The Martha Mitchell Effect

44 minutes

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An in-depth look at the little-known and unsung woman of the Watergate scandal, and the inspiration to be involved in the political process!


Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are the names most often credited with uncovering Watergate, but it’s time to add another name to the list: Martha Mitchell. The Martha Mitchell Effect introduces viewers to a woman who used her voice to alter the course of American politics and unravel one of the biggest political scandals in history. Martha was married to John N. Mitchell, President Richard Nixon’s attorney general, and this short documentary takes a look at her role in his re-election campaign, his ties to Watergate, and the inner workings of DC politics. Martha was the victim of a smear campaign by President Nixon, political leaders, and her own husband, who said she was “sick,” “all-mixed-up,” “hysterical,” and that she “has a special problem,” for insisting on the president’s involvement in Watergate. She was even imprisoned by her husband’s security guards to keep her from talking. This documentary takes a closer look at her life and all she endured personally to ensure the truth was known.

Stefanie's thoughts

Every day for the past 15 years, I’ve started my day reading about current events, including politics. I truly enjoy knowing what’s going on in the world and keeping up with various issues, but recently, reading about our political system has become so heavy. I feel powerless, and at times I avoid the topic altogether. There are days when it’s easy not only to think “it’s never been this bad,” but also “there’s nothing I can do to change it.” But that’s why I enjoyed The Martha Mitchell Effect so much. I felt so inspired by Martha. She didn’t sit back and complain when things were falling apart around her. She was involved in the process. She used her voice. She endured criticism. And she persisted even when it was hard – even after her husband divorced her – to stay true to who she was and what she believed in.  

She reminded me that there will always be a scandal and powerful people who want to stay in power, but there also will be people fighting for the “right” thing. I can’t stop talking about this doc! It was a conduit to diving deeper into a woman whose name should be known the world over, and I’m glad that I was introduced to someone so unafraid to say what she pleased and fight for her convictions.