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Here's A Radio Show That Offers 'Left, Right & Center' Views

The story behind "Left, Right and Center" is a rich one, but the long-running Friday public radio series continues to fulfill its mission of being a "civil discourse" between liberal, conservative and moderate viewpoints.

After several years on KVMR 89.5 FM, it's now heard on The Bridge 107.5 FM at  2 p.m. and 7 p.m. each Friday on KVMR's new second signal. 

"Where else are you going to hear these true viewpoints shared --not shouted -- anywhere else but here?" asked KVMR Program Director Steve Baker. 

"I have followed this show for decades, and it's about the best of its kind in the business," he added. 

Whew, pretty high praise, and it's now available twice Fridays on The Bridge, following a decision last year  by show producers to expand it to an hour, which didn't work for KVMR's Friday newshour. 

"This is what we can do when we double our daytime programming with The Bridge 105.7 FM," said Baker.  "It's rare that a show offers these three or more points of view in an hour, go ahead, just try." 

Its current line-up has Josh Barro as representing the center and serving as the moderator.  Barro is senior editor at Business Insider. 

Time named Barro's Twitter feed one of "The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2013," one of ten in the Politics category. In 2012 Forbes selected him as one of the "30 Under 30" media "brightest stars under the age of 30," and David Brooks listed him as part of the "vibrant and increasingly influential center-right conversation."  A former aide to Barack Obama  included Barro on a short list of Obama's favorite columnists.

Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, covers the point of view from the right.  That was a little awkward when Lowry first came on board the radio series because both he and the National Review were not big Donald Trump fans, including an issue called "Against Trump" and The National Review declined to endorse a candidate in the 2016 election. 

He joined the National Review in 1992, leading its founder/editor William F. Buckley to say "I am very confident I've got a very good person here."

Lowry has written two non-fiction books. His New York Times best-selling book, Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years is a polemic about President Bill Clinton, whom he deprecates as "Navel-Gazer-in-Chief".  In June 2013, he published the political biography Lincoln Unbound.

Now representing the liberal and progressive views is Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the The Nation.  

First published in 1865, The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, and the most widely read weekly journal of progressive political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis.

Vanden Heuvel has been the magazine's editor since 1995 and is now a part-owner of the publication. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. non-profit think tank. 

In June 1987, vanden Heuvel edited a special edition of The Nation, "Gorbachev's Soviet Union", which was awarded the New York University Olive Branch Award.

Vanden Heuvel was awarded Planned Parenthood's Maggie Award for her 2003 article "Right-to-Lifers Hit Russia," a report on the pro-life movement in that country.  She won the NYCLU's Callaway Prize for the Defense of the Right of Privacy[11] and the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee's "Voices of Peace" award in 2003.

She has written or edited a number of books, including being author of "The Dictionary of Republicanisms: The Indispensable Guide to What They Really Mean When They Say What They Think You Want To Hear. "

The news analysis show has been a staple of Santa Monica's public radio KCRW for decades and has quite the amazing story itself.

First and longtime produced by KCRW's Sarah Spitz, "Left, Right and Center" started with a crew  of host/moderator Matt Miller (Center For American Progress), former Ramparts editor and Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer on the left and Adriana Huffington on the right. Her now former husband, a Republican congressman, had run for the U.S. Senate.

However, Huffington underwent a political transformation as the show continued and became a representative of the "progressive blogosphere".  Conservative editorial page editor Tony Blankley of The Washington Times then joined the program and  represented the right until his passing in 2012. 

With the success of The Huffington Post website, Ariana  left the show to work on other responsibilities.  The show often has a fourth guest from a rotating number of analysts, including "blogosphere" representatives.  

And before he joined MSNBC as a primetime host, Lawrence O'Donnell would often substitute as the host and moderator of the show. 

The show is recorded each Friday, produced at KCRW by Laura Dine Million, although hosts typically contribute over ISDN telephone lines from wherever they happen to be. 

And after covering the week's events and speaking to invited guests about other topics of interest, each host gets a short period of time to "rant" about whatever they like without fear of rebuttal.

 

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KNOW & HEAR

WHAT:  "Left, Right & Center," a political discussion show featuring progressive, moderate and conservative points of view. 

WHEN: Fridays, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Bridge 105.7 FM (KVMR's new second signal)