‘Best of Enemies’ is rhetorical blood sport (Our grade: A)

William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal in "Best of Enemies."

William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal in “Best of Enemies.”

In today’s age of 24-hour cable barkers and network news scandals, it’s hard to imagine there was once a time when Americans considered public intellectuals celebrities and held network news in the highest esteem.

Such was the climate in 1968 when conservative journalist and intellectual William F. Buckley Jr. and novelist-playwright-raconteur Gore Vidal took to ABC’s airwaves for a series of 10 debates during the contentious Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Miami and Chicago, respectively.

Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s “Best of Enemies,” which played at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, details the rhetorical blood sport that captured the essence of the divide of the American public while setting the course for the deterioration of television news.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Best of Enemies”

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