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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 14, 2010 / 30 Nissan 5770

One Shining Moment

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Some become famous over a lifetime, others in a moment that marks them forever. For honor or ignominy. Some earn a place in history by reaching the apex of their careers, others by stepping down from it. Does the name Jerry terHorst sound at all familiar? If so, your age might be showing. Or just a certain interest in newspapermen of conscience. There are some.


Jerry terHorst was the kind of newspaperman who didn't make the news himself — it's a point of honor among good reporters — yet on his death the other day at 87, his obituary made the wire services and stirred proud memories.


A son of immigrants who settled in Michigan, he spoke only Dutch till he was five, was averse to drama and given to hard work. His path would cross with that of another steady, reliable, undramatic type who always seemed around in a supporting role: a congressman from Michigan named Gerald Ford.


Born in Grand Rapids, Jerry terHorst dropped out of high school at 15 to work on his uncle's farm but wound up at the university studying agriculture. That's where he got involved with the student newspaper, which can be a fatal seductress. It's ruined a lot of us for anything but journalism.


After a stint with the Marines in the South Pacific during his war, Jerry terHorst came back home to start work with the good old Grand Rapids Press and get on the familiar treadmill to ever bigger papers — in his case the Detroit News, where he wound up in its Washington bureau covering Congressman Ford. And becoming the congressman's friend. Both seemed destined to float around the edges of the big time.


It was only to be expected that when Richard Nixon and everything he touched began to crumble — the government of the United States, for example — Gerald Ford would become vice president, then president as honest faces became fewer and fewer in the White House. Naturally he would choose Jerry terHorst, his hometown newsman, as White House press secretary.


Our long national nightmare was over and Jerry terHorst's rise complete. The happy ending to his very American story could already be visualized: His portrait would go on the wall with all the other forgotten White House press secretaries and begin collecting dust.


It didn't turn out that way. Mr. terHorst conducted press briefings for just one month. They were open, friendly, candid briefings — the complete reversal of the way the Nixon administration had operated. But then early one Sunday morning he got his test. The new president had decided the best way to salve the nation's wounds after Watergate was to commit a monumental act of both injustice and statecraft, which have a way of going together. It's a pattern at least as old as Machiavelli.

Letter from JWR publisher

The president who a month before had proclaimed a new and better day chose to pardon, unconditionally, the old one whose fall had led to his taking the oath of office. Yes, the culprit-in-chief himself, Richard M. Nixon.


It's hard now to bring back the rage that rang through the country that broken sabbath. Americans were not yet accustomed to having a president flout the laws he was supposed to enforce, and then get off scot-free.


The names of those around Richard Nixon who would go prison for their crimes resound like a roster of the most powerful men in American politics at that Nixonian time:


John Mitchell, attorney general, who would do time for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. H. R. Haldeman, White House chief of staff, for conspiracy and obstruction of justice. John Ehrlichman, presidential assistant in charge of domestic affairs, for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. Charles Colson, White House counsel, for obstruction of justice....


But the ringleader of the conspiracy, the president who would bring his whole administration down with him, would be pardoned without ever being indicted, just as he had resigned before he could be impeached. Tricky Dick tended to keep one step ahead of the rest of us, and the law.


The presidential pardon shocked the country. It certainly shocked Jerry terHorst. He'd covered Gerald Ford since the president's first run for Congress in 1948, and followed his career ever since. He was writing Mr. Ford's biography, and had been his press secretary a whole, glorious, sweep-the-place-clean month. And then this. What was he to do?


Resign. Go back home where the air was cleaner. Take his conscience with him. He would sleep better o'night. But not before writing a letter of resignation that, like Jerry terHorst himself, would make history. In it, he gave voice to the instinctive American sense of justice that always seems to come roaring back no matter how much a president has abused it.


In that letter, the now former press secretary told his boss:


"I cannot in good conscience support your decision to pardon former President Nixon even before he has been charged with the commission of any crime. As your spokesman, I do not know how I could credibly defend that action in the absence of a like decision to grant absolute pardon to the young men who evaded Vietnam military service as a matter of conscience and the absence of pardons for former aides and associates of Mr. Nixon who have been charged with crimes — and imprisoned — stemming from the same Watergate situation. These are also men whose reputations and families have been grievously injured. Try as I can, it is impossible to conclude that the former President is more deserving of mercy than persons of lesser station in life whose offenses have had far less effect on our national wellbeing."


The quality of justice is not strained, any more than the quality of mercy is. It must be rendered to all alike or it becomes something else. In this case, only a political instrument. That's not justice, it's something else — plea-bargaining, prosecutorial discretion, call it what you like. But it's not justice.


Jerry terHorst was one White House press secretary more attached to honor than honors, and he showed it by deciding not to be White House press secretary any longer. He would not be one of those who, the higher they rise, the lower they sink. He chose to get off the treadmill to "success." Whether the next generation will remember his name or not, it needs to. So do we all, especially those of us who work in the same furrow.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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