KCRW's Left, Right & Center

Reviews For KCRW's Left, Right & Center

Is NPR even trying to appeal to a younger demo? Missing the Matt Miller days and more formidable representatives of the left.
The Liz and Rich show is getting very tiresome. We know their agendas by heart and it’s getting very repetitive.
I enjoy listening to this podcast but I had a hard time listening to Tyler Cowen. Why not have Nancy MacLean on to talk about the role of George Mason University in spreading radical right ideas.
Rich Lowry’s comments on abortion are surely well-meant, but seriously? There is no way for you to know how personal it is to carry your child inside you. They are a part of their mother in every way! You cannot know, and therefore you should have no part in any woman’s decisions about her own body. Sorry. None. Period. That would make all women slaves. Surely you can see that. It is the hardest decision any woman will ever make, and the last thing she needs or should have is a man trying to control her body. We should have restrictions involving the second and third trimesters, but we should also make sure that every woman has good birth control options readily available. Also educate girls about their options, so they don’t feel ashamed to ask for help in obtaining birth control for themselves. You want to have less abortions in the United States? So do I, and for now, that’s the best way I can think of. I love your podcast 🤷🏼‍♀️
In days when most journalists and pundits are with Trump-giddy or foaming at the mouth, Josh Barro is one of the few who can keep his biases in check. I find Liz Bruenig an excellent advocate for the left, even though I disagree with her on pretty much everything. Rich Lowry is the one I find least exciting, but he's solid.
Rich Lowry, who regrettably appears on nearly episode of this podcast, has transformed from an ostensibly principled, rational conservative to yet another Trump boot-licker. He’s a microcosm of the National Review and “intelligent conservativism” broadly. The show also touches on esoteric economic issues more than I’d like. More social issues, please.
They are all mainstream pundits and their focus on appearing professional and civil means that they frequently let patently false and ethically incoherent positions go unchallenged. The “left-leaning” guest in one episode was from the Washington post....yes a publication known for its robust representation of the left. Richard Lowry gets to say whatever he wants and is at best passively aggressively challenged by whatever corporate liberal they have on. This post political drivel should be called neoliberal, neoconservative, and Reagan conservative. That would be a more apt description.
I love this podcast. Yet, as a gay man I am offended by this episode because of the overt emphasis on Mayor Pete. You barely touched on the other candidates. Josh Baro’s husband works for Mayor Pete so it’s not shocked this episode is extremely biased towards him. And to hear the female cohost talk about how she forgets that Mayor Pete is gay, but she didn’t go as far to say why she forgets he is gay. The main reason is because he is the perfect ideal of what an ‘acceptable’ gay man should be according to many Americans. For example, if Mayor Pete had a higher pitch voice, or came out earlier in his life than hiding his identity for almost his entire life, people would remember he was gay. But because he fits a cookie cutter version of a heteronormative, heteroacting gay man, people don’t look at him as a gay man. Moreover when Josh said that not much of the media attention has been about him being gay, I laughed. Almost all the media coverage surrounding Mayor Pete is about him being the first gay presidential candidate, him having a husband, coming out at a late age. Josh Baro has no problem ignoring Sen. Kamala Harris because he has an implicit biased against a black woman over a gay man running for president. This is a slippery slope. Someone with a major platform like Josh Baro, who has a husband he is actively campaigning for Mayor Pete should NOT be talking about Mayor Pete at all because he is biased and hasn’t leveled an criticism against him. Josh has leveled criticism against every female candidate in the race, but had not leveled one criticism towards Mayor Pete. Please do something about this. I know no one will read this, or think anything of it, but just listen to this most recent episode and you will hear Josh Baro level a bunch of criticism toward a black female candidate with more experience, but praise Mayor Pete.
