Sway

By New York Times Opinion

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Description

Power, unpacked. “Sway” is an interview show hosted by Kara Swisher, “Silicon Valley’s most feared and well liked journalist.” Now taking on Washington, Hollywood and the world, Kara investigates power: who has it, who’s been denied it, and who dares to defy it.

Episode Date
Best Of: Jon Stewart
00:48:47

This month, Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes of Sway — including this conversation with the comedian and former Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, taped in March 2022. 

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 28, 2022
Best Of: Matthew McConaughey
00:38:25

This month, Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes of Sway — including this conversation with the actor and self-proclaimed ‘statesman-philosopher, folk-singing poet’ Matthew McConaughey, taped in October 2021.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 25, 2022
Best Of: Stacey Abrams
00:44:00

This month, Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes of Sway — including this conversation with the Georgia gubernatorial candidate and Democratic powerhouse Stacey Abrams, taped in March 2021.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 21, 2022
Best Of: Jason Miller
00:45:47

This month, Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes of Sway — including this conversation with the longtime Trump adviser and C.E.O. of Gettr Jason Miller, taped in August 2021.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 18, 2022
Best Of: Fran Lebowitz
00:37:09

This month, Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes of Sway — including this conversation with the humorist and famed New Yorker Fran Lebowitz, taped in February 2021.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 14, 2022
First Person: She’s Gay and a Republican. Is There a Place for Her in the G.O.P.?
00:42:45

This month Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes — usually of Sway. But today she has another show to share with you: First Person.

In this episode of the New York Times Opinion podcast, host Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Jerri Ann Henry, a former leader of the Log Cabin Republicans, an outspoken group of gay conservatives. Henry used to thinkher party was moving toward accepting gay rights, but with G.O.P. legislators backing anti-L.G.T.B.Q. laws in several states and the constitutional right to same-sex marriage potentially threatened after the reversal of Roe v. Wade, she now finds herself wondering whether she still has a place in the Republican Party — or any party.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 11, 2022
Best Of: Monica Lewinsky
00:46:25

This month, Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes of Sway — including this interview with Monica Lewinsky, the producer, activist and — yes — former White House intern. We taped this conversation in October 2021.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 07, 2022
Best Of: Elon Musk
00:44:09

This month, Kara is revisiting some of her favorite episodes of Sway — including this conversation with the Tesla C.E.O., Elon Musk, taped in September 2020.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 04, 2022
Kara in the Hot Seat
00:46:02

As the show comes to a close, it felt fitting to save the most elusive guest for last: Kara Swisher herself. 

In this conversation with the senior editor of “Sway,” Nayeema Raza, Kara revisits major moments from her year and a half of interviews — from a dropped Zoom call with Nancy Pelosi to a raw interrogation of Parler’s C.E.O., John Matze, which was taped as the Jan. 6 Capitol attack unfolded. They talk about the guests who got away (like Dolly Parton), the ones they could have been harder on and how Kara thinks about her own power, or sway. And they tackle questions in an AMA, or “ask me anything,” format, fielding listeners’ questions about what start-ups were before their time and which tech titans need more scrutiny. Kara also answers questions from the former “Sway” guests Jon Stewart, Walt Mossberg and Mark Cuban.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway.

And you can find Kara and Nayeema on Twitter — @karaswisher and @nayeema.

Jun 30, 2022
‘Venture Capitalists Are Going to Turn Into Vulture Capitalists,’ and Other Predictions From Andrew Ross Sorkin
00:34:55

Stocks tumbling, inflation soaring and interest rates climbing — it’s clear America’s economy has hit some turbulence. And yet President Biden says a recession is “not inevitable.” Andrew Ross Sorkin, the founder and editor at large of DealBook at The New York Times, sat down with Kara Swisher to unpack our economic woes, predict what happens next and diagnose what Washington could have done differently.

In this conversation, they discuss how the pandemic highlighted our economic dependence on China and helped pave the way for both a crypto boom and the subsequent bear market. They break down the futures of companies from Netflix and Disney to Coinbase and Twitter, and discuss whether activist employees will continue to wield power with their corporate employers. And Andrew helps explain why airfares are so damn expensive.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 27, 2022
Would You Upload Your Consciousness to the Cloud?
00:36:17

Instagram, Twitter and TikTok can monopolize all of your time, driven by what the novelist Jennifer Egan calls humankind’s “ongoing hunger for authenticity.” But to Egan, social media is not a winning strategy for discovering what’s real or true: “Looking to the internet for authentic experience is just inherently a loser,” she says. The digital world, after all, offers only an “illusion of authenticity.”

In her newest novel, “The Candy House” — set in the same universe as her Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Visit From the Goon Squad” — Egan paints a picture of a world where the search for authenticity becomes so ubiquitous that people can choose to upload their memories — and entire consciousnesses — to a collective archive, and then share them for the world to see.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Egan discuss how far Silicon Valley is from accessing our consciousnesses and introducing this kind of dystopian technology. They debate how social media has changed the world and whether there is still room for optimism. And Kara tries to decipher which tech founder, if any, inspired Egan’s protagonist, whom Kara describes as Mark Zuckerberg with “the soul of Steve Jobs.” (Egan, for the record, denies all comparisons.)

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 23, 2022
‘The Senate Needs a Soul’
00:29:43

Raphael Warnock claims he’s not a politician, though he certainly sounds like one and serves as one. The U.S. senator from Georgia, who has long been the pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church, says that his “entry into politics is an extension” of his work on a range of what he sees as moral issues, such as health care, criminal-justice reform and voting rights.

Warnock became Georgia’s first Black senator in January 2021, when he narrowly beat the Republican incumbent, Kelly Loeffler, in a special runoff election. And he is set for yet another tough political battle ahead, against Herschel Walker, the former N.F.L. player, who in addition to his celebrity status also has an endorsement from Donald Trump. The stakes are high: “God knows these days, the Senate needs a soul,” Warnock says.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Warnock about his path from the pulpit to the Senate and the religious journey he traces in his recent memoir, “A Way Out of No Way.” She presses him on whether he can beat his celebrity opponent and asks what shadow Trump casts on this election. And they discuss the contrast between the jubilation he felt on his history-making victory and the horror that unfolded less than 24 hours later, as a mob attacked his “new office,” the Capitol, on Jan. 6.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 20, 2022
As Bitcoin Busts, What’s the Future of Web3? And What Even is Web3?
00:39:06

Chris Dixon is one of Silicon Valley’s most ardent crypto-evangelists. A general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, he leads a16z Crypto, which invests in web3. At the beginning of the year, his proselytizing seemed to be paying off: Bitcoin had doubled in value in the last half of 2021, NFTs were all the rage, and crypto seemed poised for mainstream acceptance. Nowhere was this more evident than the Super Bowl broadcast, crammed with cryptocurrency ads featuring celebrities like LeBron James, Matt Damon and even the curmudgeonly Larry David.

But it’s all come crashing down. This week, Bitcoin reached its lowest point in 18 months — at just above $23,000 — and Ethereum is worth about a quarter of its November peak. The cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase announced it was laying off nearly 20 percent of its work force while the crypto-lending platform Celsius paused withdrawals, in a moment that looked a lot like the run on the banks in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Dixon if we’re watching the beginning of an all-out crash for the industry. They discuss parallels to the 2008 financial crisis, dig into how much of crypto is “scam at scale,” and contemplate what regulation from the government could help. And they talk about whether web3 will really be the decentralized utopia enthusiasts paint it to be, another iteration of an internet that profits too few, or something in between.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 16, 2022
Can We Tech Our Way Out of Climate Change?
00:38:30

What if Silicon Valley’s next big frontier were not web3 but climate change? That’s the bet the venture capitalist John Doerr is making: Doerr, the billionaire author of “Speed and Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now,” recently donated $1.1 billion to Stanford University to fund a new school focused on climate and sustainability, describing climate science as “the new computer science.” But with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment noting that the dangers of climate change are building rapidly, piles of cash and a burst of brain power may prove too little, too late.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Doerr whether Silicon Valley can save the planet and what President Biden and all of Washington must do to honor the country’s goal to halve emissions by 2030. She presses him on whether lobbying for a carbon tax, mobilizing voters or even louder naming and shaming of fossil fuel companies may be a better use of Doerr’s dollars. And they discuss Elon Musk’s contribution to a sustainable future — with Doerr noting why he (wrongly) overlooked Tesla in its early days — and whether Apple’s potential moves in the EV market would sit well with the company’s founder, Steve Jobs.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 13, 2022
David Axelrod, Sarah Longwell and Preet Bharara on What to Look For in the Jan. 6 Hearings
00:40:52

The House’s Jan. 6 committee is going prime-time. On Thursday, its members, with Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, serving as vice chair, will present findings in hearings televised throughout June on all major networks (except Fox News). But will Americans watch? Or care?

