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October 23, 2021

Murwillumbah Q&A to look at TV political debates

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A still from the film Best of Enemies, showing Gore Vidal and William Buckley debating US politics.
A still from the film Best of Enemies, showing Gore Vidal and William Buckley debating US politics.

A new award-winning film looking at the development of televised political debates over the past 50 years, screening this Sunday at Murwillumbah’s historic Regent Cinema, will be followed by a Q&A led by ABC journalist Kerry O’Brien.

The discussion panel will also feature author Edna Carew,  longtime state political correspondent Alex Mitchell, and ex-president of Northern Rivers Friends of the ABC, Neville Jennings.

They will discuss the film Best of Enemies, a documentary on the famous series of televised debates during the USA 1968 presidential election campaign, between the conservative William F Buckley and the liberal Gore Vidal.

It was the first time televised debating was used for a political campaign, becoming the forerunner of what is now normal practice everywhere.

Six-times Walkley award winning journalist Kerry O’Brien has been the ABC’s most respected political commentator and interviewer over some 30 years, and described in media quarters as ‘the king of serious prime-time current affairs’.

Edna Carew is a journalist, frequent radio commentator and author of a wide range of books, including the best-selling Fast Money and Language of Money series and the biography of Paul Keating.

Alex Mitchell is a former state political editor with The Sun-Herald in Sydney and a former president of the NSW Parliamentary Press Gallery, and Neville Jennings is an educator and Friends of the ABC veteran

The Regent Cinema is particularly excited to be able to hold an event of this type in Murwillumbah. The film brings to life the impact that the first televised debates had on American society in 1968, and provides a great platform for a discussion on the development of political debates since then.

Regent Cinema owners Ken and Mia say the event is a great opportunity for the Tweed Valley community ‘to hear first hand from those who have been at the cutting edge of political interviews and debates in Australia’.

The film screens at the Regent on Sunday, 30 August, at 6.15pm. Tickets are adults $15, concession $12 and available at the cinema or online at www.trybooking.com/155427

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  1. Could Kerry answer the question “why are newspapers so biased eg anything printed in the Murdock press is extremely right leaning to the point I will not buy any paper printed by Murdock.


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