KCRW's Left, Right & Center

Reviews For KCRW's Left, Right & Center

Took me a bit to get used to the longer time, but now I am appreciating all the extra talking time guests have. And despite having differing views, everyone is so polite! :)
Less than six minutes in to my first episode, several blatant lies went unchallenged.
Each episode offers facts, opinions from all sides and it's entertaining. I always learn something new. I never miss an episode. Look forward to future episodes.
Great podcast, especially love the host Josh! However getting really sick of Katrina interrupting with her rambling that sounds more like a gossip column than straight talk. Her baseless comments sound more like she’s talking just because she likes the sound of her own voice rather than proving a point. Also, someone keeps breathing directly into the mike with that nose whistling sound...which is making me slightly crazy. But love the rest of the panel and really enjoy the content! Great work!
Left, lefter, and leftest.
Don’t like the program with Josh Barro as moderator - he has an annoying contrarian and sometimes misogynistic bent.
I’ve been listening to this podcast weekly for well over a year now. I truly appreciate the format of this show, because as advertised, you get to hear civilized conversation between intelligent contributors about the political news of the day. Despite differing viewpoints they tend to avoid talking over each other and devolving into shouting matches like the talking heads on cable news. Host Josh Barro (center) does a good job moving the conversation along and asking legitimate questions of his colleagues. I find Rich Lowry (right) to be a fairly reasonable conservative voice who is realistic about both the flaws and the gains of the Trump presidency. I wish Katrina vanden Heuvel (left) would step it up a little bit though, as she tends to dwell on the “republicans are evil and Trump is a flaming racist” trope without ever actually explaining the benefits of liberal policy positions or solutions. Ultimately this is a great podcast... I recommend it to anyone looking for a longer (45-60 min) political podcast that is both interesting and easy to listen to.
The title of this podcast should be Far left, moderate left, and center left. There is zero conservative representation whatsoever. They use zero facts and anecdotal arguments. Completely clueless to the view point of conservatives.
Like hearing multiple sides of a point of view.
I try listening to keep up with good arguments from people I disagree with. However, Rich’s defense of racism is too much. I can no longer listen.
It's weekly. It tries its damndest to provide a variety of views on important issues. And, most importantly, it delivers a regular example of how to engage in respectful, intellectually curious dialogue with people who have different viewpoints than you do. Highly recommend.
The liberal is way out to the left, the host who proclaims to be the center is definitely left and the so called conservative is maybe nearing the center. I still listen to the show however because the topics are interesting and the discussions are civil. I guess the reason it’s civil is that they all basically agree on almost all topics. It’s too bad they can’t really find a true conservative to refute the far leftist and also leftist host. Just to let you know I have traditionally considered myself a moderate, but all the conservative bashing makes me lean to the right because the left is just so far out there. It’s hard to believe people really think this way.
I have subscribed and unsubscribed a number of times. I think the panelists are generally great, and I love the civil discussion. I definitely appreciate the different views expressed and often pick up bits of insight. However, the show really should be called Left, Right, and Farther Left. In the 2017 wrap up show, they had 4 people with strong liberal views and only Rich Lowery on the conservative side. I don't think the show neccessarily needs people farther to the right, but more moderate conservative voices and fewer far-left guest voices could help with balance. Katrina vanden Heuvel seems brilliant, but she is so relentlessly negative about anything and everything associated with the right that it gets hard to take her ideas seriously. She also interrupts and swerves out of her way to take pot shots at conservative ideas when it's just not neccessary and doesn't add anything. This tendency just makes her seem biased to the point of damaging her own message, which is often very good. Again, I think she has so much insight, and it's sad that her unwillingness to validate anything that isn't clearly a left-leaning idea undermines her credibility.
Very insightful and good
This show is kinda no frills, policy and current events debate. Hosts are awesome
As a libertarian it’s difficult to find provocative political podcasts. This podcast lacked the balance in debates an alternative opinions that the title suggest.
Such an excellent program but it, like other KCRW podcasts, repeats within one episode and cuts off ALL THE TIME. Makes the final product seem so amateur?


Love it. Essential podcast.
I love this podcast, but the editing errors drive me crazy. They’ve been happening a lot lately where it just skips around and cuts people off. This is a 5-Star pod, but the editing errors make it really hard to listen to - if they just cleaned that up, it’d be perfect.
I can’t say enough about the production and actors in this podcast. Josh does a fantastic job as well as Katrina and Rich. Not only do all three do a great job in providing straight to the point insight, but they remain likable and patient. I also recommend checking in on their social media. Taylor Harris
I enjoy this show, but like all public radio offerings it remains far from balanced. Even occasionally pushing outright distortions and misinformation.