In this conversation, Kara Swisher breaks down the hearings with the former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, the Republican strategist Sarah Longwell and the former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara. They discuss the downsides of prime time and the imperative to engage Americans on social media in this landmark moment for democracy. They also talk about what key moments and witnesses to watch for in the hearings and whether any revelations will, as one committee member, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, suggested, “blow the roof off the House.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 09, 2022
Best Of: Dave Eggers Created the Google-Amazon Mash-Up of Your Nightmares
00:35:23

Tech stocks may be under pressure, but the tentacles of Silicon Valley continue to grow, inching us closer to the dystopian world Dave Eggers paints in “The Every.” The novel imagines a world where the fictional equivalent of Google and Amazon merge to form an all-knowing corporate juggernaut that can program our every moment. Kara is revisiting her conversation with Eggers, which was taped in September.

In this conversation, which first aired in September, Kara and Eggers discuss the inspiration behind his latest Silicon Valley satire. They dig into Eggers’s tech skepticism — the author says he still uses a flip phone. They also discuss the challenges that Amazon’s rapidly growing market share poses for smaller publishing houses like Eggers’s own company, McSweeney’s.

Kara will be back on Thursday with a new episode.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 06, 2022
Are Elon Musk and Twitter Trapped In a Bad Marriage?
00:33:24

Elon Musk swept Twitter off its feet in April, when he put in a bid to buy the company for $44 billion. But the impassioned beginnings of this acquisition have cooled down in the weeks since, as Musk has raised concerns about the inner workings of the company he agreed to buy essentially sight unseen (he did not conduct due diligence before he agreed to buy the social media platform). As the New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose puts it, the deal is starting to look “like an arranged marriage that’s sort of going sour.” Musk has invoked concerns about spam and fake accounts on the site, as well as privacy considerations. And the billionaire has gone so far as to tweet that the deal is “temporarily on hold” before clarifying that he is “still committed to acquisition.” But a breakup between Musk and Twitter would make for a difficult, costly and very public divorce.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher takes stock of the Twitter-Musk marriage with Roose and William Cohan, a business writer and founding partner at Puck. They break down the balance of power between Musk and Twitter and discuss why Musk even wants the company. And Cohan breaks down how the math clears — after all, even with help from a potpourri of wealthy investors, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, there are still questions about how Musk, the richest person in the world, will find the tens of billions of dollars he needs to close this deal.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 02, 2022
David Ellison on ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ Working with Tom Cruise and Hiring John Lasseter
00:29:55

“Top Gun: Maverick” is expected to be one of the first blockbusters of the summer. But as streaming platforms proliferate and movie theaters continue to struggle, is a movie that was designed to be seen on the biggest screen possible be able to lure audiences back to theaters? David Ellison thinks so. He’s the founder and C.E.O. of Skydance Media, the company behind the film, as well as other action franchise reboots like “Mission: Impossible” and “Terminator.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Ellison about working with Tom Cruise, who flew his own planes for “Top Gun: Maverick.” She digs into how Ellison’s heritage (he’s the son of the billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison) factored into his future as a filmmaker and the advice he got from his dad’s friend Steve Jobs. And David Ellison responds to Kara’s question about the news that his father joined a November 2020 phone call with Senator Lindsey Graham and Sean Hannity, among others, about contesting Trump’s loss.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 30, 2022
When It Comes to Gun Control, Will ‘Baby Steps’ Fix Anything?
00:28:51

In the wake of the fatal shooting of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, supporters of gun control are renewing calls for the government to act. But in a bid to negotiate a bipartisan consensus, the Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumer, has signaled that there will not be an imminent vote on gun control legislation in the Senate. And the journalists Nicholas Kristof and Frank Smyth don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.

“If anything, this could be a wake-up call — to have a restart of the conversation, to rethink how to approach it,” Smyth says.

In this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher talks to Smyth, the author of “The NRA: The Unauthorized History,” and Kristof, a former Times Opinion columnist who has written extensively about the policies needed to end America’s gun violence epidemic. The three dig into how the gun lobby has used ideology to distract America from better policies. They examine potential reforms, from a mandatory national gun registry to an increased minimum age. And they contemplate how liberal proponents of gun control can actually make progress.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 26, 2022
The C.E.O. of Condé Nast: ‘ This Is No Longer a Magazine Company’
00:33:26

Home to brands like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Bon Appétit, Condé Nast might as well be French for “magazine.” But the company’s C.E.O. sees a “difficult future” for print and is trying to pivot Condé Nast publications toward creating more digital content — even going so far as to say that Condé Nast is “no longer a magazine company.” Amid this fight for readers, clicks and subscriptions, the company has struggled publicly through a cultural reckoning, fielding accusations of a toxic work culture and firing some of its top editors in recent years.

In this interview, Roger Lynch explains why and how the company has changed. But Kara Swisher asks: How can it, with one of its most powerful figures, Anna Wintour, still at the helm?

Lynch discusses why he thinks Wintour is an agent of change, rather than the old guard. They talk about how management has handled negotiations with the company’s various unions. And they consider how publishing gatekeepers have been usurped by online ones like YouTube and TikTok. And Kara asks him to weigh in on the perennial media question: Is print dead?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 23, 2022
After Buffalo: Will Anything Change at Facebook, Twitter or Fox News?
00:36:27

A shooter, radicalized online, plotted a racist attack with plenty of digital fingerprints, intended to livestream it on social media and published a manifesto online. It happened in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019. And it seems to have happened again last week in Buffalo. In the years in between, we’ve heard plenty about social media companies amping up their content moderation efforts and clamping down on violent extremism. Yet nothing — or not enough — has really changed.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher dissects the internet’s role in the Buffalo attack with Wesley Lowery, a journalist who covers race and justice, and Jared Holt, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. The three discuss how extremism spreads online, the role that Fox News and Tucker Carlson play and what platforms like 4chan, Facebook and Twitch could have done differently.

They also examine the free speech argument made by many conservatives and Elon Musk and consider how a Texas law — which allows individuals to sue platforms if they feel their posts have been censored — may give social media platforms cover to do even less. Lowery points out there are many options between being a “hyper-free-speech absolutist” and “censorship.” Ultimately, as he puts it, these platforms need to ask themselves, “If I’m hosting the block party, do I let the Nazi keep showing up and ranting?”

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 18, 2022
From Bernie to Biden to … MSNBC
00:27:24

Symone Sanders left a meteoric political trajectory to join the media. After working on Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign, advising Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and serving as Vice President Kamala Harris’s chief spokesperson for her first year in office, Sanders is pivoting to become the host of her own MSNBC show, “Symone.” This makes her the latest in a revolving door of former Washington insiders turned media anchors (think George Stephanopoulos, Nicolle Wallace, Jen Psaki and Kayleigh McEnany).

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Sanders on whether the porousness between the Beltway and prime time is a good thing, and how she plans to cover a White House administration she just left.

They discuss the relevance of cable news in a world of plunging TV ratings and the rise of TikTok. They address speculation around high turnover in the vice president’s office (which Sanders dismisses as “palace intrigue”). And they talk politics, including Sanders’s predictions for midterms and whether Biden really is the best option for Democrats in 2024.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 16, 2022
From Twitter to TV, Are We in a Media Reckoning?
00:33:19

Hollywood went all in on streaming, but Netflix’s plummeting stock, CNN’s shutdown of its CNN+ streaming service, and a forthcoming sale of Vice has chief executives and the stock market questioning whether that was the wrong bet. In this conversation, Kara Swisher breaks down this year’s media shake-ups with Matt Belloni, founding partner at Puck News, and Ben Smith, the former New York Times media reporter who is a founder of a media start-up called Semafor.

They discuss what Smith calls Hollywood’s “love-hate relationship” with Netflix and whether the company will ever be up for sale. They make predictions about who will win the streaming wars. And they talk about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, what Belloni calls the billionaire’s “naïve” and “rosy” projections, and — of course — contemplate Musk’s plan to let Donald Trump back on the site.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

 

May 12, 2022
Clarissa Ward: ‘Fear and Panic Are Bedfellows’ in Ukraine
00:42:50

Clarissa Ward has had, as she puts it, a “long and very complicated relationship” with Russia. The chief international correspondent for CNN, she has had stints in Moscow since the beginning of her career, and has struggled to get a Russian visa since she investigated the 2020 poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

But that hasn’t stopped her from reporting on the region, and in particular on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Yet after months of war, it can be an uphill battle to keep the viewers’ attention on the front line. “Our job is to keep finding ways to make sure that we don’t become numb and desensitized to the horrors of war, because that is exactly how wars continue and grind on,” Ward says.

