25 episodes

Left, Right & Center is KCRW’s weekly civilized yet provocative confrontation over politics, policy and pop culture.

KCRW's Left, Right & Center KCRW

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    • 4.1 • 3.5K Ratings

Left, Right & Center is KCRW’s weekly civilized yet provocative confrontation over politics, policy and pop culture.

    Impeached again

    Impeached again

    President Trump is the first president to be impeached twice. What does it mean to hold him accountable? And what should be done about the Republicans who voted to throw out the results of the election? Some Republicans are saying impeachment is divisive and the country needs to move on, but what about the lies the party has tolerated and fomented about the election for months and months. Weren’t those divisive too?

    Josh Barro talks with panelists K. Sabeel Rahman and Lanhee Chen and special guest Zeynep Tufekci about the role social media played in spreading conspiracy theories that led to the riot. Do recent actions by Amazon and Facebook and Twitter reduce the risk of future unrest? And should we worry about the role these large private firms play in shaping the rules of our discourse? President-elect Biden is preparing to take office as his predecessor’s impeachment trial begins. He wants another $1.9 billion relief package — and bipartisan support for it. Can he get that?

    • 50 min
    The pro-Trump mob at the Capitol

    The pro-Trump mob at the Capitol

    On Wednesday, supporters of President Trump ransacked the Capitol after he urged them to march there. The mob entered the Capitol as Congress was working to certify Joe Biden’s election win. Five people are dead. Tensions are very high in Congress. Members of the Trump administration are resigning. Will the president be impeached again, just as his term is up? With less than two weeks until the inauguration, is that timeline even possible?

    Josh Barro talks with panelists K. Sabeel Rahman and Lanhee Chen and special guest Anna Palmer about whether impeachment is appropriate or even possible, and what accountability would look like for this crisis.

    In a week of crises — President Trump encouraging the mob at the Capitol, his call to the Georgia secretary of state insisting he won the state and asking to “find” enough votes to support that falsehood — weirdly, there are positive signs this week for the functioning of the Biden administration. Democrats won both Georgia Senate races, giving Democrats control of both houses of Congress by the narrowest of margins. That means Republicans won’t be able to block Biden’s nominees from coming to the floor, and with the Republican delegation on the hill split over President Trump, does that create more opportunities for bipartisanship in the Biden policy agenda?

    • 57 min
    Uh, deal or no deal?

    Uh, deal or no deal?

    Joe Biden announced his picks to lead transportation, climate, energy and environmental policy this week and it’s making progressives pretty happy. But what will they be able to get done in a closely divided Congress? Josh Barro talks with panelists K. Sabeel Rahman and Lanhee Chen about the choices and the hope for a big bipartisan infrastructure initiative. Do Republicans want to make good on that? Will Mitch McConnell be open to bringing legislation to the floor for a vote, regardless of the outcomes in the two Georgia senate runoffs? And how good is the COVID relief package that’s getting closer to the finish line this week?

    Plus: the panel discusses initial details about the SolarWinds hack and cybersecurity concerns, and Julia Marcus of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Institute joins the panel to talk about pandemic shaming, which isn’t stopping people from gathering at the holidays and might be undermining virus containment.

    • 58 min
    Looking under the hood

    Looking under the hood

    Joe Biden’s cabinet is taking shape. The names are predictable, but the positions they’re attached to is raising some eyebrows on the Right and Left. Josh Barro discusses the Biden economic team and Janet Yellen as his choice for Treasury Secretary, and his choice of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services with new panelists Lanhee Chen and K. Sabeel Rahman.

    Sabeel Rahman says that even if the cabinet head choices are a little confusing, you have to look under the hood to the No. 2’s, the assistant and deputy secretaries to get a better picture of the administration’s priorities and policy direction.

    Why have congressional negotiations over more coronavirus relief stalled yet again? One major challenge is that lawmakers are seeing different crises within the bigger crisis. Some see a V-shaped recovery with household balance sheets faring pretty well, and that is leading some representatives to advocate for a smaller package. Others see a K-shaped recovery that has devastated certain industries and sectors of the population, which might point to the need for even more aid.

    Aid to state and local governments is another sticking point in the negotiations, right as they have a major logistical task in front of them: distributing the coronavirus vaccine. Juliette Kayyem joins the panel to talk about those logistics and a challenging split-screen reality ahead. For the next few months, there will be a lot of optimism and good news about the vaccine and a return-to-normal, while thousands of Americans continue to die of COVID-19 everyday.

    • 50 min
    Caught with their masks down

    Caught with their masks down

    In a dark week for new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, a few high-profile politicians — mostly Democrats — have gotten a lot of attention for disobeying their own pandemic orders and restrictions. Of course, Republican leaders have been far from compliant (up to and including the White House), but is it especially egregious for Democratic leaders caught with their masks down? Are some Republicans unfairly getting a free pass because they have largely ignored the virus in the first place?

    There was some better news this week: states are planning for imminent vaccine distribution. It’s a major task, and there are deep trust issues at play. In Washington, it looks like there’s bipartisan agreement on another coronavirus aid bill. The panel is hopeful that this is the beginning of more bipartisan action and a government that is more responsive to national crises.

    Finally: more women than ever will take their seats in a new Congress and hold posts in the Biden-Harris administration. Is there reason for the Left to celebrate gains for Republican women representatives? The Biden transition team announced an all-woman communications team. How much does that choice matter? And how should that team restore the relationship between the White House and the press?

    Keli Goff hosts this episode of Left, Right & Center with Margaret Hoover, host of Firing Line With Margaret Hoover, and Christine Emba, columnist at the Washington Post.

    • 50 min
    Politics of culture

    Politics of culture

    2020 has been a difficult year. Keli Goff hosts this special episode of Left, Right & Center about how art gets us through tough times, and how it can move us politically too. You’ll hear from four creators and thinkers on the persuasive power of the arts and what pieces they’ve turned to for inspiration and comfort. You might walk away with a new favorite song or play.

    Stan Zimmerman wrote one of 2020’s favorite TV series: “The Golden Girls.” In April, Hulu viewers watched nearly 11 million hours of the show. Zimmerman talks about why the show was ahead of its time, and why so many shows are seeing a resurgence during a stressful year.

    Musician Nile Rodgers might be the reason some of your favorite songs exist. Rodgers is one of the most successful songwriters and musicians ever. He co-founded Chic, and he has producing and songwriting credits with David Bowie, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Madonna, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, and more. He and Goff jam out to “We Are Family” (which he co-wrote) and talk about how certain songs have moved the world.

    Award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau talks with Goff about the power of live performance (something we’re missing right now), why theater is still closed off to many people of color, the role of critics and the canon, “Hamilton,” and more.

    And to wrap it up, Goff talks with Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights organization Color of Change. Rashad talks about the impacts of celebrity on social movements, the power of icons, and why Hollywood and the arts matter to those who dream of and work toward a more equitable future.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
3.5K Ratings

3.5K Ratings

mbishdirndd ,

Not what it used to be

Center, center, and center.

After Years of Listening ,

After Several Years of Listening -Unsubscribing-

I am actually unsubscribing from this show. To say this is "Left, Right and Center" is a joke. It is at best Right with a host and "left" that do there best to be nice and not speak bluntly. They are unwilling to have an honest discussion in the effort to remain "civil." If the left person isn't willing to call the attempt coup d'etat at least insurection you really don't have an honest person in the room (Center or Left)

vessel10 ,

Used to be better

Please bring back Rich Lowry and restores the show to its former glory. He is the only one that can do it. And Josh, please stay center. You are veering to the left too much.

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