I listen to a lot of political podcasts these days. I really appreciate that LRC brings a variety of viewpoints to the table and doesn’t hesitate to have respectful disagreements. We need more of that.
The show doesn't really live up to it's name. There's not enough back and forth debate between the panel on the issues. I expected to hear the the left and right really challenge each other's opinions. They did that more on the show years ago. The addition of intereviews with authors and experts takes away time from debating. This show not a adequate replacement for 'The McLaughlin Group'.
Josh does a great job moderating and directing the discussion. I particularly like that he frequently asks contributors make predictions, and i appreciate their willingness to put themselves out there. That takes guts. The podcast feels like an historical document. Often enlightening to listen to episodes from a year ago! I wish each ep was a little bit longer. I like the brisk, to-the-point discussion without the usual histrionics of talk radio, etc., but these days it feels like some news i’d like to hear discussed invariably gets left out. There is just too much stuff going on these days. The regular contributors are all good, but my favorite contributors are the guests that change every week. A great format all around, and deserves a wider audience.
Now that LRC is now close to an hour show, it finally has the room to drill down & explore in more depth what Rich Lowry on the right , Katrina vanden Heuvel on the left & the excellent moderator Josh Barro discuss which are the most timely topics affecting all of us. I like the civility that allows multiple ideas to be shared. I highly recommend LRC to anyone who wants to stay in the know.
Having listened to this show for more than 10 years I am thrilled with the makeover that Josh and company have ushered in! I eagerly await every Friday to hear their insight and views. Thanks for a little sanity.
Ahhh, thank you, KCRW and Josh Barro. I can now listen to your podcast to understand how the other side (in my case, that'd be the Republicans) views health care, tax reform, why they recently seemingly voted against consumers and for banks in denying class action lawsuits, etc. It is sooo refreshing, even healing, to hear people disagree with each other without shouting or name-calling. All three of these people are intelligent, articulate defenders of their respective viewpoints. Of course, the one knock on the show is that poor Rich Lowry has to somehow represent the right, which has now splintered into the traditional right and Trumpism. Josh almost needs another person on the show to explain how Trump's base views issues.
As others have said... “Left, Far-left, and Center”
Could we please lose Katrina as the representative from the left?! The show is so much more substantive without her soapbox diatribes and cutting everyone off. I am center-left, and I find myself wanting Rich to put Katrina in her place on how to debate.
I want to enjoy this podcast, but I feel like it should be called Center, Right, and Center. I would love for a true leftist voice to be on the panel and not just a liberal. I would love to hear some challenging political commentary from the "left" perspective and not just a set of liberal or democratic talking points.
The host all bring various political views while staying civil. Allows you to form your own opinion, which we can luckily still do....for now.
Not as much talking over each other as many of the shows have. Both sides have intelligent people to express their views. I like the additional time on a single subject. Good job!
...but bring back the old theme song. Moving to 1 hour is great, but I'd rather the first half be the old format and then the extras. There's a bit of whiplash between all the topics. Still, the guests and straight-forward analysis from both sides is hard to top, or even find elsewhere these days.
The host does a great job keeping the passions of his panel in check
But I really miss the old theme song. Bring it back!
This is one of the best political podcasts around. Josh is a brilliant host -- he's thoughtful, sharp, and articulate. He asks pointed questions and always pushes the conversation into more provocative and rigorous territory. My only criticism is Katrina. Please, PLEASE, replace her. She's so grating and difficult to listen to. She rarely answers people's questions -- choosing instead to grandstand or simply ramble nonsense -- and she often interrupts and/or talks over people. She adds nothing to the show and, frankly, often gives left critiques/positions unfair representation. I'm a pretty liberal person -- I'm a registered Democrat, majored in Women's Studies, and am a borderline socialist -- and I'd rather listen to Rich talk about cutting entitlements or why he voted for Ted Cruz than listen to Katrina discuss the policy positions I agree with! Please find someone else!!
An absolute gem of a podcast! Exactly what todays political climate requires. The protagonists are polite at all times as well as being well informed. This type of discourse should be required listening in schools, Such a far cry from the usual political diatribe promulgated by party specific broadcasts.
Thanks for a really well balanced insightful show!
I like this show and it's very helpful to me, but Katrina vanden Heuval's reliable interrupting of other speakers gets under my skin. Everyone else takes turns and waits for others to finish speaking before they start speaking. Why can't Katrina do the same? Please stop interrupting, it leads me to ignore everything you say thereafter.
