PITTSBURGH (Special to the Dispatch.) Spiro T. Agnew, who ran for vice president on the Fringe ticket last fall, has reacted angrily to media reports of his practice of breaking thumbs to encourage campaign contributions and endorsements.

“The fact is, it worked,” Mr. Agnew told reporters at a press conference in his home at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. “It was very persuasive. The Fringe Party got endorsements and contributions, sometimes in the form of large wads of cash, from people who never would have supported us otherwise.”

Mr. Agnew called for print and electrical media to publish reports that, he claims, would show the effectiveness of his “enhanced campaign techniques.”

“I find it very disturbing that there seems to be no balance at all from these mumbling media mavens,” Mr. Agnew said. “We hear from all the wailing wobbling wimps who say that thumb-breaking is ‘unethical’ or ‘illegal,’ but nothing from the experts who know how effective it is.”

Warren G. Harding, whose Fringe campaign for president has never been officially suspended, did not release a statement on Mr. Agnew’s remarks. The editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch, who was singled out by Mr. Agnew for especial criticism as “that puerile panderer of the press,” released a six-word statement: “It takes one to know one.”

Mr. Agnew says that, in the end, the public should have the chance to weigh the evidence for and against thumb-breaking.

“That’s what democracy is. It’s about making choices. I chose to break thumbs, and I believe history will bear me out when I say that it got me the results I wanted.”