson died in 1999. Colson, who went to jail for obstruction of justice in 1974, has acknowledged his role as Nixon's henchman. The notorious dirty-tricks artist became a Christian in 1973 and later founded the Prison Fellowship Ministries, which he still leads. Efforts to reach Colson for comment failed because he was traveling.
Graham writes of her shock at reading Mitchell's threat in the Post and of her further shock upon hearing the verbatim quotation. But she also found a way to mine the incident for mirth. A California dentist handcrafted a miniature gold wringer for Graham, "compete with a tiny handle and gears that turned just like a regular old washing-machine wringer," she writes. When columnist Art Buchwald gave Graham a tiny gold breast, she paired it with the wringer and wore it as a necklace.
Thanks to George Washington University's Mark Feldstein for alerting me to the memo. Send memos and threats of physical violence to email@example.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum, in a future article, or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)