In this conversation, taped last week, Kara talks to Ward about her time reporting in Ukraine, what it’s like to “let fear sit in the passenger seat” when reporting from the front and how the hangover of war can leave correspondents detached from the “bourgeois and banal” normalcy of home.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 09, 2022
How the Supreme Court Became ‘Intoxicated With Its Power’
00:37:41

One of the questions haunting the unprecedented leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is, quite simply, who did it and why? Speculation abounds online, and Chief Justice John Roberts, who called the leak a “betrayal,” has called for an investigation. But there are other lessons to be learned from the leak — about the state of the Supreme Court and its power, its relationship with the public and the kinds of reforms it may need.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher discusses it all with three lawyers: Neal Katyal, a former solicitor general and a professor at Georgetown Law who has argued before this court; Amy Kapczynski, the director of the Law and Political Economy Project and blog at Yale Law School and a former Supreme Court clerk; and George T. Conway III, one of the founders of the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project.

They discuss what motives might have been behind a leak — for either a liberal or a conservative — and talk through what this breach says about the politicization or cohesion of the Supreme Court. They explore possible reforms for the highest court in the land. And they offer predictions for whether Justice Alito’s draft is indicative of the final ruling — with Katyal offering one theory that the court might dismiss the case as improvidently granted and “hear the case again next year.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 06, 2022
The ‘Frighteningly Autocratic’ Implications of Overturning Roe v. Wade
00:31:56

Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion has offered a chilling preview into what America will look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned. But the president and C.E.O. of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Nancy Northup, has been preparing for this battle. Her organization represents the Mississippi abortion clinic whose legal battle sparked the Supreme Court case, and Northup’s colleagues argued the case in front of the Supreme Court in December. “We are not waking up today to realize this was a threat,” she says. “We were looking at it back in 2004, and probably half the states in the United States would ban or severely limit abortion if Roe were overturned.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Northup to answer the questions that have sprung from this leaked draft. They discuss the consequences — legal, political and personal — if Roe v. Wade is overturned in the coming months and the cascading effects of this decision on other personal liberties, including access to contraception and marriage equality. And they discuss whether any argument in Alito’s draft opinion holds muster. (Nancy, for the record, thinks not.)

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 05, 2022
A Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Predicts the Future — and What He Sees Is Concerning
00:36:46

The Russia-Ukraine war has opened up questions about America’s role in global affairs and how the balance of power will reshuffle. These questions aren’t new; the discussion of the end of American dominance and the rise of new powers like China has captivated political and economic discourse. It is also the subject of Ray Dalio’s latest book, “Principles for Dealing With the Changing World Order.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Dalio, the billionaire behind the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater, to explain his theory behind the rise and decline of empires. They talk about China’s rise and whether he is — as one Wall Street Journal article dubbed him — “in thrall to Beijing.” And they discuss how American competitiveness will shake out as the nation faces potential stagflation in addition to polarization, inequality and a new, Gen Z approach to work.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 02, 2022
Is Elon Musk About to Be the ‘King of Nothing’?
00:49:19

It happened: Elon Musk struck a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. The billionaire, who is one of the platform’s most popular users, has already hinted at some of the changes he aspires to “unlock” at the company, from making Twitter a platform for “free speech” to making its algorithms open source and purging spam bots.

In this conversation, recorded live on Twitter Spaces, Kara Swisher talks with the journalists Casey Newton, Anand Giridharadas and William Cohan about how Elon’s reign will impact the platform and its users — and how the deal could still fall apart.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 27, 2022
Tina Brown on Harry and Meghan’s ‘Scorched Earth’ Exit
00:40:23

Whether it’s the Queen’s platinum jubilee, Meghan and Harry ditching their royal roles or the sexual assault allegations against Prince Andrew, Buckingham Palace has kept the media, and the public, hooked on the goings-on of a thousand-year-old institution. Tina Brown has been covering the royal family since the days of Diana, most recently in her forthcoming book, “The Palace Papers.”

In this conversation, the former Vanity Fair editor talks to Kara Swisher about how Elizabeth has sustained her relevance over her seven decades of rule and what happens to the British monarchy when she dies. They also discuss what’s happening in the nonroyal wing of British leadership — including Boris Johnson’s “Partygate.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 25, 2022
Jimmy Kimmel Made a Joke. Then Marjorie Taylor Greene Called the Police On Him.
00:46:18

Jimmy Kimmel has used his late-night slot to call out Donald Trump and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. But Kimmel says his jokes on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" aren’t about stoking partisanship — they’re about sounding the alarm on politicians who cross the line and amplify misinformation. And while Kimmel may find American politics bewildering right now, he says he still wants to hear from those he disagrees with — even “the media version of the Sackler family,” as Kimmel dubs Tucker Carlson. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to shut people up because I want to know where people are coming from,” he says. “I want to know what they think. I want to know if they have horrible thoughts. I want to hear them. I want to hear their confessions.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Kimmel discuss whether cancel culture has come too far, Kimmel’s own evolution from pranks on “The Man Show” to political commentary on access to health care and how Trump changed the comedy world. They also discuss his recent kerfuffle with Representative Greene, who says she filed a threat report on Kimmel with the Capitol Police after he joked about her on his late night set.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 21, 2022
Tony Kushner on the Republican ‘Fantasy’ of a Nation Controlled by ‘Straight White Men’
00:35:41

From Gov. Ron DeSantis signing Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay bill to Gov. Greg Abbott issuing a Texas directive that would classify medical care for transgender adolescents as “child abuse,” Republicans across the country seem to be doubling down on anti-L.G.B.T.Q. policies. Their argument? It’s about “parental rights.” But the playwright Tony Kushner has seen this kind of battle play out before. His “Angels in America” hit two-part play examined the AIDS epidemic and L.G.B.T.Q. life in the United States. And Kushner says this new wave of legislation is just the latest incarnation of a clampdown on rights under the conservative “fantasy” of a nation under “exclusive control by white straight men.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Kushner how far — or not — the nation has come since “Angels” and the AIDS crisis. Kushner traces a through line from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump and discusses how anger is a byproduct of progress. “There’s a complicated anger on the left, on the progressive side,” he says. “Presumably people on the progressive side of things believe in the possibility of constructing a more just world. And that that’s going to take a lot of thinking, as well as a lot of feeling.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 18, 2022
How Michelle Yeoh Took Jackie Chan’s Role
00:30:16

From her high-flying kicks in the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to her unconventional take on a “Bond girl” in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” Michelle Yeoh has had a multidecade career defying stereotypes. Her latest role is no exception — she took on a part that was originally written for the actor Jackie Chan.

In “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Yeoh plays the superhero: a Chinese American immigrant mother who is called upon to save the world — and herself — by hopping across multiverses.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Yeoh discuss the film, which Kara describes as “‘The Matrix’ meets L.S.D. trip.” They chat about how films like “Crazy Rich Asians” have catapulted change in Hollywood, and how Yeoh’s career has bridged two of the biggest movie markets in the world, from the United States to China.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 14, 2022
Paul Krugman on Why the Economy Is Doing Better Than We Think
00:30:43

From rising gas prices and inflation to the Russia-Ukraine war, the U.S. economy has experienced all sorts of turbulence recently. But it hasn’t all been a bad news story: The U.S. unemployment rate reached a low of 3.6 percent in March and wages are rising. In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks the economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman to put all these factors into perspective. “It’s not an A++ economy,” Krugman says, but it’s “immensely better” than where the economy was during the 2008 financial crisis.

Kara asks Krugman to take stock of the supply chain crisis, trillions of dollars in stimulus spending and other major economic agitators. They discuss whether the low unemployment rate will translate to greater worker power and what this might mean for unionization efforts at companies like Amazon. And Krugman weighs in on how the federal government could help cool down an “overheating” economy.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 11, 2022
How Elon Musk’s ‘Soft Power’ Might Shape Twitter’s Future
00:32:59

Elon Musk promoted himself from avid Twitter user to major stakeholder on Monday. Musk, the head of Tesla and SpaceX, who has over 80 million followers on the platform, now also owns a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, making him the company’s largest shareholder. And by the time the company announced his appointment to the board on Tuesday, the internet was already speculating about the kinds of changes that Musk could influence. “He can make recommendations at the board meetings, but what he really has is soft power,” the tech reporter Casey Newton tells Kara Swisher.

In this conversation, Kara and Newton debrief how Musk’s infamy will contribute to his presence at Twitter. They discuss the possibility of an edit button on the site, as well as how Musk’s relationship with the C.E.O., Parag Agrawal, and the co-founder Jack Dorsey might affect the direction of the company. And they talk about whether Musk will push for Twitter to replatform Donald Trump.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 07, 2022
‘Trump Is Gone, and We Still Have the Problems’: Michael Lewis Makes Sense of Our Bungled Covid Response
00:35:51

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the face of America’s Covid response and has been praised and vilified for his expertise. But who are all the other people who have worked behind the scenes at agencies like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to guide America through the pandemic? This is a question Michael Lewis tackles in his book “The Premonition,” which was published in May 2021. He talks about how getting to know these public health experts gave him a completely different understanding of the country’s public health system — and the systemic challenges institutions like the C.D.C. face when pandemics and other crises strike.

