William F. Buckley Jr.

Episode 39 of the Can You Hear Me Podcast finds the boys talking about William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal.  Their televised debates during the 1968 presidential election conventions on ABC are the subject of the superb documentary “Best of Enemies”, which at this time can be found on Netflix.

William F. Buckley Jr. was a paragon of conservatism during the second half of the 20th century, so it was only natural that Gore Vidal, the liberal writer and political hopeful would set his sights on him.  The crew discuss the documentary, Buckley’s overall impact on the political landscape of the time and his long running television series “Firing Line” where Buckley engaged conservatives and liberals in thoughtful and often times lively debates.

But Gore Vidal was out for blood in the convention debates against Buckley and made things personal instead of philosophical.  Buckley fought back, but he was not suited for such tactics and Vidal goaded him to the point that Buckley lost his cool and snapped on live network television.

gore vidal and william f. buckley during the 1968 democratic national convention debate

Buckley at His Breaking Point

The guys discuss the long term impact both of the televised debates between Vidal and Buckley as well as the impact on the two great thinkers.  These debates were the direct ancestor of the political punditry that we are now inundated with.

But for the fans of the tried and true jocularity of Can You Hear Me, the train goes off the tracks and straight into the ditch by the end of the conversation.  We can only stay highbrow for so long before we ruin everything.  As always, we would love to hear your feedback and thoughts about Buckley, Vidal, or any other topics you want to throw into the ring.  You can email us at canyouhearmepod@gmail.com or find us on Twitter at @realgustav @tywebb3000 @longmireheavy or @canyouhearmepod