I've always been a fan of both William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal, two great intellects who have now slipped the mortal coil, Bill (if his faith allows) to the after life, Gore back to dust from which we all (if his belief holds) come.
Thus, I was stunned when in an attempt to discover a funny moment from their 1968 banter of ABC-TV convention coverage, I discovered Buckley at his ugliest.
I was looking for the impish Vidal admonition, "Don't stick your tongue out at me Bill."
Rather, I found, a vulgar Buckley, losing an argument with Vidal over the Vietnam War, resorting to physical threats against Gore. He threatened to beat up the glib author and intellectual, but not only that, quite clearly Buckley referred to Vidal using the Q word, the equivalent of calling a black person the N word. Buckley, before millions of viewers, called Gore Vidal a queer. It wasn't just a slip of the tongue either, but an out and out slur. Ah yes, the glory of live television. No wonder I remembered the convention coverage and preferred ABC to either Walter or Huntley-Brinkley (not an easy thing for me since the only ABC Channel we got--Mt. Washington Channel 8--was rather snowy).
The last refuge of a tongue-tied losing debater to to name call and threat violence.
I never remembered Bill Buckley as such a thug.
Apparently, Vidal brought out the worst in the Yalie. Of course, Vidal also engaged in a bit of name albeith not as vile. He called Buckley a "pro crypto Nazi." As I've always said, "If the swastika fits, wear it."
I learned all of this as I ran the clip on this week's edition of The Liberty Express which first airs Monday night on Manchestertv 23, then reairs Thursday at 9 p.m. and next Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon. By Friday, the show will be up on vimeo.com/channels/libertyx. The boorish Buckley moment comes about midway through the hour.
If you can't wait to see it, just google Buckley Vidal 1968 debates. That's what I did.
The clip runs about 70 seconds; it's not the best quality, but then it was in the grainy days of 1968.
In honor of the Paul Ryan veep selection, I've also located the Throw Granny of the Cliff ad which we are sure to see a lot of the next 90 days. I run that and offer commentary on why Ryan was both a good and bad choice for Romney--good philosophically, politically a potential disaster in the making.
Here, try this. Ain't technology grand? Enough to destoys those we've long worshipped as heroes.!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnxoQnf8Aug 15, 2007 - 1 min - Uploaded by lliberopoulou
This is the well know incident between William Buckley and Gore Vidal that occurred during ABC's coverage ...
video.google.com/videoplay?docid...Oct 18, 2006 - 2 min
A 1968 debate between Gore Vidal and William Buckley where Buckley is called a "pro crypto-Nazi" by ...