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Nov 02

Best of Enemies

A special documentary screening

In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley, Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult – their explosive exchanges devolving into vitriolic name-calling. Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born.

Directed with consummate skill by filmmakers Robert Gordon and Academy Award-winning Sundance Film Festival alum Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom), Best of Enemies unleashes a highbrow blood sport that marked the dawn of pundit television as we know it today.

Join us for this 90-minute screening. A discussion will follow with Dr. Lee Edwards who, not only is among the commentators featured in the documentary, but also has authored biographies of William F. Buckley, Jr. and fellow leaders of the Conservative Movement.

More About the Speakers

Introductory remarks by
Lee Edwards, Ph.D.
Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, The Heritage Foundation