KCRW's Left, Right & Center

Reviews For KCRW's Left, Right & Center

This podcast is mainly left-leaning, with little perspective from the right.
Your medical “expert” gave guidance (more than once) of getting help if you have a fever of 125 (I presume F) but no other symptoms. I believe this is reckless given that the human body is in a state of hyperpyrexia at this level. Did she mean 105F?
Hi, I’m Josh Barro. I’m a republican, but since I hate Trump I’m the new “moderate.” To my left is Liz Bruenig, a theology major and “Catholic Leftist,” whatever that is. To my right is self proclaimed nationalist; Rich Lowry, editor of far-right political “news source” the national editor. Together we’re a group of 3 white millennials giving our hot takes on politics. Civilized yet provocative! Yeah right! You sound like 2 alt-right school boys arguing with their Aunt that “prefers the old Republican Party” at Thanksgiving Dinner. If you really want to talk about politics in America, maybe feature more than 3 people’s opinions because uh newsflash. Not everyone in the Democratic Party is a religious, college-educated, wealthy white woman. And not everyone in the Republican Party is a rich, nationalist white man at the top of his career. Maybe add some diversity to this podcast and showcase some legitimate debates.
I am a new listener, one month, so I am still keeping an open mind, and the NPR source put me on guard. They are OK they certainly argue their points with logic, but I don’t know they I get the balance the the title indicates.
Finally! An intelligent podcast for policy wonks and those who do not get caught up on the tag lines.
This is sometimes a good show. If you agree with every viewpoint, you’re being dishonest, because they intentionally include people with different views. This is not falsely advertised, it’s for real! Don’t hate people who are being honest with you. Grow up and listen like an adult. Don’t get your knickers in a twist because someone said something you don’t like. Grow up and thank your mother for giving you life. I think that free speech is best when it’s honest
I’ve been listening to nearly every episode for several years and I don’t think I’ve ever really heard anyone from the left. The guests from the right, like rich lowery, are always very very much to the right while the guests representing the left are moderate at best. Should be called center, right, center
Smart, articulate people with good, solid thinking. Gives me some faith in future and this country. 🕊💗🌷
I really like the show. But its lacking. Been listening since before Josh became the host. I appreciate Josh, think he does well in the “middle”. Rich is good as the “intellectual conservative” that for some reason like the rest of today’s republicans has become a Trumpster, even though its at the expense of our democracy, as long as Trump is doing policy things his fellow conservatives adore its ok to flush the vision of our founding fathers down the toilet. So Rich is good to uphold that wacky side of the conversation. But then there is Liz? Why is she there? Doesn’t really add any depth to the conversation from the liberal side. Shes so blah and boring, has has nothing to add unless its about Bernie, the “lost cause” candidate that is willing to cut our democracy’s nose off despite our face. The show needs a liberal pundit that has some depth and passion for the liberal agenda like Rich has for Trump. Please, bring some liberal energy into to show to spar with Rich.
I like hearing from different POV in a civilized manner. But I may have to stop listening if Liz continues to start her comments EVERY TIME with “I mean.” Just stop it.
Josh is great at moderating and holding the center. Rich was a movement conservative but became a Trump apologist in order to survive professionally. Liz is really not speaking for the left in general any more; just campaigning for Bernie. (Maybe she should step aside for awhile.) But they’re courteous to each other and talk past each other, naturally. Good to be exposed to different POV.
Keli Goff has the crappiest takes on everything and asks the least interesting questions. Also, most of the foreign policy debates and analyses (even when Barro is the host) are completely devoid of facts and push American imperialism. Get rid of Goff plz I can name twenty other women who deserve her spot as “center” that are much much more thoughtful
Josh, Elizabeth and Rich are very good. Keli is not good, is the most conventional thinker and worse listener.


By shum57
Please. If you insist on bringing Keli on as an all-too-frequent guest, can you at least ring a bell or something for every time she explains why she is “no longer” a Democrat?? Her bits will be infinitely more entertaining, and more enlightening, as long sequences of bells.
jesus it is brutal listening to these guys, entirely left these days and more of the same ad hominem nonsense you hear from all the other left-wing podcasts. such a bummer because there are many Americans who could use some truly balanced insight but sad to report that there is none to be found here.
One of my top favorite podcasts. It’s a rare place where different perspectives can be heard, and I find evaluating the contrasting arguments both stimulating and helpful. However, and this has to do with the episode from 2/21/2020: since when valuing and respecting the individual is a “Christian” thing? The idea is traced back to ancient Greek philosophy and acquired particular prominence during the Enlightenment, which walked hand in hand with secularism.
Don’t listen to the negative reviews! This podcast helps the average listener understand the thinking behind major viewpoints without the anger that fuels much of the political debate today. If you want to actually hear the rationale—and not emotionally driven shouting matches—this is the pod for you!
I decided to undsubscribe. The Right is Rich "Nothing Trump does is *that* a big deal...the lliberals just don't like the guy!" Lowry and "The Left" is Liz "Can we talk about Benrie? This is all I really want to talk about" Brunig and they are both partisan hacks. It's just not productive. The last straw was when four US attorneys resigned in protest due to the *unprecedented* meddling by the AG, Willam Barr, in the Roger Stone case. Liz Brunig said she'd "ignore it" and blamed the *media* for taking too much attention away from her precious Bernie Sanders campaign while Rich Lowery acted like it's not a big deal (well, the fact this has never happened in modern history *is* indeed a big deal and if left unchecked will undo the credibility and introduce partisanship into law enforcement in this country). All of this left the poor, gas-lighted "middle," Josh Barro, wondering if he was over reacting... No, Josh, you're not, but your cohosts are hacks and ill informed. These are, indeed scary times... I would recommend for those who actually want to understand what is going on, listen to "The Argument", "Lawfare", "Opening Arguments", and "Stay Tuned with Preet" (or subscribe and listen to the excellent "Cafe Insider"). Unfortunately, this podcast is not much better than watching cable TV talking heads, with the exception that they don't yell as much and Josh Barro seems pretty even handed as he tries to keep the ship on course...
Looking at other reviews, it’s clear that liberals don’t think it’s liberal enough, and conservatives don’t think it’s conservative enough. In my view, that means it’s pretty on-point to what the show is intended to be. For reference, I am liberal and overall this show needs more right leaning guess - although the main players do a good enough job.
Using the International scale (where Sanders shows up as middle of the road) LRC doesen’t even make it to the center on an objective scale. (Yes, I am ‘that guy.) It is, however one of the very few attempts to review events from a spectrum rather than a narrow focus lens, so expecting a real leftist may be a bit much. The value is in the attempt. Just recognize that the US is rather far to the right and you’ll do fine. Since writing this review Bob Scheer left the show, taking it from ‘Left, Right and Center’ to ‘right of center, right, and crazy town’ - in other words, about what you’ll find on mainstream media. The show still attempts to show a spectrum but a much narrower one. I can hardly wait for them to (finally) recognize that Sanders is now leading the Democratic primary race. It’s still useful at times but don’t expect too much. Particularly hilarious when the right was trying to dismiss Paul Krugman’s understanding of economics on a recent show. Suggest supplementing with a few other shows like Scheer Intelligence, FiveThirtyEight Politics, At Liberty by the ACLU and Point of Inquiry.
This will sound like a balanced podcast if you tend to lean left, but the "center" is kidding himself if he thinks he's a centrist (if there even is such a thing anymore). He only seems to make statements that you'd commonly hear from someone who always votes reliably Democratic party. Rich Lowry works too hard at being inoffensive to ever make a stand that anyone on the right would recognize as Conservative. Yet, for all the lack of balance I find this podcast strangely compelling. I find it more easily tolerable than most more liberal podcasts to my decidedly right self, likely because of the presence of Lowry, however tepid. I'll keep listening but I'd love a commentator on the right who is as firmly right as the leftward ones are solidly left.
It was great having Susan Hennesey on. Even Rich was fairly even-handed. Liz only gets excited when she talks about Bernie. It was refreshing to see her emerge from her indifference when the subject turned to the coronavirus. Otherwise she seems to luxuriate in her contempt for everything not Bernie.
Great podcast overall. Rich Lowry can be a bit too biased to the right that borderlines extreme, which is unfortunate for the otherwise informative and thoughtful podcast about our politics today.
As an independent, I want to hear all sides. The centrist opinion is nothing of the sort. With consistent soft Jabs and always siding with the left, the centrist disappoints as I feel this is a two on one every episode. Both the center and left commentators always cut off the rights opinions. I’m not looking to hear one sided arguments and that’s what this show has become. Just be aware that the left, right, and center are all anti-trump which means more often then not you will not get all three sides of the trump issue being discussed.
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. Best overall political podcast around. Rich Lowry and Liz Bruenig discussions are tops! Keep em coming.
There are very few places one can find compelling but respectful discussion & debate on political matters from informed people holding different points of view. This is one of them. I look forward to every episode. However, I would like to see Josh Barro hold his panelists’ feet to the fire a bit more vis-a-vis the words they publish to the world on social media. In particular, Rich Lowry writes some ridiculous things on Twitter and is apparently never challenged on them in a respectable forum. It’s interesting to me that he sounds a great deal more reasonable in his arguments on LR&C. Sometimes even persuasive. Why the difference?
Love the idea of having a left right and center podcast but THIS DOES NOT ACCOMPLISH ITS GOAL. I’ve listed to a few and either the left person is more moderate than the center (the moderator) or they left is extremely left and never challenged by the center. So this is a good podcast for left leaning people who want to convince themselves they are moderate, but not anyone else.
Bruenig isn’t terrible but the show could desperately use some different guests on both sides (Matt was refreshing, for e.g.) I especially can’t stand episodes on impeachment without any conlaw experts or even lawyers to call out Rich for his partisan opinions and intellectual dishonesty. Barro sometimes fills that role when he remembers something Ken said that contradicts Rich, but it isn’t enough.
Liz became a mouthpiece for the Bernie campaign. I usually enjoy tuning in and hearing pragmatic discourse, of which Liz has been a favorite in the past. Please don’t turn this into a platform for Bernie which will in turn result in trump winning PA, OH, MI, WI. Never would vote for trump, surely not voting for Bernie either who Clinton was right to call out for having no great accomplishments outside of building a second political cult out of vulnerable college kids. How about we focus on people who can actually bring the country back together of which 4 or more still exist in the dem field.
Its more like center/left, left and left/left. Disappointed


