New voices from all political backgrounds left, right and center
Dear listeners from Left, Right and Center,
Each week on Gauche, Droite and Center, we close the program with Rants: a last forum for our pet peeves “from all political horizons”. Today I want to tell you about a format change of the show that focuses on those last four words. We plan to include more of this political spectrum on the left, right and center.
Since 1996, when KCRW created Left, Right & Center, our panelists have been on the show for extended periods. We think it’s important for listeners to develop relationships with our panelists, get to know their politics, and get a feel for their agree-to-disagreement chemistry with me and the other panelists and guests, and show the change over time or the firmness of their positions.
The flip side is that this approach involves only one perspective of one person on either side of the political spectrum for extended periods of time and does not necessarily reflect the diversity of perspectives and experiences that exist in the two political coalitions. In recent years, we have started to include more subject matter expert special guests, in part with the goal of bringing in a wider variety of voices. But we think this moment – just months before the 2020 election, at a time of great change in America – calls for a new approach to the show that brings in more voices left and right.
So, over the next few months, we’ll be welcoming a series of panelists from right and left, each joining the show for a few weeks at a time. I will always maintain the Center – except that Keli Goff will continue to be the guest host for me – and a lot of the right and left voices you’ll hear will be voices you’ve heard on the show before, but not as often. as you will do now. Here is an overview:
First of all, I want to thank Christine Emba, who has been the Left on the show regularly since April. Christine has been a great addition to the show and will be back for another stint as our left in October and November, and as an occasional stand-in in the meantime. I also want to thank Liz Bruenig. I have really enjoyed speaking with Liz over the past year or so and look forward to seeing her again on the show soon.
Dorian Warren will be our left panelist for July and most of August, through the Democratic National Convention. I can’t wait to speak with Dorian about how the Democratic Party can and should be progressive, and we can deepen the politics as the party heads to its convention and focuses its posts on what Joe Biden would do as president. .
I would also like to thank Michael Steele for great conversations with me and Keli Goff as a right-wing panelist last month. Megan McArdle was our right-wing panelist last week and will continue in that role for much of the summer. Megan has been a special guest and panelist on the show for years, and I know she’s a favorite with listeners.
Megan, Dorian and I have already taped a special episode to air on July 3 – a conversation about this extremely eventful year and whether we’ll see any persistent change from this pandemic and the protests against racism and police brutality – and I can’t wait. to dynamic conversations with the two of them in July and August.
Finally, I would like to salute and thank Rich Lowry, who has been on the left, right and center for many, many years. I’ve always enjoyed debating Rich and can’t wait to have him on the show again.
Many of you have asked when some of the panelists will return to the show, and I hope this announcement of a new format for the show clarifies that in part. Some of you said you were happy to hear more consensus than usual on the show over the past few weeks, while some of you tweeted that the show is just “Centrist. , Left and Left now, “which is a complaint we’ve heard before and take to heart. (We also continue to hear, weirdly, from some people who think the show is right-wing.)
We appreciate your comments and suggestions for voices you would like to hear on the show. Frankly, the Trump era made booking a show like ours more difficult, in part because the president brought so few mainstream conservative comments with him even as he solidified his support for the Republican Party. We’re not the only show that has struggled harder than before at booking panels that reflect the state of political disagreement in America while producing a good-faith conversation from shared factual premises. The election is only four months away, and our approach to who to book on these rotating panels in 2021 and beyond will develop differently depending on whether Trump wins or loses. A political panel shows that reservation strategies are just one of many things that would return to normal in a Biden presidency. But in any case, we believe that increased variety in the composition of the show on an ongoing basis will produce a more lively and informative show.
In the meantime, I will say: expect more of this. Some weeks you will hear more intense debate and disagreement. Other weeks there will be more common ground than you think. I will not promise more argumentative shows or more accommodating shows. The only thing I promise you is a good faith debate between people from all political backgrounds.
Thanks for listening to Left, Right & Center.