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Left, Right & Center Examines The Role of the Supreme Court

“The podcast consists of three different angles from three different guests.”

Ryan Hedrick



Ruth Bader Ginsburg left her mark as a liberal icon fighting for equal rights while serving 27 years on the United State Supreme Court. Her recent death left a vacancy that gave President Donald Trump the opportunity to nominate a Conservative justice, pushing the court which had a 5-4 conservative majority, further to the right.

KCRW’s Left, Right & Center Podcast hosted by Josh Barro, examines whether the Supreme Court’s power should be limited, what would happen if the court was less powerful, and what role, if any, the court could play in the upcoming elections. The panel also discussed the Breonna Taylor case in Louisville, Kentucky. 

The show aired before President Trump nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The podcast consists of three different angles from three different guests. Jamelle Bouie, New York Times; Josh Barro,  New York Magazine; Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review; Emily Bazelon, New York Times Magazine.

What Does Ginsburg’s Legacy Mean For Law In America?

Emily Bazelon – “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s primary lasting effect is her fight for equality. She was a fierce litigator in the 1970’s for fighting gender discrimination. A lot of the law that we take for granted that says we have to treat people equal, was the law that Ginsburg brought.”

Jamelle Bouie – “Over the last 10 years there have been these major cases where Ginsburg has been in the minority thus articulated the mainstream liberal position in a very forceful way. I think that has helped solidify her icon status in the eyes of many liberals.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty – “There’s a couple of points to her legacy. Her icon status that has been referred to, has only become achieved in the last half-decade. A book came out called the Notorious RBG that transposed this internet fan culture onto a feminist icon. A lot of the celebration was about her litigation before she went to court and a little less about her opinion writing.”

Should Supreme Court Justices Be Term Limited?

Emily Bazelon – “Thereal problem we have with Supreme Court appointments in the United States is life tenure. Almost no other country in the world does it this way. It means that we have these people in tremendously powerful positions for decades and decades.”

Jamelle Bouie – “The country seems like it’s tearing itself apart and we should be looking for ways to lower the temperature of political disputes as much as possible and looking for ways to accommodate political minorities that fear domination by a political majority.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty – “I find myself agreeing with Emily about an 18-year term limit. That is something that has been advocated from both left and right. Maybe there is an opportunity here. I do worry progressives controlling so many other commanding heights in our culture and politics will react to a Supreme Court that seems to be enabling more conservative legislation, maybe more room for running for Republicans in the coming decades.”  

Will The Supreme Court Play A Role In The Upcoming Elections?

Emily Bazelon – “If the courts get involved it could still be a fair outcome, but it will not be good if that is where we are going because this has become such a fraught issue. Frankly, President Trump is turning up the temperature so much that it is dangerous.” 

Jamelle Bouie – “I’m reminding myself that the Supreme Court playing a role in the election is an unlikely scenario. The overall Presidential race has been remarkably stable and even the race in Pennsylvania has been stable with Biden maintaining a modest but durable lead. This might be one of the things that solves itself because everybody is being so vigilant about what’s happening that they are adjusting their behavior to make sure there are no questions.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty – “It’s hard to be predictivebecause we don’t know what the challenges are going to be. In 2000 in Florida, the Bush v Gore {case} ended up being about scope of recounts, whether certain counties should be recounted, or a whole state recounted. There were legal challenges back and forth about broken ballots and how to reconstruct them. We could see some of that or all that this year. I really pray that the Supreme Court does not play a role in the election at all.”

Breonna Taylor Case

The panel also looked at the Louisville Police officers involved in the fatal raid that killed Breonna Taylor. They examined whether there was a viable avenue to prosecute, and whether reforms in Louisville will prevent similar botched raids in the future.

Emily Bazelon – “I do think it’s hard to win these cases. But with facts presented, I do think the Kentucky Attorney General could have won this case.” 

Jamelle Bouie – “I don’t know if I have hope that bans on no-knock warrants will make a measurable difference. There appears to be a basic issue of accountability with police departments around the country.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty – “I think there are police reforms that we should be seeking out. I think a lot of reform should involve more funding of the police, giving police departments more funding to hire higher character individuals, give them more training in conflict de-escalation and better resources.

Left, Right & Center is consistently ranked among the top politics and news podcasts.

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Podcast Review: The Megyn Kelly Show

The Megyn Kelly Show is described as an open and honest show with the most interesting and important political, legal and cultural figures today.

Ryan Hedrick



With less than three weeks left to go until one of the most-contested presidential elections ever, some pundits are rejecting the idea of dueling town halls that featured a moderator who acted more like a debate participant. One of those critics, Marc Thiessen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) was a guest on The Megyn Kelly Show.