In this conversation, Kara talks to Lewis about “The Premonition,” which he says was a “joyous writing experience.” They discuss the role that social media and the spread of misinformation online has played in hindering effective pandemic responses, as well as some of the characters he came across in his research for the book. He also shares his experience of grief after his daughter Dixie died in a car accident last spring. And he discusses with Kara what he thinks his next book will be about.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 04, 2022
What Putin’s Propaganda Looks Like from Russia and Ukraine
00:42:58

The Russia-Ukraine War has been a dangerous time for journalists: Russian troops have kidnapped Ukrainian journalists working in contested territories, and the Kremlin has doubled down on censorship domestically as well, passing a law banning “fake” news about the Russian invasion, with a potential 15-year prison sentence.

Kara talks to two journalists who have had to flee their homes because of the war and have experienced the impacts of Putin’s misinformation campaign. Olga Tokariuk is a Ukrainian journalist and nonresident fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis who has covered Putin’s escalating disinformation campaign. She shares an update from western Ukraine, as well as her observations about the lies Putin has used since 2014 to justify Russian invasion. “This war has been very dangerous for journalists,” she tells Kara. And Tikhon Dzyadko is the editor in chief of T.V. Rain, the last independent television station in Russia before it suspended operations there in early March. Dzyadko, now based in Georgia, recently fled Russia for safety reasons. “I feel humiliated because I’m not a criminal. I did nothing wrong to be forced to leave the country,” he says. He talks to Kara about the state of independent media in Russia, how censorship has worsened as Putin has risen in power and his recent interview with Volodymyr Zelensky. Despite the dangers Tokariuk and Dzyadko have faced, they both reflect on the patriotic duty they feel to continue reporting during this turbulent time.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 31, 2022
Why Facebook's 'Hubris and Arrogance' Astound This Attorney General
00:31:13

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has sued the Trump administration, Uber, Juul, Exxon Mobil, the Sacklers, and more — and has made a national name for herself in the process. Now she’s investigating social media companies for the impact they have on teen mental health, and she’s not impressed. “The level of hubris and arrogance, particularly on the part of Facebook, has really astounded me,” she tells Kara Swisher.

 

Healey is currently aiming for a statewide prize: She’s running for governor. If she wins, she would be the first woman (and the first lesbian) to hold the job in Massachusetts.

 

In this episode, Kara presses Healey on how she can appeal to a state that has elected moderate Republicans to the governorship in recent years. She also asks Healey to weigh in on the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida, which Healey says has to be fought both in the court of law and “in the court of public opinion — you really have to call out the misinformation for what it is.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 28, 2022
The Corporations Passing — and Failing — the Ukraine Morality Test
00:27:54

McDonald’s, BP, Netflix and hundreds of other companies have enlisted in the West’s pushback against Vladimir Putin. Since the start of Russia’s invasion, several hundred U.S. companies have announced plans to withdraw from or step down their operations in the country. The idea, says Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at the Yale School of Management, is to make Russia such a pariah that Putin is forced to back down.

Sonnenfeld, who’s been called a “C.E.O. whisperer,” is working with his team to compile a corporate watchlist for Russian engagement that effectively serves as a hall of fame, and a hall of shame. In this conversation with Kara Swisher, he discusses when business blackouts will reach a tipping point and result in real change — the way the anti-apartheid boycott did in South Africa.

Kara and Sonnenfeld debate whether a “South Africa moment” is possible when big companies like Koch Industries refuse to leave and when China’s ascendance presents a completely different economic context. They also discuss domestic cases of corporations taking a stand on politics, from Disney’s fiasco with Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay bill to the backlash over voting rights bills in Georgia. And Kara asks Sonnenfeld whether morality should really be the business of C.E.O.s. “When people say to C.E.O.s, get back in your lane,” he replies, “this is the lane of business.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 24, 2022
How Apple, Not Government, Became Tech’s Biggest Regulator
00:41:42

Big Tech has been amassing power and wealth for decades. So why is it taking the U.S. government so long to catch up? Congress, whose members can barely agree on lunch, is now contemplating a number of bipartisan bills on antitrust, privacy and more. Yet more than a year into an administration that seems to support more tech regulation, not a single piece of significant legislation has been passed.

In this episode, Kara Swisher presses Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, on why Tim Cook’s App Store is putting more checks on Facebook than the U.S. government is. Khanna’s response is that the challenge is public and political will. To pass privacy or antitrust legislation, “people have to say, this is not about tech,” Khanna tells Kara. “This is about our democracy. This is about our economy. And if we get to that point, then we will start to see the reform.”

In this conversation, which was taped in front of an audience at Cooper Union, Khanna and Kara talk about what significant tech legislation would look like. They discuss Khanna’s new book, “Dignity in a Digital Age,” in which he makes the case for distributing tech jobs — and thus tech wealth — across the country. They also talk about the Democrats’ prospects in the midterms and why he thinks progressives “won the ideological debate of 2020.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 21, 2022
How Kathy Griffin Survived Cancer and Cancellation
00:47:37

Whether it’s Andrew Cuomo or Dave Chappelle, everyone these days, it seems, is blaming “cancel culture” for career problems. But five years ago, Kathy Griffin was a canary in the coal mine,  being canceled for reasons she says were overblown. In 2017, a photo where she posed with a mask styled to look like Donald Trump’s severed head went viral. She says it was clearly comedy, yet Griffin faced a Secret Service investigation as well as death threats from Trump supporters. She was also virtually blacklisted from her industry.

By 2020, with her career still stalled, Griffin had become increasingly reliant on pills. Eventually, she tells Kara Swisher, “I tried to kill myself.”

In this episode, Griffin opens up about the cost of the experience on her career and her mental health. She and Swisher also discuss the way her cancellation has been conflated with the actions of “toxicly masculine men.” And they run through a list of people who’ve recently been canceled — or are attempting to claw their way back.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be having those thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources. Go here for resources outside the United States.

Mar 17, 2022
Why this Hollywood Actor Stays Off Social Media (Mostly)
00:36:54

As Facebook morphs into Meta and makes a push for immersive 3-D connection (without solving all of its existing problems), Kara Swisher takes a look back at the company’s early days — and the fictionalized telling of them — with the actor Andrew Garfield. He had his breakout role playing the Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in the 2010 film “The Social Network.” He tells Kara, “I immediately shut my Facebook page down as soon as I read the script.”

A decade later, Garfield’s career has taken off: He’s earned a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his latest project, “Tick, Tick … Boom!,” and even played Spider-Man. But unlike many celebrities, Garfield isn’t particularly active online. “If I wanted to have the life of privacy and protection and freedom and wholeness,” he says, “I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to be exposed to all of the faceless, voiceless, nameless people on social media.”

In this conversation, Garfield and Kara talk about his unconventional approach to the internet and the dangers of idolizing Kanye West or Elon Musk. They also speak about Garfield’s portrayal of Jonathan Larson, the composer of “Rent,” in “Tick, Tick … Boom!” And they discuss how the death of a parent has affected the way they each embrace life.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 14, 2022
How Far Would Biden Go in a Cyber War Against Putin?
00:42:25

Ever since Russian forces invaded Ukraine late last month, President Biden has been toeing a fine line between providing support to the Ukrainians and averting kinetic, nuclear and cyber conflict between superpowers. In this conversation, Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, unpacks how this conflict is evolving in the cyber realm.

Kara Swisher asks Neuberger how, in the face of attacks on Ukrainian banks and the Defense Ministry, the U.S. government “is working directly with Ukraine on cybersecurity” and why the Russians didn’t strike early on with the large-scale cyberattacks many experts had expected to see — similar to the 2015 attack that took out Ukraine’s electrical grid. They discuss how cyber tensions between Russia and the U.S. may escalate, with Neuberger clarifying that when the secretary of state reaffirmed this week that the U.S. and NATO “will defend every, every inch of NATO territory should it come under attack,” he was speaking not only of ground attacks, but also cyberattacks. And Kara presses Neuberger on whether the administration should have responded to the SolarWinds hack that infiltrated the Pentagon and the State Department with more than economic sanctions — and whether U.S. cyber policy has enough teeth to really deter Putin.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 10, 2022
Will Putin's Information Iron Curtain Backfire?
00:33:46

On Friday, the Kremlin blocked access to Facebook inside Russia and passed a law making it illegal to spread what the government determines to be “false information” about the country’s armed forces. It was the latest move in President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on dissent, which may be working. TikTok announced on Sunday that it is suspending livestreaming and new posts from Russia in response to the new disinformation law.

