15 August 2015

Jim Milholland

Recently, political discussions relegated to cable news anchors and Twitter feeds have come to share a common criticism of lacking intelligent, nuanced debate. There’s even a new documentary, “Best of Enemies,” that looks back at the 1968 TV debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal during the Democratic and Republican conventions with a nostalgic eye. The end of the film laments the current state of the news, which mimics the combativeness of the Buckley-Vidal debates without achieving the same intellectual quality.

While the film did a fine job ‘€” balancing the events of the time and the personalities of the two debaters ‘€” it’s unfair to dismiss the (albeit rare) high-quality political back-and-forth of today, even if without the once-in-a-generation magical reputation of the Buckley-Vidal debates.

If you’re hungry for arguments more comprehensive than what’s offered at presidential debates, feast on one of these five programs:

1. Intelligence Squared U.S.

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