8.17.15: The Fight That Changed TV & The Speechwriter

Aug 17, 2015

The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago is remembered for protests and violence, but one radical decision that came out of that convention has changed the nature of debate in this country. Today, how the face-offs between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley turned television debates into a blood sport. We’ll also speak with a speechwriter for Mark Sanford, the South Carolina governor who added “hiking the Appalachian trail” to our lexicon. 

Listen to the full show. 

The Fight That Changed TV

Robert Gordon is the producer and director along with Morgan Neville of the new documentary Best of Enemies which tells the story the 1968 Buckley vs. Vidal debate. An adapted introduction to his new book, Buckley vs. Vidal: the Historic 1968 ABC News Debates appeared in Politico.


Chowder With A Side of Politics

As the home of the first in the nation primary, New Hampshire starts to play host to candidates years before elections, often resulting in voters suffering from campaign fatigue long before the primary season even begins in other states. But one Portsmouth restaurant has been embracing that legacy since the 1960s. NHPR’s Emily Corwin brought us the story.

The Speechwriter

Barton Swaim worked as a writer for the disgraced governor Mark Sanford. Swaim’s book The Speechwriter gives us an intimate look at the messy, unpredictable, frequently absurd world of the contemporary political spin room.   

The First Woman to Run for President

Victoria Woodhull’s 1872 campaign for president came at a time when most women did not even have the right to vote – not that they would have backed her if they did. Radio DiariesJoe Richman and Samara Freemark brought us the story of America’s first female presidential hopeful.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org