Thiessen blamed the chaos of last week’s dueling town halls featuring President Trump and presidential nominee Joe Biden on the Commission on Presidential Debates following the unilateral decision to have a virtual debate without consulting either candidate. “Donald Trump didn’t want to have a virtual debate because of course they were going to cut him off,” Thiessen said. “They were going to put too much control in the hands of the moderator.”

Making matters worse, the debate’s would-be moderator, C-SPAN’s Steve Scully claimed his Twitter account was hacked after he was caught communicating with one of President Trump’s biggest critics, former aide, Anthony Scaramucci. Scully asked Scaramucci if he should respond to the president after he referred to Scully as a “never Trumper.” Scully was subsequently suspended by the network after admitting that his account was not hacked. “The commission tried to play doctor a week in advance of the debates,” Kelly said referring to Trump’s COVID diagnosis. “Meanwhile he was symptom-free a week prior to the debates.”

Donald Trump’s town hall was carried on NBC and moderated by TODAY Co-Anchor Savannah Guthrie who Kelly said was “all over Trump” criticizing her for trying to service the NBC audience rather than the general public. “To me she looked more like Trump’s debate opponent.” 

Kelly and Thiessen compared ABC’s town hall moderated by Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos. Thiessen praised Stephanopoulos for the job he did, asking questions and letting the audience play their role. “The questions from the audience were good,” he said. “It’s always the high-paid journalists that think they are smarter than everybody else that have to insert themselves into every interaction.”

Thiessen concluded that Trump interacted well with the voters but was interrupted by Guthrie who accused him of not answering their questions. “At one-point Guthrie said to Trump that you’re not somebody’s crazy uncle.” The Trump campaign later attacked Guthrie suggesting she had filled the role of “Joe Biden surrogate”.

Kelly surmised a left-wing bias, pointing out that the audience did not get to ask questions until 20 minutes into the town hall. “It was all Guthrie,” Kelly said. At the start of the town hall, Trump endured a series of questions about COVID testing and condemning white supremacy. “Now contrast that with what Lester Holt asked Joe Biden in his town hall and things are different. It’s like the kid glove approach versus the battering ram.”

The last four years have been tumultuous for Trump, according to Thiessen. From the Mueller probe to the impeachment. He suggested that all the adversity may energize the president’s base at election time. “What Savannah Guthrie and all of the NBC folks did to Trump, it just helped him.”

Kelly also spoke to political analyst Bob Beckel about the latest poll numbers. According to several polls, Biden is cutting into Trump’s support levels with key groups like seniors and non-college voters, pushing him to a 5-point lead in Wisconsin and Arizona. Beckel said anything less than a Biden victory would defy everything that he knows about polling and election data.

“Trump is in the worst shape of any incumbent president trying to get re-elected that I could remember,” said Beckel. “I think we saw two types of American politicians at the respective town halls. I think people are tired of Trump.”

Kelly asked Beckel about the 2016 polls that showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by more than five percent in key swing states. “Why should we believe that Trump is headed for a defeat?”

“It’s an entirely different race and an entirely different situation,” Beckel said. “I think people may not be overly excited about Biden, but I think they may feel more comfortable with him.”

The Megyn Kelly Show is described as an open and honest show with the most interesting and important political, legal and cultural figures today.

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The Daily Goes Full Throttle on Trump-Covid Coverage

The latest edition of The Daily hosted by Michael Barbaro attempts to shed light on a timeline of events that led up to the announcement of President Trump’s positive coronavirus test.

Ryan Hedrick



Several news conferences regarding President Donald Trump’s health are raising concerns about the information coming from his doctors, according to two New York Times reporters. 

The president and First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 last week. There are many questions that still need answers. For Instance, exactly when was Trump infected and how many people did he come into contact with after he became infected? 

Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker, White House correspondents for The Times, went in-depth to discuss what Trump’s doctors are saying and if they think his diagnosis might affect his campaign.

The latest edition of The Daily hosted by Michael Barbaro attempts to shed light on a timeline of events that led up to the announcement of President Trump’s positive coronavirus test.

Last Wednesday, Donald Trump traveled to Duluth, Minn., On that trip, one of his top advisors, Hope Hicks began to feel sick. A day later, it was announced that she tested positive. 

On Thursday, the President spoke at a fund-raiser at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. where he encountered hundreds of supporters. By Early Friday morning he revealed via Twitter that he and First Lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive. 

Early Friday evening, Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for evaluation and monitoring. 

According to Haberman, during various medical briefings Dr. Sean P. Conley – a Navy commander and doctor of osteopathy who has been the White House physician since 2018 – evaded questions about whether President Trump had ever been on oxygen. Haberman said Conley gave reporters contradictory statements Saturday and Sunday. 

