Having the ability to quickly indulge your every thought, opinions and desire to a national audience is a luxury many people take advantage of in modern society, particularly through the excessive use of social media and cable networks. Bbeing able to continuously revel in that luxury wasn’t a capability that most people were able to appreciate in the late 1960s, before the launch of the internet and cable television. But that limitation was quickly rebuffed with two distinct political commentators, Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, who infamously debated that their opposing views on society were catastrophic for America. To showcase those notorious arguments between the political analysts of the 1968 presidential-nomination conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties, Shockya has a new exclusive TV spot from the upcoming political documentary, ‘Best of Enemies.’

The personal contentment Vidal and Buckley felt in being able to devotedly immerse themselves in their biggest passions for both their personal enjoyment and professional gratification
is powerfully showcased in ‘Best of Enemies,’ which was co-written, directed and produced by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville. The film, which is set to be released in theaters this Friday, July 31, allowed the filmmakers to chronicle a story where the anger behind the distinct characters continuously kept deepening, as they debated that their opposing views on society were catastrophic for America.

‘Best of Enemies’ chronicles how in 1968, ABC was last in the ratings of the three major television networks, and needed to find programming that would spark people’s interest and increase viewership. So the network’s officials decided to hire Vidal and Buckley, two towering and diverse public intellectuals, to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. Buckley was a leading figure of the new conservative movement, while Vidal was a leftist novelists and polemicist, who was also a cousin to Jackie Onassis.

The two commentators held a deep-rooted distrust towards each other, as they believed the other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. During each of the 10 televised debates they participated in together, the two not only argued over their ideas on political policy, but also personally insulted each other. As the unscripted live exchanges became increasingly explosive, the two eventually delved into scathing name-calling, which kept viewers riveted and led to ABC News’ ratings to drastically skyrocket. As a result, a new era in public discourse and debating on important national issues was created.

People who knew Vidal and Buckley, as well as experts who are well associated with how politics are portrayed in the media, including Vidal biographer, Fred Kaplan; Buckley’s former Executive Assistant, Linda Bridges, and his brother, Reid Buckley; William Sheehan, the former president of ABC News; and Richard Wald, the former head of NBC News and the former Vice President of ABC News, also offered their insight into how the two commentators acted towards each other, and what drove their disdain for each other.

In Shockya’s exclusive ‘Best of Enemies’ television spot, the commentator for the debates describing Vidal and Buckley as two of America’s most eloquent commentators. As shots of the two debaters, including from the ABC News special and on the campaign trail, are shown, Buckley is described as the first modern conservative. it’s then stated that Vidal believed his opponent was the devil. It’s also noted that their two different classes clashed, which led them to despise each other.

Watch Shockya’s exclusive ‘Best of Enemies’ television spot below.

Watch Political Commentators Become the Best of Enemies in Exclusive TV Spot

Written by: Karen Benardello

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *