>>>> 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.)