But Clint Watts, a former FBI special agent who is now at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, believes that ultimately this crackdown could backfire. He says Putin “has a disaster on his hands,” noting that a country cannot disinformation its way out of fallen soldiers — the Mothers of Russia will push back. And Watts believes platform interruptions and restrictions to operations of many Western companies — including Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, Cogent, Visa and Mastercard — mean Putin is playing a dangerous game at home. The result could be disastrous: “We’re worried about Kyiv falling today. I’m worried about Moscow falling between day 30 and six months from now.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Watts discuss the evolving information crackdown in Russia and what actions Putin may take if he is backed into a corner. They also discuss the threat of cyberwarfare and why alarm bells should be going off in the West when it comes to Russia, and to China.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 07, 2022
Jon Stewart on Why the Right Would ‘Rather Do a Deal With Putin Than Pelosi’
00:49:44

As he wages a war against Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is finding strange allies on U.S. soil — from former President Donald Trump to the Fox News host Tucker Carlson. Jon Stewart wasn’t surprised. The Daily Show comedian and host of the new Apple TV + series “The Problem With Jon Stewart” believes a certain subset of the right has long viewed Putin as “an ideological brother,” noting that “for years it’s been pretty clear that they would much rather do a deal with Putin than Pelosi.”

In this conversation, Stewart tells Kara Swisher why it’s important to distinguish people like Carlson — who he calls a “dishonest propagandist” — from their audiences, many of whom are “redeemable.” They also tackle the fire Stewart came under when he trod into the Joe Rogan/Spotify controversy, how enragement drives engagement in modern media and why the 24/7 news cycle can be so destructive — “unless it’s 9/11 or an invasion of a sovereign country, because now the gravity of the situation matches the urgency that they gin up.”

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 03, 2022
Maggie Gyllenhaal Wants to Tell the Transgressive Stories of Motherhood
00:27:34

Rewarding as it is, motherhood can be an uphill battle. In the pandemic, we heard this in the stories of mothers struggling to juggle child care and schooling with work and other responsibilities at home. But the pandemic simply lifted the curtain on an underrepresented reality for many parents. Actor, writer and director Maggie Gyllenhaal seeks to capture the messiness of motherhood in her new film “The Lost Daughter.” It’s an adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel that explores the story of an “unnatural mother” named Leda, who finds parenting to be a “crushing responsibility.” Gyllenhaal imagined playing scenes of a mother ignoring her daughter’s cries or rejecting her injured child’s pleas for a kiss — things we’re taught “we’re not allowed to think or feel” — would be “radical” for a film, especially if women watched with their mothers, partners or children.

In this conversation, Kara talks to Gyllenhaal about her transition to directing, how she got the infamously private Ferrante to offer her blessing for the film and why the domestic is “high art.” They also discuss the power and importance of women’s storytelling and whether anyone is an unnatural mother — which, as Gyllenhaal muses, begs the question: “Well, what is a natural mother?”

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 28, 2022
Anita Hill Takes On Those ‘Trying to Put Black Women in a Box’
00:37:40

President Biden has interviewed at least three candidates for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer and has committed to nominating a Black woman to fill it. As the country awaits his selection, Kara Swisher turns to the law professor Anita Hill - host of the new podcast "Getting Even" - who testified during Clarence Thomas’s confirmation 30 years ago, accusing him of sexual harassment.

The all-white, all-male Senate committee that interrogated Hill asked her whether she was a “scorned woman” and to recount her “most embarrassing” moment with Thomas. Reflecting today, she says, “There are those who are trying to put Black women in a box, whether it’s a Black woman who comes forward to talk about their experience of harassment or whether it’s a woman who will be considered for the Supreme Court.” And Hill argues this has consequences today: “Those boxes that we are put in has allowed for this country to lack a diverse judicial system that speaks to the population and represents the population.”

In this conversation, Kara and Hill talk about the barriers to a more diverse judiciary, whether she would take a call from Biden to consider the role and how the process has (or hasn’t) changed since the Thomas and Kavanaugh hearings. And they discuss whether cancel culture can actually hold the powerful accountable for their actions.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 24, 2022
Best Of: What the Heck are NFTs? Let’s Ask Beeple.
00:47:58

From Snoop Dogg to Melania Trump, it seems like everyone has gotten into the NFT craze in the last year, with billions of dollars worth of sales made in 2021. NFTs may be colloquial now, but the craze really picked up almost a year ago, when an artist named Michael Winkelmann (also known as Beeple) sold his work, “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS,” for a whopping $69 million — the third-highest auction price involving a living artist, after Jeff Koons and David Hockney.

So this week, Kara is revisiting her March 2021 conversation with Beeple. They talk about whether his virtual collage, which stitches together 5,000 images (including lactating humanoid breasts and Buzz Lightyear with a bloodied chain saw) is actually worth $69 million, how he grapples with the environmental impact of crypto minting, and how NFTs will change how we buy and flaunt digital ownership.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 21, 2022
Tech’s Love Affair With Miami
00:41:22

Keith Rabois minted his wealth with Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and other members of the so-called “PayPal Mafia.” Now, though, he’s moved to Miami and become one of the city’s biggest hype men. He believes Florida — which has already seen an influx of tech bros, venture capital investments and cryptocurrency plays during the pandemic — offers a better home to tech than California can, largely because of the politics. He tells Kara Swisher: “The mayor of Miami, the governor of Florida treat citizens like customers. ‘What can we offer you? How can we help?’ That’s their goal, and that’s how they frame everything.”

In this conversation, Kara presses Rabois whether tech’s doubling down on Florida is all just about escaping high taxes. They also discuss whether venture capital is what investment banking was in the 2000s. And they catch up on the news, from stock fall-offs in big tech to why Peter Thiel will be stepping down from Meta’s board.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 17, 2022
How the Sacklers Got Away With It
00:41:48

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died of opioid overdoses in the past 20 years — and the crisis has only worsened during the pandemic. In September, the Sackler family, which was behind the OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma and helped create this overdose epidemic, finally agreed to disband the company and to pay a settlement of $4.5 billion. That may sound like a whopping amount of money, but as the journalist Patrick Radden Keefe points out, it’s arguably not. He profiled the Sacklers’ rise in his book “Empire of Pain” and points out: “They’re paying it out over nine years; they have an $11 billion fortune. They can just pay it with the returns.” Plus, as part of the settlement, the Sacklers were granted sweeping immunity from opioid-related lawsuits. (In December, a federal judge overturned this decision, saying the family could not be released from civil claims related to the opioid epidemic. Purdue Pharma is appealing.)

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Radden Keefe why and how the Sacklers got off relatively scot-free. They discuss the challenge of holding power to account when corporations like Purdue Pharma and regulators like the F.D.A. can paint themselves as a “driverless car,” as though there are no decision makers at the wheel. They consider the justice that’s playing out through popular opinion and culture, as museums from the Met to the Tate remove the Sackler name from their walls. And they discuss how the family warded off would-be whistle-blowers and surrounded itself with enablers willing to treat a national health crisis as just a “PR problem.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 14, 2022
The Sandy Hook Father Who Refused to Let Alex Jones Win
00:37:41

From the big lie to Bill Gates’s supposed Covid vaccine microchips, the internet loves a conspiracy theory. In this conversation, Kara Swisher revisits one that is almost a decade old: that Sandy Hook was a hoax. After a shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 26 people, including Noah Pozner, his father, Leonard Pozner, began seeing online musings that the tragedy was a production of crisis actors and part of a scheme to attack Second Amendment rights. The conspiracies were rampant on Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, WordPress blogs and YouTube videos — and they were amplified in particular by the far-right broadcaster and conspiracist Alex Jones on his media outlet Infowars.