LRC does exactly what it sets out to do: present a wide-range of political ideas in a “civilized yet provocative” way. I’ve been a frequent listener since I was a junior in high school, and have been consistently entertained, informed, and challenged by the excellent commentary from all the varied hosts. Topics are always timely, the hosts are well informed, and Josh Barro does a great job moderating discussions to keep things entertaining and clear to almost anyone, regardless of how knowledgeable about news or politics you may be. While I often disagree with many of the points made, I enjoy hearing novel and mainstream ideas argued for and against in a shockingly civil way. All the hosts have admitted instances where their arguments are weak, and none have taken too high a moral pedestal to disregard other viewpoints. It’s almost heartwarming listening to such passionate debate in conversational tones. I love it. I think the fact so many reviewers take issues with both sides says a lot about the show’s success in presenting well-rounded and provocative views more than its ostensible faults. One review said this show is a platform for unacceptable conservative rhetoric, another called it “toxic gas” from the left-establishment swamp. In truth, every host on this show is highly intelligent and very opinionated against the opposing side, and collectively they do a great job keeping each in check. Sure you’ll hear arguments you’ll disagree with, but as soon as I start to feel like it’s too much I can always count on another host articulating the same feelings I have and challenging whatever viewpoint that I was worried about. It is an amazing feat of intellectual integrity, and I’ve rarely been disappointed in the results. Technically, the sound quality is excellent, production values are top notch, the guests are knowledgeable and entertaining, and the arguments are always derived from relevant (if not always the most talked about) domestic and international news. If I could rate it higher I would, and I’m excited to keep listening for years to come. I can’t wait to see them live at UCSB in the coming weeks!
He’s brutal and stays in the dark while supporting trump but acting like he doesn’t. This little song and dance he does is masterful to the uninitiated. He’s supporting the most backward and arcane policy positions while saying, “oh. I’m good, I’m not a big trump supporter.” He’s actually more dangerous than a trump supporter. At least they are straight forward. He is akin to Gaius Cassius Longinus, he will plan the unspeakable in dark rooms while supporting the regressive policies of the Republican Party and outright assault on rights while shouting I’m not for trump for all to hear. We see you. I don’t trust him and I don’t listen to the show anymore after a year of listening. Sorry Josh. This guy is brutal.


So many things just in the first 20 minutes of this podcast were said on both sides that were wrong I can’t bear to listen to this
Liz Breunig is insufferable. I use to love this show when Rich Lowry’s absurd Trump apologies and deflections were balanced by a real Liberal, but Liz Breunig is horrid. Her arguments are superficial and confused and she doesn’t seem to have a regular grasp of the facts. She doesn’t seem to be a liberal at all and insufferably smug to boot.
I wanted to like this, but rich Lowry says ridiculous things that go unquestioned, and Breunig gets to spout her smug,greenwald-Esque takes as though she represents Democrats. She doesn’t. She’s a pro-life Bernie supporter, which has to be a tiny faction. This show does the opposite of what it purports to do.
I used to love Left, Right, and Center for being a solid run-down of the news and a good primer for the different arguments on different issues. I’ve learned a lot from having an array of hosts, and tried to use the different perspectives to inform my own views even when I have ideological differences with the people arguing them. But somewhere around the NFL protests the show’s format and a reliance on commentator Rich Lowry began to give me heartburn. Accommodating right-wing views and phrases that sometimes originate in 4-Chan has made me question KCRW’s understanding of presenting viewpoints unchallenged. Lowry has mocked Liberals for “Virtue Signaling” and attacked colleges for moderating hate speech under the guise of free speech defense but then turned on NFL players for “attacking the troops” in their protests. This week on Twitter, Lowry praised Brett Kavanaugh got vigorously defending accusations of sexual assault, accusations that were corroborated and fact-checked by reporters doing work that Lowry frequently denigrates. So long as the show considers these views equal to the broad spectrum of policy debate that range from conservative to extensively liberal, Listeners will know they’re sharing the table with right-wingers that smile and nod when the dog whistle is blown. There is a place in our media for debate on different perspectives, but Left Right and Center has become the Podcast version of Crossfire, letting morally repugnant viewpoints slip in with regular debate. I grew up in a conservative household, I learned conservative perspectives on policy and economics. Attacking NFL players, Kavanaugh’s accusers, and Colleges isn’t a debate about policy, it’s kindling for a culture war that’s starting to claim actual lives.
I can remember the day when this podcast was a good way to hear rational debate on many sides of an issue. I stopped listening (a few years ago) when the scale was tipped heavily to one side. I recently tried an episode...and all I heard was as my title suggests, the noise coming out of bubbles of swamp gas as they rise to the surface of the political argument. Everyone HATES the president, wants crony capitalsim, wants socialized, everything, and just argues on their their way to and as they sink to the bottom of the swamp. Find some panel members who are immune from TDS, and who don't have praise for Marxism, and maybe it will be worth listening to.
Sensationalized news was stressing me out so I went searching for something that was calm, informative, and presented multiple sides. LR&C is definitely left leaning, but always has a conservative in the room to weigh in on things; in fact I’d argue this podcast has pulled me more to the center than my previous radical left leanings. One thing I’ve noticed is they seem to think that having their political bases covered means they’re covering all perspectives. I remember one episode where everyone on the podcast was religious and talking about separation of church and state. It was disappointing they didn’t bring in any non-believers to weigh in. Overall great podcast. Wish they had an episode every day!
