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PBS (tv network)

'Best of Enemies' shines a light on fiery Buckley-Vidal debates

'Best of Enemies' shines a light on fiery Buckley-Vidal debates

ABC News was last in the ratings in the summer of 1968, behind NBC's team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite on CBS. It was desperate to gain an edge on the more established networks' news teams. So ABC decided to try something different, hiring William F. Buckley Jr., the guiding light of the-then "new conservatism" to debate writer Gore Vidal, a Democrat and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, during the Republican and Democratic conventions. They had long been ideological enemies and had twice debated before — once on David Susskind's show "Open End" in 1962 and at the Republican convention in 1964. "Best of Enemies,"...

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