Kara asks Pozner why he “respected the possibility that people had questions” about the massacre and how he engaged with Sandy Hook deniers. She and Pozner cover the lawsuits that he and other Sandy Hook parents are pursuing against Jones. And they discuss the responsibility borne by platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which hosted Jones for so long. As Pozner points out, “The focus for all of these platforms is growth and expansion. They really don’t want to deal with the cleanup at all.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 10, 2022
How Instagram, FedEx and Wordle Hook You
00:29:25

Brands like Gucci, Nike and Ralph Lauren are already flooding virtual worlds like Roblox and Fortnite with digital goods and advertising. But the designer and podcaster Debbie Millman thinks these emergent virtual worlds run the risk of the same problems many see with social media platforms like Instagram — particularly if users are put in environments that lend themselves to comparison. “I don’t know very many people that come away from 30 minutes on Instagram feeling really good about who they are,” says Millman. And she’s not bullish about web 3.0 solving the problem: “That experience in A.R., V.R. is going to ultimately have the same thing happen.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Millman discuss the impact — and limits — of brands in shaping our lives and what that means in an age where people increasingly refer to themselves as brands. They grapple with the economy of influencers, the illusions of Insta-happiness and Facebook’s recent rebranding to Meta. The two veteran podcasters also swap notes on interviewing, the art of conversation and Wordle.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 07, 2022
A Fox News ‘Defector’ on How the Network ‘Played Footsie’ With Trump
00:41:15

The former Fox commentator Jonah Goldberg — who has been called a “Fox defector” — says that Tucker Carlson’s latest documentary series was “the anvil that broke the camel’s back.” Titled “Patriot Purge,” it featured conspiracy theories about the Jan. 6 insurrection under the guise of journalistic interrogation. It also became a breaking point in a schism unfolding at the network between those who have embraced the Big Lie and those who feel troubled by the network’s abandonment of basic facts.

In this conversation, Goldberg offers insight into Fox’s embrace of Trumpism and the ways the network has “played footsie” with falsehoods and the former president. They discuss Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and the legacy media shake-up spurred in part by Substack, which Goldberg and his business partner Stephen Hayes use to distribute their conservative online publication, The Dispatch. And they discuss the 2024 Republican primaries, as Goldberg muses about whether a potential Tucker Carlson ticket could beat Trump.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 03, 2022
Why This Democratic Governor Seems to Be Over Covid
00:30:02

As Omicron surged across the country, Democratic and Republican governors alike doubled down on indoor mask mandates and declared states of emergency. But when asked whether he would make masks mandatory, Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado declared, “The emergency is over.” Unlike Ron DeSantis of Florida, Greg Abbott of Texas and other governors who have refused mandates, Polis is a lifelong Democrat. His take: Omicron is “a very different situation than early 2020” and there’s a “silent majority” who are already vaccinated and want to choose how they manage their risk. Or, as he put it in an interview, “At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really your own darn fault.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Polis to explain his relatively laissez-faire approach to pandemic response. They also discuss the political landscape of his purple state, why Polis got love on Tucker Carlson’s show and whether his centrist approach makes him similar to Joe Manchin.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 31, 2022
Bob Iger’s Advice to Hollywood on His Way Out
00:48:32

Bob Iger’s recent retirement from Disney marks a sea change for the company. Starting at ABC nearly 50 years ago, Iger ascended from working at a local news network to serving as the chief executive and chairman of Disney, ABC’s owner. During that time, he navigated tectonic shifts in Hollywood, including the rise of streaming platforms and the fall of movie chains. So Kara Swisher dragged Iger out of his three weeks of retirement to chat more about the future of entertainment.

In this conversation, Kara and Iger talk about his strategy for getting Disney through the streaming wars, including the impact of significant acquisitions, from Iger’s deal to bring in Lucasfilm, the studio behind the Star Wars franchise, to the company’s $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox assets. They also discuss the symbiosis and tensions between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, the power of creators in the digital world and what entertainment will look like on web3. And they discuss Iger’s political ambitions, and why he decided against running for president. This conversation was recorded at the Richmond Forum.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 27, 2022
Omicron Is (Still) Confusing. Two Experts Help Untangle the Covid Chaos.
00:42:11

With canceled plans, restaurants shuttering and talk of school shutdowns, the experience of the Covid pandemic can sometimes feel like two steps forward, one step back. And it’s not helped by changing (and sometimes confusing) guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lack of key resources like at-home rapid tests, and the misinformation that abounds from Dr. Google.

So in this conversation, Kara Swisher turns to two experts to answer our burning questions about the latest wave: Dr. Ashish Jha is a physician and the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, and Emily Oster is an economist at Brown who has been collecting data on how schools respond to the pandemic.

Jha and Oster answer Kara’s questions on everything from medical misinformation and the Biden administration’s pandemic responses to the costs of rapid testing. They speak in detail about schools and the effects the pandemic has had on the mental health of parents and children. And they discuss what’s needed for the country to prepare for the next variant, whenever it arrives.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 24, 2022
Elizabeth Warren Claps Back at Elon Musk
00:38:21

Few people draw more ire in Silicon Valley than the Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. She’s long fought against the power of big banks and corporate behemoths, so it’s natural that she’s turned her attention to breaking up dominant tech companies and taxing the billionaires behind them. So far, it’s not going down well: When she called out Elon Musk, a billionaire who paid no federal income tax at all in 2018, for not paying his fair share, she received a classically Muskian tweetback: “Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen.”

Her response? “Every nurse who paid taxes, every firefighter who paid taxes, every dishwasher and waitress who paid taxes paid more than Elon Musk. That’s a broken taxation system,” she tells Kara Swisher.

In this conversation, Kara asks Warren to make her case for antitrust scrutiny of Silicon Valley. They discuss Congress and the Biden administration’s first year — if Build Back Better is actually “Build Back Never,” Joe Manchin, and why Warren thinks the Democrats could expand their number in the Senate this year.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 20, 2022
Exclusive: Lina Khan Is (Still) Bursting Big Tech's Bubble
00:48:33

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice announced they would work to rewrite merger rules in an approach that would clamp down on big tech deals that have allowed companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook to expand their tentacles across industries and across more areas of our lives. Today, Lina Khan sat down with Kara and DealBook editor Andrew Ross Sorkin in an exclusive interview for the New York Times and CNBC.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 19, 2022
Best Of: America’s Caste System Is 400 Years Old. That Doesn’t Change Overnight.
00:38:12

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson has pointed to 2022 as a milestone for American history, marking the year the country will have existed as an independent nation for as long as the institution of slavery operated on its soil. In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re re-airing Kara’s interview with Wilkerson. 

This conversation was taped last year, shortly after the events of Jan. 6. In it, the author of “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” offers historical context for us to make sense of the present, particularly the country’s seemingly intractable systemic racism. Wilkerson and Kara discuss  the argument at the core of her book — that America’s racial order can be understood as a caste system. And Wilkerson shares  how she saw an invisible ranking system play out in the raid at the U.S. Capitol, arguing that any impulse to move on quickly would be a mistake. 

Kara will be back on Thursday with a new episode.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 17, 2022
Why This Liberal Mayor Doesn’t Want a Lecture From Progressives
00:40:26

San Francisco’s politicians are struggling to find a Goldilocks balance when it comes to public safety, and Democrats across the nation should pay attention. After declaring a state of emergency in the Tenderloin neighborhood to deal with what she called a public health crisis of opioid use, Mayor London Breed has been criticized for taking too strong a hand in forcing people to seek treatment for drugs or mental health problems. Meanwhile, the city’s district attorney, Chesa Boudin has been accused of being soft on crime and faces a recall in June. No one is “just right” on the balance between public safety and overpolicing, and that’s why law and order may be emerging as a wedge issue for Democrats, like critical race theory was in the Virginia gubernatorial race.

In this conversation with Kara, Breed talks about the crackdown she’s leading and whether she was ever the “defund the police” mayor some in the media painted her to be (and critiqued her for stepping away from). Breed says her experience growing up in a public housing development in the Western Addition neighborhood gives her a perspective many of her critics may not have. “They have a theory as to what they believe based on their ideology, but they’re also white,” she says. “They are not Black people who had these unfortunately traumatizing experiences in communities where there’s not trust with the police, but also there’s a desire to be safe.”

They also discuss the flight of tech money out of San Francisco, Breed’s Covid response strategy and how Black mayors like Breed, Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta and Lori Lightfoot of Chicago are “held to a completely different standard.” And Kara asks whether Breed wants to run for a third term — or even a senate seat.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 13, 2022
What if Work Were a Video Game?
00:32:54

When it comes to the metaverse, Phil Spencer could give Mark Zuckerberg a run for his money. The head of Xbox and executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, Spencer says popular games like Microsoft’s Halo and Minecraft — and competitors like Roblox and Fortnite — are already creating virtual worlds similar to the metaverse. And he says that video games, whose sales have soared during Covid, could offer lessons for the workplaces that have moved online in the pandemic: “We look at these virtual spaces, and some of the things that we’ve learned in video games of people coming together to cooperate together, to achieve tasks.”

In this conversation, Kara and Spencer discuss the elements of the metaverse that are mirrored in gaming and whether Xbox aims to become the Netflix of gaming. They also talk about what the gaming industry learned from Gamergate, how Spencer views the sexual misconduct allegations at Activision Blizzard (the publisher of Call of Duty and a close partner of Xbox), and how Microsoft is handling harassment by players on its own games. And while discussing the content moderation problems that are shared by gaming companies and social media platforms, Spencer explains why he thinks stoking enragement would be a “death strategy” for Xbox.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 10, 2022
One Year After the Jan. 6 Attack, Parler’s C.E.O Grapples with Big Tech and Trump
00:46:41

After an angry mob attacked the Capitol last year and users on the right-leaning social network Parler organized, shared footage and called to “burn D.C. to the ground,” Kara Swisher grilled the platform’s co-founder and C.E.O., John Matze. The interview was cited in Apple’s decision to take Parler off its App store and Amazon’s decision to suspend web hosting service for Parler. Google also booted the platform off its Play Store. Parler effectively went offline because of these three moves, and Matze lost his job.