I believe your guests are always against President Trump I want to hear both sides That’s why I gave a low rating
I listened to this podcast for a long time before Lowry finally got to be too much for me. He’s extremely, irrationally pro-Trump. He twists himself into pretzels to support the guy no matter what he does. I like hearing alternative viewpoints but I want them to be fact-based. David Frum does a better job with that. So I finally had to unsubscribe.
I just love the diversity of viewpoints and a civil discourse. In this age of shock political punditry, it’s nice to have a balanced and intelligent source of commentary from all sides.
Lots of argumentation in the current set-up of the political views of the hosts, and reviewers complaining of them. Liz Bruenig plays the role of the “Left” on the show. She is a Bernie Sanders supporter and accurately reflects a relatively nuanced view of progressivism. Josh Barro is the host and takes on the role of the “Center” on the show. Josh is socially liberal and fiscally moderate. That said, his role is more presenting the topic and questioning the Left and Right about their views on it. Josh does a great job of representing the modern center. Rich Lowry represents the “Right” on the show. Rich is someone who disagrees with Trump’s personality and temperament but curious of his policy decisions. Whether or not this accurately reflects the current viewpoint of the right is a valid question. Rich is a Buckley-esque conservative and you know what you’re getting with him and his views. Hope this helps potential viewers understand the show they are thinking of watching. Overall a great show, been listening for 4 years.
It is very hard to find something that is balanced these days. I so appreciate this podcast and the viewpoints from both sides and guests which are never angry or ugly. Informative and so very refreshing. I look forward to every next episode!
Unfortunately, this beloved show has become victim of giving equal treatment to all views no matter how extreme. Let’s get this straight, Rich isn’t a balanced conservative view but is simply a Trump sympathizer and far right wing hack. There is a conservative intellectual view that is important to consider and include in the diaspora, unfortunately, this show now mistakes inclusion with meek subservience of balance that has swung so far right, it doesn’t realize where it stands now.
I’m not listening to another minute of white people rehashing the same tired argument of “we just need to make an economic appeal to Trump voters who are scared and angry at brown people.”
Usually a decent podcast but this b-team they brought in are terrible. Multiple random unsourced quotes that they stumbled around without any sort of clear narrative other than “Bernie bad”. unsubscribed
I have been listening to this show for years, from the days of Arianna Huffington, Matt Miller, Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley. Funny enough even as a liberal I found leftist Scheer the most annoying with his self-righteous diatribes, but overall it was usually a good conversation of genuinely different POVs. It has really gone downhill recently. Rich Lowry is like a walking right wing think tank come to life. Everything he says is predictable and partisan. And now the left are journalists from the Washington Post?! is this where we are these days - centrist journalism is the left? Give me a break. Bring a real leftie like Naomi Klein or one of the Crooked media folks, get rid of Rich for a more free thinker, and maybe we can have some real debate again.
This is, bar none, the best rational discussion of current political issues, bringing together views from Left and Right for reasonable, relatively low-spin, reflection and light analysis. Plus, it’s actually reasonably entertaining as well. It seems like politics is the only realm in which a string of mediocre words can be used in a five-star review, but I’m sooooo very grateful there’s a podcast like this one! Every Friday afternoon/evening, I start impatiently refreshing my feed in anticipation of the next LRC. 😁


Have Steph Kelton on the show to offer mmt side, Josh, otherwise....
It’s a pretty good show, but it’s based on a California conception of the political wings. “Left” hosts, like Emily Bazelon, aren’t very moderate, whereas “Right” hosts, like Rich Lowry, are fairly moderate. At the same time, I think the Right has more extreme journalists in the media generally, so it’s a tough balancing act. Josh Baros is a great center for business issues, but not really for social issues. Overall it’s a top notch show.
Otherwise the guy named Rich defending Trump this would be a fantastic political podcast. The host stole the "God Bless You" bit from David Sedaris.
Josh Barro does a good job challenging guests on their claims, and asking about what may seem to be contradictory beliefs.
Another example of the fact that 99% of journalists are liberal by definition. When are you guys going to figure out this isn’t working? Even though our president is an a-hole, for the most part he’s a conservative. There are still a LOT of conservatives out there, and you’re going to lose the next election because most listeners can see through your bias. I gave it two stars only because as jaded as they are, the speakers tend to be educated and well spoken.
