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22 AUGUST 2015

The 1968 Buckley-Vidal debates: presaging the end, not the beginning, of the American public intellectual

"The directors of The Best of Enemies, a documentary about the 1968 debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, could have produced a riveting movie simply by splicing together old debate footage. This movie is about many weighty matters--politics, ideology, history, society and the media--but the delicious spectacle of watching two sexy men in their prime, with rapier wit, speaking in the accents of a gone American elite, slicing each other into fine ribbons, makes the film a guilty indulgence.

These two ghosts from a bygone era still make great television. It worked so well, in fact, that the series of debates, created by ABC to attach to the two 1968 conventions–Republicans in Miami and Democrats in Chicago–became the prototype for every television talking head show for the next half-century.

Sadly, no one has ever done it better. ...

The Buckley-Vidal debates could be the high moment in the history of the televised American political debate. But the spectacle contained within itself the seed of the end too. Extreme civility was about to explode and cool William Buckley, whose fate it was to manifest that explosion, would regret it for the rest of his life."

(Nina Burleigh, 1 February 2015, Newsweek)

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TAGS

1968 • ABC (USA) • Best of Enemies (2015) • Buckley-Vidal debates • bygone eraChicago • Christopher Hitchens • conservative cool • conservative intellectual • conventional liberalism • crypto-fascist • crypto-Nazi • cultural elite • culture wars • Democratdocumentary film • erudite commentary • essayist • extreme civility • faggot • Frank Rich • Gore Vidal • great television • information bubble • insult • John Birch Society (JBS) • liberal ideology • liberalismMagnolia Pictures • Matt Tyrnauer • Miami • Morgan Neville • National Review (magazine) • Newsweek (magazine) • novelist • Pericles • polite society • political debate • political ideology • presage • public intellectual • Republican • Robert Gordon • Sam Tanenhaus • social conservatismspectacle • talking heads • Ted Koppel • televised political debate • the media • US electionswhite male • William Buckley

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 AUGUST 2011

The Billionaires Bankrolling The US (and Australian) Right

"Oil billionaires Charles and David Koch's tremendous spending power and reach––what the media has dubbed the 'Kochtopus'––is unrivaled. The conservative nonprofit David founded, Americans for Prosperity, has said it plans to spend $45 million this election cycle, more than three times the $13 million the Democratic Governors Association has on hand as of mid–October. There's no way of knowing how much the Kochs have given to the AFP or any other group; new Senate legislation allows tax exempt nonprofits to raise unlimited funds without disclosure. Publicly, only about $3.9 million can be traced to the brothers, including a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association from David, a former vice presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party."

(Clare O'Connor, Forbes.com, 21 October 2010)

Fig.1 Scott Mitchell (6 April 2011 at 01:32pm). "The Beast File: Koch Brothers", ABC News, [available at: http://hungrybeast.abc.net.au/stories/beast–file–koch–brothers] via: mrpolity1 (uploaded 2 June 2011). "Koch Brothers – The Kochtopus", YouTube

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TAGS

20102DABC News (Australia) • AFP • After Effects • Americans for Prosperity • animated presentationanimationAustralia • billionaire • Charles Koch • climate change • convenient truth • David Koch • Democrat • Democratic Governors Association • Donald Trumpenvironmental changeethics • fertiliser • global warming • global warming sceptics • greenGreenpeaceHungry Beast • Koch Brothers • Kochtopus • Libertarian Party (USA) • lycra • motion graphics • New Media Strategies • oilpoliticsRepublican • Republican Governors Association • Rupert Murdoch • super-rich • sustainability • Tea Party • US electionsvisual essay

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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