|John and Martha Mitchell before their 1973 divorce|
Today would have been Martha Mitchell‘s 94th Birthday, had she not had the misfortune of dying in 1976. It’s a good thing she’s not around today, since that spared her the ignominy of having to read, or hear about, the book “The Strong Man; John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate.” This doorstop of historical revisionism, written by Fox “News” personality James Rosen, goes into painful detail, over and over and over again, about Martha Mitchell’s alcoholism, unseemly recounting marital fights and screaming matches observed by others. These details could have been omitted in favour of a few paragraphs here and there in the authors own words, informing the reader that Martha Mitchell suffered from alcoholism, a disease that affects an estimated 76 million people worldwide.
However, that would not have served Rosen, who used Martha’s alcoholism as the main excuse for John Mitchell having taken his eyes off the ball and getting trapped by the Watergate scandal. To read Rosen’s spin of the story, John Mitchell had nothing whatsoever to do with Watergate and it was all the fault of that rapscallion John Dean. This despite Mitchell being found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. He served 19 months of a two and a half years sentence, but went to his grave covering for President Richard Nixon.