“Late Friday morning when I returned to the bedside, the President had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%,” Dr Conley said on Sunday, providing details he had concealed the previous day. “Given these two developments I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness. I recommended to the president we try some supplemental oxygen. See how he’d respond. He was fairly adamant that he didn’t need it.”

On Sunday Conley said the president’s blood oxygen level improved to 98 percent. 

Conley was asked why he denied the president had been put on oxygen to which he replied “I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, the course of illness, has had. I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true,” he added. 

Doctors said Trump was given the steroid dexamethasone and a second dose of remdesivir to fend off the virus. 

Peter Baker pointed out that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was very concerned about the president’s condition and added that “the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care.” 

Trump’s team of doctors said that they want him to eat, drink, and walk around as much as possible, adding that they are monitoring any damage to his lungs.

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Battleground America Zeroes In on the War Against Police

“Violence against the police and the politics behind it are the subject of the latest edition of the Battleground America Podcast, hosted by Tara Servatius.”

Ryan Hedrick



Attacks against law enforcement have been on the rise since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Last week two gunmen shot up the home of two New Jersey police officers while they were inside their residence caring for their newborn infant. Luckily the family was on the second floor when the shots rang out.

“Thank God the police officers and their baby weren’t hurt there,” said Camden County Police Chief Joseph Wysocki.

That certainly wasn’t the case in Los Angeles where two sheriff’s deputies were ambushed, both shot in the face at close range while sitting in their vehicle. At least one of the deputies is still in ICU. These cases and more epitomize a nation at war with the police.

That violence and the politics behind it are the subject of the latest edition of the Battleground America Podcast, hosted by Tara Servatius. As lawmakers from Oklahoma to North Carolina lobby to pass bills that would bring stiffer penalties against people charged with carrying out targeted attacks against police officers, Servatius said politicians are ignoring the outright magnitude of the situation. She blasted Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris for praising Jacob Blake and telling him that “she’s proud of him.”

Blake is the 29-year-old African American man who was shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin following an encounter that ended as he tried to climb back into his car while holding a knife. According to reports, he had an open warrant for felony sexual assault when police encountered him that day.

“Do you believe that,” Servatius asked, referring to Harris’ comment about Blake. “It is precisely this kind of wink-wink, nod-nod approval from our political leaders that is getting officers shot, killed, and hunted across the country,” Servatius said.

Servatius said ambushing police became popularized several years ago after a Missouri teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer. A jury decided not to bring charges in that case. Many months after that incident two St. Louis-area police officers were shot during a demonstration by protesters. 

Servatius blamed then-President Barack Obama for his “false rhetoric” regarding hand’s up, don’t shoot; a narrative that spread following the shooting of Michael Brown mouthing the words “Don’t shoot” as his last words before being shot execution-style. The Department of Justice later dismissed the notion in a report.

She claimed that the momentum of “hands up don’t shoot” evolved into people taking pot shots at random cops they would see around town.

“Unfortunately suspects have shot at police since there have been police,” Servatius remarked.”But this is different. These are not people that they (police) are tangling with or that they approached in any way, these are people that are hunting police simply because they have the uniform on and because they believe the weaponized ignorance peddled by the media.”

The podcast also delves into copycat shootings and the imminent danger police find themselves in once an ambush occurs.

Following the attempted shooting of the two New Jersey police officers last week, attacks were carried out against police in Phoenix, Virginia, and South Carolina. Servatius used recent comments from political commentator, Victor Davis Hanson, as evidence for what she believes in the start of a revolution.

 “The 1960s as I lived through them as a young teen were similar in the social protests that we see today,”Hanson said. “It was primarily, like today, a phenomenon of young people out in the street. It began as a one-issue protest; in that case, Vietnam – not the death of George Floyd and racial relations vis-à-vis the police of the United States. But, like today, it blossomed out in cultural revolutionary style.”

Hanson pointed out that Blue State mayors, attorney generals, governors – seem to sympathize with the violence.

“I know this is an election year, and maybe people see it useful for a political agenda,” he said. “But that’s new: that the political hierarchy, the people in power, seem to be on the side of the cultural revolutionaries, even though they’re sometimes less than explicit in their support.”

Servatius said police aren’t the only ones who are being targeted. She said people wearing pro-police apparel are also being sought out. She blamed the weak response by Attorney General Bill Barr’s office not using a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) which is designed to combat organized crime in the United States.

Damage from the protests that took place in 140 U.S. cities this spring will result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion of paid insurance claims — eclipsing the record set in Los Angeles in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King.

Citing a report from Axios, Servatius said the insurance industry is rolling up its sleeves in anticipation of potential unrest following the November election.

Servatius said hunting cops has become “systemic.”

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