A year after Jan. 6, and with Parler back online, Swisher interviews the platform’s new chief executive, George Farmer. He’s bent on reviving Parler, saying: “You’ve never seen a company quite so unceremoniously booted off into digital exile. It’s the kind of medieval equivalent of the church sort of excommunicating someone.” He sees the deplatforming of Parler and the former president as signs that Big Tech has gotten too big and too powerful, calling the companies “the unprecedented leviathans of the corporate world.” And yet, Farmer notes, “here we are basically saying, ‘These guys are good guys.’”

In this conversation, Swisher pushes Farmer on how his platform failed on Jan. 6 and what it may still be missing today. They also discuss Donald Trump’s return to social media and the end of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal Twitter account. And while they both agree that Apple, Amazon and Google could have done more to punish other social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, after Jan. 6, Swisher pushes back on Farmer’s assertion that the lack of action was some kind of “colluding behavior” among tech giants. Her take? They simply didn’t want “the stink of sedition” that Parler and Matze helped enable a year ago.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 06, 2022
Twitter’s Former C.E.O. Has a ‘Too Bad, So Sad’ Approach to Content Moderation
00:36:30

Remember social media before Donald Trump’s presidency? Dick Costolo does. He was Twitter’s chief executive from 2010 to 2015. And despite being in the hot seat for certain content moderation decisions during his tenure, Costolo thinks that platforms have the right to take down whatever and whomever they want. Costolo argues that the key is transparency and companies acknowledging that every decision “ends up being subjective anyway” — so that no one is surprised “when we decide to treat the avatar who signed up on a Tuesday with zero followers differently than we treat The New York Times.”

(No, we did not ask him to say that.)

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Costolo about content moderation pre- and post-Jan. 6, and how a decentralized, blockchain-based Twitter might create an information ecosystem in which “we all place our own filter over what the world looks like.” They also discuss Jack Dorsey’s decision to step down as Twitter’s chief executive in November. And in case the company’s new leader, Parag Agrawal, is listening, Costolo shares some advice he received from Jeff Bezos when he first became Twitter’s chief executive.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 03, 2022
Best Of: Michael Pollan’s ‘Trip Report’
00:39:39

From microdosing to decriminalizing and investing, many Americans are taking a renewed interest in psychedelics. As states like New York and Michigan consider decriminalizing psilocybin and investors gamble on psychedelic start-ups, Kara revisits her conversation with Michael Pollan from August. They discuss his latest book, “This Is Your Mind on Plants,” which explores the consciousness-altering chemicals of plant medicines like peyote, why the U.S. government waged war on psychedelics and other Schedule I drugs and what’s on the horizon.

“One of the challenges of the next few years is negotiating the drug peace that follows the drug war,” he says.

They also talk about how changing cultural norms around certain drugs may pave the way for better policy and when MDMA therapy might be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Kara will be back next Monday with a new episode.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 27, 2021
Why Facebook Whistle-Blower Frances Haugen Thinks She’ll Outlast Mark Zuckerberg
00:40:34

The Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen leaked a treasure trove of internal documents to the press and testified before Congress about the extent to which the tech giant fuels political polarization and erodes the mental health of teenagers. In this conversation with Kara, Haugen contemplates how Facebook has gotten away with it for so long. She discusses the company’s focus on seemingly objective metrics, the fixation with free speech and censorship debates and a general “fetishization of flatness” most clearly seen in the company’s large open-floor offices. All of this, says Haugen, allows Mark Zuckerberg to shirk responsibility: “When you refuse to acknowledge that power exists, you actually end up reinforcing the fact that power isn’t flat in the world.”

Haugen thinks Facebook’s leaders should instead focus on the design choices they enable and reward every day, arguing that it would cost Facebook a small fraction of its profits to address some of the thorniest problems that plague the platform and its users.

Kara and Haugen discuss her journey from Day 1 on the job to the moment she decided to blow the whistle. Kara presses Haugen, who is no longer a Facebook employee, on why she was ever optimistic about the social media platform and how it is different from any of the other Silicon Valley companies that appear on her résumé. And Haugen shares why — after all she’s seen and all that’s transpired — “if I could work at Facebook again, I would go and work at Facebook again.”

This episode contains strong language.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 20, 2021
Buy an Earth Suit, Shoot Sulfur into the Atmosphere (And Other Contingency Plans for a Warming Earth)
00:36:05

We are quickly approaching the dystopian future that Neal Stephenson outlined in his 1992 best seller “Snow Crash.” That book anticipated and coined the term “metaverse,” a concept that almost 30 years later has become a reality for many gamers, and the North Star for a certain Mark Zuckerberg. In his latest book, “Termination Shock,” Stephenson sounds his next alarm bell — this time on climate change.

In this conversation, Kara discusses the perverse relationship between personal wealth and climate survival. They chat about sulfur guns, earth suits and the need to ramp up the space race for human survival. And they lament that politics and sluggish government action to rein in climate change may mean human survival will be left to the benevolence of future “carbon capture trillionaires.”

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 13, 2021
Best Of: Exercise, and Accept Your ‘Inevitable Demise’
00:32:34

The fitness industry has exploded into a nearly $100 billion sector, and Alison Bechdel is among the exercise-obsessed. Bechdel, the cartoonist whose comic strip inspired the Bechdel Test for female representation in Hollywood, says she has found transcendence in everything from yoga and karate to weight lifting and biking. Her book, “The Secret to Superhuman Strength,” came out in May and examines the exercise craze, and what it exposes about our attitudes around self-care, the booming fitness economy and even our mortality.

This week, Kara revisits her conversation with Bechdel — one of her favorites from this year. They discuss the evolution of workout culture (“yoga boom” included), the politics of art (especially during the Trump era) and how mainstream cultural norms have finally caught up to, as Bechdel puts it, “where lesbians were back in the ’80s.”

Kara will be back on Monday with a new episode.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 09, 2021
Why Humans Aren’t the Worst (Despite, Well, Everything Happening in the World)
00:39:50

In 2019, when Rutger Bregman published his book “Humankind: A Hopeful History” and made a case for the decency of human nature, the world had yet to experience a deadly pandemic. But what does the historian think of humanity now, amid protests against coronavirus lockdowns as well as the climate crisis and the rampant spread of misinformation?

“What I see is a world where billions of people radically adjusted their lifestyle to stop the virus from spreading further,” he says.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher invites Bregman to make a case for taking our capacity for goodness more seriously, even in anxious and uncertain times. But she stress-tests the theory, using examples that range from atrocities like the Holocaust to widespread apathy about the climate crisis. And they discuss what Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook got wrong about human behavior, his case for societies’ moving toward a 15-hour workweek and why he decided to publish a clip of Tucker Carlson blowing up at him.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 06, 2021
Emily Ratajkowski Isn't Quite Ready to Quit Profiting Off the Male Gaze
00:36:42

Emily Ratajkowski is winning in the Instagram era: She has 28.6 million followers and has spent more than half her life making a living as a model. But even at her level of success, she still wonders: When you make a living off your desirability, is the power of your body ever just yours?

It’s one of the questions she explores in her debut book of essays, “My Body.” Because even now, she’s still working to keep her followers’ attention. “I want them to see me and look at me and also click the link to read the article that I care about,” she says. She calls Instagram an empowering tool for curating and controlling her narrative. But she also sees how the platform is a “validation machine” that can quickly turn toxic, especially for teenage girls navigating a world shaped by the male gaze.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Ratajkowski about why she’s chosen to stay in modeling for now, despite the ambivalence she expresses about both the profession and the double-edged sword of beauty. They also discuss how she wishes she could be angrier and why she doesn’t regret her appearance in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 29, 2021
Sway's Newest Listener (and an Update on This Week)
00:00:53

You might’ve heard Kara mention she and her partner are expecting a new baby. He’s arrived — four weeks early and right on time — so the team is taking a break this Thanksgiving week. Come back next Monday for her conversation with the model and writer Emily Ratajkowski.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 22, 2021
Can The Washington Post De-Snark the News?
00:35:24

In May, Sally Buzbee became the first woman to be hired for one of the most coveted jobs in journalism: executive editor of The Washington Post. Since then, Buzbee has overseen ambitious digital investigations into the Jan. 6 capitol attack and how countries’ climate pledges are based on flawed information. But she’s also had to tackle the bigger challenges that come with running a newspaper today: a turbulent media landscape shaped by political polarization, social media and the spread of misinformation. Buzbee and The Washington Post have already had to address some of these issues: The paper issued corrections last week to a handful of Steele Dossier articles they published in the past few years. The paper has been sued by the reporter Felicia Sonmez, who has alleged unfair treatment by editors.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Buzbee on her agenda for The Washington Post. “I don’t want to give up on any reader,” she says. “Certainly there are people who are not going to trust the Washington Post, but I don’t think we want to give up on big swaths of the world.” They also discuss whether it’s possible for the Bezos-owned publication to cover Amazon independently and how newsrooms can rebuild trust with communities that believe they’re biased.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 18, 2021
What the Metaverse Sounds Like to Hans Zimmer
00:35:50

Hans Zimmer has spent his career scoring cinematic worlds, from the ancient Rome of “Gladiator” to the futuristic landscape of “Dune.” So what does the metaverse sound like to him? “It sounds like just some giant, horrible, dehumanizing mess right now,” he says.