But every episode, people talk over each other. To me, a political podcast should be fun and informational. It is frustration to extract information when hosts cut each other off and talk on top of each other. However, if you like debate style convo, this is the show for you!
I consider it the granddaddy of politics podcasting. As advertiseed it presents all sides of the week's events. Their commentators have become an ever changing group which keeps the conversations fresh and lively. They are informed and I always learn something new no matter how closely I am following events. It has only become better over the years.
I have been listening to LR&C for several years now. It is interesting and informative. With everyone shouting at each other, it is a calm discussion of the weeks issues from different perspectives. Recently, it went to a full hour. I find that harder to keep up with but worth the effort.
In a media landscape dominated by polarizing opinions it's refreshing, and much needed, that there's at least one outlet that seems interested in presenting balanced news and opinion from both sides of the political spectrum.
I agree with the other views that it could be more balanced -- the panel often skews left. However there is always one person representing the "right", and it is a civilized debate on current issues whereas so much today it seems like your only options are a group of similarly minded people or those with opposing views but yelling and talking over each other the whole time.
This is a good podcast for political discussion. However, I wish they would insert fact checking. Rich Lowry (sic), in particular, tends to make statements with questionable evidence as justification. The commentators on the left also have a tendency to overstate things. This could be solved by adding some facts checks during the editing process.
>>>> Update<<<<: LRC has expanded to an hour, a welcome development that features very worthwhile additions to their format. For example, the "It's Been Busy" segment, despite being awkwardly named, is a breath of fresh air, giving guest experts time to explore critical issues that go largely unaddressed by nearly all popular media. Functional democracies require well-informed citizens, but robust public discussions framed by expert opinion are in alarminglly short supply. Props to LRC for shouldering some of this burden, and for shaming the squalid remainder. Side note: Why is it so difficult to find seasoned, balanced, forceful, experienced, liberals to represent the left? Bob Scheer was peerless insofar as experience and assertiveness, but too prone to "hogging the mic" (incidentally, his new show, "Scheer Intelligence", is a great format for him and is time well spent). Too often we hear liberals that are too meek in their delivery, are uninformed, rambling, inarticulate, prone to falling into disproven dogma, eye-rolling logical traps or demonstrably out-of-touch screeds. We need a liberal, time-disciplined version of Christopher Hitchens on this show, and frankly, everywhere. >>>>End Update<<<< Josh Barro, given the unenviable task of succeeding Matt Miller following a raft of temporary hosts, is slowly pulling the show back towards its former balance greatness. Miller, along with Robert Scheer, Ariana Huffington, and Tony Blankley, evinced a chemistry, apparent mutual respect, and above all, unusual competence difficult to replicate. Following Blankley's death, the Right, also well represented by occasional guest/host David Frum, now enjoys the consistent and exceptional voice of Rich Lowry. Barro, informed and articulate, is growing as the center while keeping things running smoothly. But the show has yet to find find a liberal able to fill the rather considerable void left by Scheer, as the Left has seen too many participants possessed more of Scheers' verbosity than his vast experience. One other minor quibble: Too often Barro, as moderator, sacrifices his "rant" time to undisciplined, somewhat rambling guests. Overall, however, this show has been finding its way back. (As an aside, congratulations to Mr. Barro and his husband on their wedding and honeymoon. Now the War At Home begins.)
Great show. Bring sane measured views from all sides. Look forward to it every week. Can't decide if Katrina Vandelheuvel is performance artist or really is just a stereotypical clueless hipster. Baseless stances and throughts based mostly on her "feels." Perfect portrayal of the someone who virtue signals all day. Very fun to listen to the other guests react to her.
Not bad, but far from the title.
I miss Bob Scheer. While he too often ended his viewpoint by trying to blame past Republican administrations for the world's current problems, at least his comments preceeding that were heartfelt, thoughtful and gave insight into the liberal mind. Since Mrs Heuvel joined the show as a regular contributor, we've subjected to endless handwringing gossip about how Donald Trump is a lunatic that is going to destroy America with the help of the Russians. Also it's rare that the "center" guest is not a leftist, so Rich Lowery is usually getting double teamed. Josh Barro is a fair minded individual and good moderator, but he needs to stop having clear leftists play the center viewpoint. If you can't get Bob back at least find someone more likeable and thoughtful to stand up for the left's viewpoint than Mrs. Heuvel. Used to love the show, now not so much.