Netflix remembers Martha Mitchell in historical documentary

Once upon a time there was a woman who struck fear into the hearts of the most powerful people in DC, from the president down, and her name was Martha Mitchell. Those unfamiliar with South Mouth may have gotten a terrific idea of ​​who this woman was from Julia Roberts’ portrayal of her in Starz. Gas light. However, Netflix went deeper and introduced Martha Mitchell effect documentary on Friday, June 17, the 50th anniversary of the Watergate hack. The title of the short comes from a phrase coined by a psychologist and is synonymous with gaslighting – treating someone who sees things quite clearly as if they were crazy. In other words, you cannot trust your lying eyes.


Perhaps one of the most memorable characters of the Watergate era, Martha Mitchell was not a politician, but the wife of one, former U.S. Attorney General under President Nixon and later Nixon campaign chairman John Mitchell. History will record that Martha Mitchell fearlessly spoke the truth despite powerful people trying to silence her, including her own husband.

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Described as classy, ​​charming and party-going, Mitchell was more in demand for magazine covers and talk show appearances than First Lady Pat Nixon. The outspoken Arkansas native was once a regular on local D.C. news stations, developed a penchant for calling reporters on a whim, and frequently appeared on talk shows and television programs to sound the alarm vehemently about the dirty business inside Nixon. administration. And for that, she was drugged, muzzled, locked up in a hotel in Newport Beach, California, branded as a crazy alcoholic who didn’t know what she was talking about and faced severe gaslighting, all with the blessing of her husband. .

Shortly after the Watergate scandal, John and Martha separated. One day, after allegations that her husband had left her and left her only $945, Martha called Bob Woodward from Washington Post, inviting him to drop by her estranged husband’s office. Worried about the intrusion into the man’s private office, Woodward first consulted with Mail renowned attorney Edward Bennett Williams. When Woodward and Bernstein arrived, Mitchell met them with a martini in hand and soon pointed out a long corridor leading to John Mitchell’s office.

— Hold on, boys. Please nail it. I hope you get the bastard.”

She then ordered Chinese food. Woodward recalled that he considered Martha an evil wife, but reliable. The two prominent reporters spent four hours in the apartment, going through boxes, binders and bank files, before leaving with valuable scooping information that made it to the front page of the newspaper. Washington Post in June 1974. Mail the story of how Elmer Bobst wrote a letter to then U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell promising that a friend would donate $100,000 to the Nixon campaign in exchange for help with a pending case before the Federal Trade Commission came to the attention of John Mitchell’s lawyer Bill . Hunley. Angry and finding out that Martha was behind the report, Hunley told Woodward that he knew about it. [expletive] gave him the papers.

John Mitchell served 19 months in prison for involvement in the Watergate scandal. James McCord, one of five people arrested for the Watergate invasion, confirmed that the White House tried to discredit the beleaguered whistleblower because “they were extremely jealous of her popularity and feared her because she was so outspoken.”

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