Liz Bruenig is becoming too much of a Bernie advocate to be on the show, esp on the 1/24 episode.
Way too much emphasis on the hard left with guests representing Huff Post, NYT but no meaningful balance
It was a breath of fresh air to have him on in Liz’s place.
I’ve been listening since Robert Scheer and Ariana Huffington were on. This show has moved significantly to the right, so much that my husband and I now call it “Right and Center.” We still listen out of habit.
Matt was such a better guest than Liz Bruenig! I actually enjoyed listening to this last episode. Bring Matt back!
It's just not worth your time. Josh Barrow is great and his guests are talking point aggregators. There's plenty of prevaricating, begging the question, and whattaboutism. I want to be kind and say that this might be okay for people who aren't really politically engaged and want a quick review of the weeks stories, but it's not a news show and you're just getting the dumbest justifications from each side and I cannot recommend it. There are too many other good shows where whatever party the panelists belong to, they don't engage in cheap tricks to defend it.
Sorry. I can't stand listening to Rich Lowrey anymore.
Yeah, I'd push back against that notion. A theocratic state run singularly by a messianic religious figure and has as it's policy nothing but antisimetism and illiberalism... What does modern bureaucratic state mean?
The title says it all! A lot of unbiased information that will help you keep up with politics no matter what side you’re on!
Update: My original review was written 7+ years ago so I thought I’d update it. It really is “Left, Left, and Right” but that’s the way it’s always been. The idea that Josh Barrow is considered the “center” on public radio, tells you a lot of what you need to know. I like listening to Josh Barrow but I doubt he would tell you he’s anything other than decidedly liberal. On their most recent episode about the “Center” in American politics, their host was current Democrat Josh Barrow along with panelists including another fellow Democrat and a former Democrat. That is an exhaustive list. That really is “Left, Right and Center” writ large. ————————————— I don't hold myself in particularly high regard, but having said that, I don't consider myself a partisan. I do enjoy this podcast but I think it's helpful to understand what you are going to get before you actually start listening. As is common with most public radio fare (which I do enjoy), you are mostly going to get strong views to the left of the political spectrum. Now I don't find anything wrong with this, as this is what I expect from public radio and I enjoy listening or reading differing points of view. Sure, it brings a smile to my face when they mention A. Huffington as a "voice of the independent blogosphere," but almost everything is relative. What you get are 3 views that are to varying degrees, to the left of the American political spectrum, and then you have the conservative Tony Blankley. Speaking for myself here, I think that due to his intellect, he really brings some balance to what would otherwise be a more traditionally lopsided public radio podcast (Not that there is anything wrong with that!).
I love that the spectrum of political discourse is considered, I am disappointed that the fact one part is fact based and the other denies all the inconvenient facts. An example would be the “arguments” made during the impeachment hearings.
I enjoy the show and listen to it every week. But this is a very left leaning show. I am listening to an episode now where someone calls Trump a “cult leader” without any objections being raised or follow up questions from other pundits. I would say the show has gotten worse over the last year. Rich Lowry presents more interesting and complex ideas and arguments in other shows and articles than he does here. I am not sure why.
Good show but sometimes the idea that the left is represented is questionable.
This podcast would be more aptly named 'Far right, Right & Center'. They regularly have Rich Lowry to represent 'the Right', as far right as he is. This would be fine if they did not exclusively have centrist / moderate democrats supposedly presenting positions of the Left. If you're going to let the far right represent 'the Right', invite true progressives to be the counterpart.
Like the show. Barro is excellent, and I appreciate that Breunig and Lowry stake out different positions without getting into a food fight. I agree with other reviewers, though, that some of the other guests “from the left” have been quite terrible, especially Lopez.


By 3BrianN
Great! very balanced and informed. It's a trustworthy source of news that tries it's hardest to avoid bias.


By tkim19
Josh Barro is a great host/moderator. Rich Lowry, on the other hand, doesn’t make any contribution to a “provocative” debate when he has zero insight and talks like he’s on Fox & Friends. There have been great guest panelists on the right, and Rich Lowry has got to be replaced. Seek a new right panelist for a truly civilize yet provocative debates.