Martha “The Mouth” Mitchell Makes an Enemy of Nixon (feat. Vanessa Bayer) – Drunk History


– [laughs]
Hello. I’m John Early, and today…
[laughs] – You don’t have to whisper. – Hello. I’m John Early,
and, uh, today we’re gonna learn
about Martha Mitchell. – [laughs] – Martha the Mouth. – [laughs]– It’s the late ’60s.
It’s the early ’70s.
Martha Mitchell is the hottest
gossip around D.C., okay?
She was married
to John Mitchell,
head of the CRP,the Committee to Re-elect
the President.
“Creep.”She could hear everything
because her husband
is directly working
for the president,
Tricky Dick. She had the hottest goss
in D.C.So Martha is, like, calling
the local D.C. news reporters
and being like, y’all,
we got a story, y’all.
So-and-so’s doin’ this.This person’s doin’ this.Martha’s favorite reporter
was Helen Thomas of the United Press
International, y’all.She’s like, you’re not gonna
believe it, y’all.
So-and-so over here
did that over there.
So if that doesn’t
paint the picture,
I don’t know what will.Moving on.[both laugh]
So… Smash cut to…June 17, 1972,Martha and Johngo to a huge fund-raiser
in Beverly Hills
for the Republican Party.Martha is like,
oh, hey, there’s John Wayne.
There’s Ronald Reagan.
There’s Nancy Reagan.
Suddenly, brring!John gets a call.He’s like, hello!And they’re like,someone has broken in
to the Watergate Hotel.
And he was like, [bleep]!And that’s where
the story ends.– [laughs]Wow.
– Yeah.
– Well, now we know
what happened.
– Yeah, the end.– They broke in,
and that was it.
– Thank you so much.
I’m gonna go. Okay, so the next morning,John Mitchell
issues a statement.
He’s like, this has nothing
to do with the CRP.
This is just, like,
a fun side burglary.
[burps]I’m so sorry.
The press was like,
uh, what about this guy
John McCord?
‘Cause he was one
of the burglars.
So John Mitchell was like,
what’s that?
What was the question?And they said,
what I’m saying is,
John McCord was in the CRP.[dramatic music]And this, again, is fact. He goes, [bleep]!Not only is John McCord,
of course,
completely a member
of the CRP.
He was also
Martha’s head security guard.
And then it starts to dawn
on John Mitchell.He’s like, if I–if I–
if Martha finds out
that John McCord was part
of the Watergate break-in,
she’s gonna spill
the goddamn beans.
So here’s what he does.He takes her to the hotel.He’s like, Martha,
you stay in LA, honey.
– Bill Clinton. – [laughs]
You’re right. That was Bill.Martha, you stay in LA.
[laughter] So–so he’s like,
I’m gonna go to D.C.
just for fun.You stay out here.You enjoy the sun.He goes back to D.C.
to do damage control.But first he has, like–
he then has alerted
his security team,
specifically Steve King.
He’s like, make sure
that you, like, keep her
in the hotel and make sure
that she sees no newspapers.
Smash cut to…Martha Mitchell goes to
the front desk of her hotel,
and she’s like, can I have
a copy of the “LA Times”?
And the person’s like,
yeah.
[laughs]
And then she, like,opens the “LA Times.”Of course, every paper is
running the Watergate story.
She sees John McCord’s name,and she’s like…[gasps]And then she calls
Helen Thomas,
and she’s like, something
fishy’s goin’ on, baby.
Before she knows it, John…[bleep] Steve King,
whatever, not John. My name’s John,
and I’m complicit in a way. You know, we can–
yeah, you know. Yeah!
It’s my fault! Okay, so Steve Kingrips the phone
out of her hands.
Helen Thomas heard Martha say,“Now, you get away from me!”Then the line goes dead.The phone’s hung up,
and this is her first moment
of, like, uh-oh,
you are my captor.
[sneezes]– God bless you.
– Hold on.
[sneezing]Something is wrong.
Okay, so…she’s like,
I’m gonna sneak out,
and I’m gonna go
into the next room,
and I’m gonna get the phone.Like, I need to call
Helen Thomas again.
So I’m gonna sneeze again.– Please. – [sneezes] [laughing]
Oh, God! So she starts to shimmy, y’all,across the side
of the building
to go to her neighboring
hotel room,
truly, like, badass.But Steve King grabs her,physically, like,
restrains her.
He calls
a mother[bleep] doctor.And the doctor says,
“Hold her down, y’all.”
The doctor injects
tranquilizers
in her ass, Derek. – No, thank you.
– They literally
fully sedate her.She’s basically being
held hostage
so that she wouldn’t speak
to reporters.
So she is, like, kept
in her hotel for a week.
– ♪ It’s been ♪
Sorry. – ♪ One week
since you looked at me ♪ ♪ [gibbering]
Sorry ♪ – [laughs] – There’s no way
Com Central’s gonna pay for the Barenaked Ladies
rights. – That’s true.
– They could, though.– ♪ It’s been one week
since you looked at me ♪
So, she is in the hotel for like
a week,and she’s finally released.So she goes backto the Westchester
Country Club.
She bursts in, and she’s like,I’m being held prisoner
by the GOP, y’all!
And John Mitchell’s like,
ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
Sorry, y’all, she’s
a little…[clicking tongue]
So Martha at this point
is like,
okay, I’m being, like,
silenced here.
So she calls Helen Thomas.I know that you’ve been taught that “Deep Throat”
broke the story of “Watergate.” Okay? It was Martha Mitchell. – Whoa.
– So Helen Thomas
runs Martha’s story,
but, of course,
as uszh and still today,it’s relegated
to the women’s section,
just like, “How to Make
a Jello Mold,”
“Touch His Taint if You
Want to Make Him [bleep],”
and then, like,
“The Republican Party,
they are to blaaaame
for breaking in to Watergate.”
And everyone’s like…
[laughs]
So no one cared, but…Nixon catches wind of all this.And he’s like,
this is not
some [bleep] frivolous bitch.He says to John Mitchell,you need to–[laughs]
Oh, God. – [laughs] – [snorts] [laughing] Okay, okay. – Huh?
– Okay, okay.He was like,
keep an eye on her.
And thus begins this, like,
era of, like–for, like– it’s, like, two years
of making her seem crazy.Richard Nixon
tells the press,
she’s an alcoholic.So then what happens is,Nixon pays psychologists
to say she’s crazy,
so Martha’s like,I’m telling y’all
the truth.
John McCord was
my lead security guard, y’all.
We, in fact,
developed a relationship
much like the relationship
portrayed in “Guarding Tess,”
starring Nicholas Cageand I want to say
Shirley MacLaine.
– [laughs] – And, um–and they’re like,honey, you’re crazy.And this created
a very famous thing now
that psychologists use,
which is called
the Martha Mitchell effect,which is when
you’re misdiagnosed
as being delusional when
what you’re actually saying
is just the truth.– Whoa!
– Yeah. So two years later,Woodward and Bernstein
blow the lid off the story.
And, like, and then–
and thusJohn Mitchell
is sentenced to prison.
And Nixon resigns on TV
in 1974.
Martha Mitchell,
she’s laying back on her couch exactly like
I’m doing right now, okay?She’s literally–
she’s, like, martini in hand,
and she’s like,
I told y’all!
Martha dies in 1976,but at her funeral–
and this is so beautiful–
at her funeral,
they make a sculpture
out of white chrysanthemums
that says “Martha Was Right.”
It’s so punk rock.– Wow. – She’s the reason we… know about Watergate. – Cheers, John.
– Congrats. What a–what a fun–
what a fun time. – The best.
– To Martha.

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