KCRW's Left, Right & Center

Reviews For KCRW's Left, Right & Center

When people with no experience in the world of podcasting ask me where to dive in and why, I often recommend this show. It is refreshing to hear radically different political beliefs espoused in a calm manner. In addition, the format has some variety. At this point in the culture, political television of all stripes consists of shouting--literally. LRC is an oasis where poeople can hear a variety of ideas expresed intelligently.
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. ————————————— 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!).
Fantastic politics podcast - does a better job of offering credible voices from the left & right than most alternatives. The perspective of the left needs some improvement - pundits seem uncertain whether to embrace radical progressivism or centrist-left politics which leads to a certain schizophrenia in viewpoints. Rich has the balls (which few do) to call out Trump from the right on certain issues. But overall an excellent way to recap political events.
Why isn’t there a cable news station like this? A respectful discussion of politics that draws the open minded to consider alternative points of view.
Left, Right and Center is among my favorite weekly political analysis!
A great place to catch up on the week of news. Wish there were more shows like it. I have been an avid listener for several years now, starting back when Matt Miller was the host. Still a great one.


By LDR1993
Wish this was a daily podcast, like how it isn’t biased like so many shows we have today.
Pundits have no clue. Blathering about nothing that would threaten their jobs at the ministry of truth. Cruise missile liberals vs 4th Reich rightists.
Very smart guests and a willingness to allow the other person to finish their point makes this a fantastic podcast
Left Right and Center? More like Left Left and Lefter. It’s not enough to have a conservative on the show merely to have a conservative. Get someone who can actually debate the points and proudly represent conservative and libertarian ideals. I started listening to this show BECAUSE I wanted to hear strong points from both sides but this is just falling into the category of more mainstream news noise.
Good podcast, I've been listening for a number of years now. But they're version of "Left" is rather tame. If they truly wanted to live up to their name, they've engage wtih a more progressive liberal who wasn't afraid to take the RIght to task. Worth listening to, but know what you're getting.
Josh Barro is the perfect host. He keeps the conversation flowing. I don’t agree with Rich Lowery very often but I always pay attention to his thoughtful explanations. I am so glad they expanded to the full hour.
I look forward to this podcast every week. It’s becoming apparent that today’s tribalism of people living in echo chambers of their own opinions is counter productive. LRC helps ADVANCE the conversation. Josh has taken the center seat woth aplomb and I love what they’ve done to expand the format with add’l guests, including questions and conversation with the week’s right and left involved. Keep up the good work!
Rich has no balls. And I’m sick to death of listening to Katrina grand standing for 50 minutes. Bring back Megan permanently so lrc is an actual discussion again rather than just another tax payer funded leftist public radio program.
I love this show. I love how they have all perspectives and try to challenge all sides of an argument. With that said, I hate that they changed theme song. Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald ‘let’s call the whole thing off’ was so fitting and appropriate. Such a bummer. I hate to say, it but it makes a big difference for me.
The show is much better when Matt Yglesias is on. Otherwise it’s not necessary listening. Slate Political Gabfest and The Weeds are far superior.
This is a great podcast. The name sums it up, you get great opinions from all sides. I love to hear arguments that challenge my beliefs and opinions and this podcast delivers.
I love this show, but KCRW still doesn’t have a reasonable representative for the left. Bob Scheer slowly became too obnoxious and out of touch, so I’m glad he’s gone. Katrina Vanden Heuvel, however, is almost as bad—she’s rude, she rants in non-sequiter talking points, she frequently interrupts, and she seems oddly aligned against any investigation into the Russia probe. I hope she can find another panel to ruin, and let someone better join LR&C.
for the podcast
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 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.