You have an opportunity to listen to conservative and liberal ideas butted up against each other without the blather and echo chambers but through sensible conversation
Not a bad idea to have a podcast with a balanced lineup talking about political issues from different angles. But two episodes of Rich Lowry’s bad faith argumentation was enough for me. Lose him as a host and I might give it a try again.
I’m sorry I have tried to listen to you guys. For a while it wasn’t bad but now it’s just a complete left view of all things. It’s really just pathetic that you call this pod cast Left, Right and Center. Just re name it and get it over with.
Great podcast, but Josh is often not exactly “center” on a lot of things. But still my favorite listen on the drive home!
I’m Normally a massive fan of the show but to cut off the debate before Mr. Vargas had the opportunity to respond really upset me. That’s JUST when it was getting interesting, and a discussion about the PURPOSE of immigration is precisely why I tune in.
His replacement is SO obviously on the left it’s killing me. Love the show otherwise 😘
Episode “Stand by your prince” is what is wrong with our political discourse. Wild claims made about Georgia’s gubernatorial race that go unchallenged, makes it difficult to have a constructive discussion. The guests claiming Stacey Abrams election was stolen do not know basic facts about how governments work or twist facts for an agenda. This rhetoric hurts us all.
Left left and slightly right masquerading as some neutral podcast


can’t you find a better commentator than ann marie cox?
I gave this show about 9 months but it is not really that engaging. I liked the premise, but it is not well executed. In short, it is really just more of the 3 progressives vs 1 conservative panel format that dominates public radio. The show would be more aptly titled Far Left, Left, and Center. How they can claim that Josh Barro is the “center” is beyond me. Most shows that had a few hits with journalists, columnists, or other subject matter experts have and they are almost uniformly from the left.
The problem with most political podcasts is they make you angry with one side or the other. Although I like to listen to stuff on both sides I come to this podcast for the sanity. Thanks and keep up the great work.
For the love of all things holy, either move the mic away from Rich’s nose, or make him breathe out of his mouth, because that breathing sound directly into the mic is infuriating.
I look forward to this every week. Far better than any other show that pretends to give every viewpoint. This one actually does. Keep up the good work!
Claims to have views from every side. Too bad the left view is from someone who could write for Salon and the right view is typical Fox News. Liberal leftist propaganda.
Left, Far Left and Extreme Absurdity
So much better since they got Josh Barro to host and got rid of Bob Scheer, added more time and segments, more guests, etc. He’s really turned the show around and made it more interesting and relevant again
For me The thing that made @lrckcrw so special was its format: a straight-ahead political discussion-conversation from different perspectives with a seated panel from start to finish. I enjoyed hearing honest, opinionated, informed, uninterrupted dialogue. I always thought the show was too short at 30 minutes because they never really had time to delve deeply into any one topic. Then they extended the show to an hour and I thought great, now they can really go to town with the "civilized yet provocative" conversation,discussion& debate.Little did I know that @lrckcrw was about to become the Josh Barro GoodTime Hour. The host Josh Barro started doing the things that they do on every other news magazine show at the expense of the best thing about the show-its format. Josh started asking the panel to "sit-back" while he did separate interviews and discussions with other guests. Then Josh would invite the panel back and bring on another guest-completely destroying the continuity,mood and tone of the initial discussion with the original panel. Its also very problematic for Josh to be both the host and the Center voice for the show. As the host he has certain allegiances and obligations that certainly infringe on his freedom to speak his mind for the Center. Then they thought it would be a good idea to change the show's theme music-"Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"-an iconic duet featuring Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong to something bland & generic that would fit in better with the show's new bland & generic style & format. How could it get any worse, you ask? Well, after giving up on the show months ago I recently tuned in again to see that Good Old Boy Josh B has STOLEN the LRC show description for his latest "All Trump/All the Time" radio endeavor "LRC Presents: All The Presidents Lawyers." LRC is now described as a "weekly confrontation"while his new show is the "civilized yet prococative discussion," allegedly. It wasn't enough for them to change the show music & the unique format, they had to steal the catchy show description too for their new Trump All The Time trainwreck of a show. Sounds like the're auditioning for MSNBC jobs. Oh wait, josh is/was already an MSNBC contributor. I can understand the motivation for wanting to make the show more relevant for todays audience in regards to music& format etc, but stealing the show's description for your new Trump Sh*# Show is just cheap, lazy, and more than a little sleazy. Way to go guys!