”The Martha Mitchell Effect” with Anne Alvergue & Debra McClutchy


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Coined by a Harvard psychologist in the 1980s, the “Martha Mitchell Effect” describes a process in which a person’s beliefs are initially labeled as delusional but later turn out to be true. But who was the real Martha Mitchell? What were her claims about Watergate? And why, until now, has she been largely erased from our collective memory?

Opening up to Ken about their riveting all-archival documentary short “The Martha Mitchell Effect”, filmmakers Anne Alvergue and Debra McClutchy describe how they set out to widen the lens on Watergate beyond “All the President’s Men” to include the key perspective of Martha Mitchell, wife of former Attorney General and Nixon campaign chief John Mitchell. Dismissed at the time as being crazy and a drunk, Martha was, in fact, the victim of a well-planned gaslighting campaign hatched by Nixon, his top aides and even her own husband. Stunning in its revelations and highly immersive in its creative approach, this powerful film will no doubt leave you with a new perspective on those dark days of American history. Speaking truth to power tends to have that effect on people.

“The Martha Mitchell Effect” is now streaming on Netflix.

Hidden Gems:

Debra: “More Than I Remember” by Amy Bench

Anne: “Deerwoods Deathtrap” by James P. Gannon

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