Zimmer sees tech’s influence everywhere in music. He posits that from drums to violins to synthesizers, “every piece that we use other than the human voice is a piece of technology.” But he’s also cleareyed about how innovations like artificial intelligence and streaming don’t fix underlying issues of fairness in compensation: “The people who have access to the distribution systems really still always will hold the cards.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Zimmer about his process for composing the score for “Dune” and why he says finding out that the movie would premiere simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max was a “crushing moment.” They also discuss how composers can adapt to the shifting demands of viewers and a streaming economy — and what he’s working on next.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Kara Swisher is working on a podcast for HBO, which is part of WarnerMedia and is a major player in streaming media.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 15, 2021
The Metaverse: Expectations vs. Reality
00:38:27

Mark Zuckerberg might be trying to stake his claim on the metaverse, but he’s far from the first person to envision a more virtual world. Take it from Jaron Lanier.

He’s often called the “godfather of virtual reality,” and his company, VPL Research, developed V.R. goggles and gloves in the 1980s. He says he always imagined a metaverse with “a hundred million micro entrepreneurs doing their little thing here and there — there wouldn’t be some overlord.” Now, as big companies like Roblox and Epic build virtual worlds, he describes how these technologies will continue to shape our lives.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Lanier about Facebook’s pivot to Meta, which he says sounded “like some megalomaniac took my stuff and filtered it through some weird self-aggrandizement filter.” They also discuss why Lanier viewed technologies like automation and V.R. as “a little technological token of that hope of eternal creativity” back in the ’80s. And Lanier, the author of “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now,” makes the case for why Facebook should be paying users for their data.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 11, 2021
Best Of: Sacha Baron Cohen Has a Message for Mark Zuckerberg
00:39:29

If there’s one thing the country seems united on, it’s that something needs to change at Facebook. The company has drawn critics across industries and political persuasions, from Silicon Valley to Congress. 

But one unexpected critic who’s been sounding the alarm long before the Facebook Papers comes, instead, from Hollywood: Sacha Baron Cohen. As revelations from the company's internal documents continue to roll out, Kara revisits her conversation with the actor, which originally aired in February. She and Cohen discuss his film, “The Trial of The Chicago 7” and what he calls the “Silicon Six,” a group of the most powerful people in tech who, he's said, are "all billionaires, all Americans, who care more about boosting their share price than about protecting democracy." And they trade notes on the competition between rival clown schools in France.

Kara will be back on Thursday with a new episode.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 08, 2021
Is Casey Newton a ‘Facebook Apologist'?
00:40:27

The Facebook Papers and whistle-blower testimony have given us yet more insight into the company’s impact on polarization and mental health, but if you could wave a magic wand and “pull the plug on Facebook,” would these problems go away? Casey Newton, the journalist behind the newsletter Platformer, says no. Imagining a universe where “Mark Zuckerberg is not the C.E.O., the company doesn’t exist — I actually don’t think you would improve the internet that much,” he says. He caveats that Facebook has never been held accountable “in any meaningful way,” but the problems are much bigger than any one platform.

This may make him a Facebook “apologist” in the eyes of Kara Swisher — which is exactly why she invited Newton onto the show to discuss everything Facebook.

In this conversation, Newton and Swisher discuss Facebook’s rebrand to Meta and debate the merits of the metaverse. They go inside the Facebook Papers consortium looking into the whistle-blower leaks, discuss whether the company’s recent limits on facial recognition signals a shift in Mark Zuckerberg and talk about the role of government to really start regulating a behemoth company and industry.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 04, 2021
Sex Bots and Mortality and A.I., Oh My!
00:38:40

As Tesla develops its humanoid robot and Facebook — sorry, now Meta — rebrands to signal its focus on the metaverse and an even more virtual world, some might continue to wonder whether an Armageddon that will have artificial intelligence overpowering humans is a possibility. But the novelist Jeanette Winterson is more optimistic. Her more utopian view of an A.I.-enabled future depends on more compassionate technologies and the diversification of the leaders driving innovation, who she says are currently “rich guys with a lot of power, and we can’t depend on their benevolence.”

In this conversation, Kara and Winterson discuss her latest book, “12 Bytes,” and some of the ways that A.I. will change how we think, love and live. They delve into why Winterson thinks sex bots are the enemy of progress, Silicon Valley’s obsession with immortality and how A.I. might change how we die and grieve. And they discuss Mark Zuckerberg, with Winterson saying there’s “nothing in his history that suggests he can manage billions of people on the planet using his social media tool.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 01, 2021
Why Katie Couric Owned Up to Her Regrets
00:41:42

Katie Couric has drawn fire for her new memoir, which chronicles over two decades of a TV news career that had her co-hosting with Matt Lauer (who became “cocky and reckless”), working under Les Moonves (“a close-talker with bad breath”) and in competition with the likes of Diane Sawyer (who was “everything I wasn’t”).

Yet Couric defends her frankness in this interview with Kara: “What’s the point of writing a book that’s just, like, your greatest hits or a victory lap or a sanitized version of your life?” Indeed, “Going There” does go there and, in the milieu of 2021, opens the former “Today” show host up to criticism on many fronts — including her decision to edit a 2016 interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because she wanted to “protect” her.

In this conversation, Kara and Couric discuss the zero-sum construct that seemed to define women’s broadcast journalism in the ’90s, how that construct has shifted in the decades since and whether Couric could have done more to support women in the field and on her own show. Her response? “I think this has kind of taken an outsized role in the narrative because I was honest about sometimes feeling insecure and territorial.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 28, 2021
Why Republican Ken Buck Believes in Antitrust and Doesn’t Believe in the ‘Big Lie’
00:36:45

Representative Ken Buck has joined forces with the Democratic congressman David Cicilline and others to push through a package of antitrust legislation that could prove damning to companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. “As a conservative, I don’t think big is bad. I think big is great,” he says. But at the same time, he is quick to clarify that Silicon Valley isn’t the land of “benevolent monopolists” and that leaders like Jeff Bezos need to be more transparent about their business practices.

In this conversation, Buck discusses how he’s moved further than his party on issues of antitrust, and why he — after initially backing the Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn 2020 election results in four battleground states — eventually stepped out against Donald Trump’s “Big Lie” of a stolen election.

Kara asks Buck which antitrust bills will survive big tech anti-antitrust lobbying, and whether regulatory agencies like the F.T.C. will actually have the teeth to enforce the proposed laws. They also dig into the Facebook whistle-blower’s allegations, as well as conservative claims of social media censorship. And Swisher presses Buck on what he calls the “vigorous debate” within the Republican Party — which Buck says is happening “behind closed doors.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 25, 2021
Can a Nobel Peace Prize Protect Maria Ressa From Rodrigo Duterte?
00:40:05

Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov recently took home the Nobel Peace Prize, marking the first time working journalists have won the award since 1935. Ressa believes the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to recognize journalists this year sends a signal that, once again, “we are on the brink of the rise of fascism.” Through her digital media company Rappler, Ressa has been on the front lines of covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime in the Philippines, exposing the leader’s tactics of “violence and fear.” She also sounded the alarm on the role that social media platforms have played in the rise of leaders like Duterte and Donald Trump, saying that Facebook in particular “exploded an atom bomb” by amplifying misinformation and propaganda.

Ressa’s reporting has made her a target for lawsuits from the Duterte government and online harassment from his supporters: One study found almost 400,000 tweets targeting Ressa over a 13-month period. And she was convicted of cyber libel in 2020, which has made it difficult for her to leave the country.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Ressa to discuss the role of social media in the rise of polarization, and to consider if new revelations from the Facebook whistle-blower will be a game changer. And Ressa shares how her work — and the onslaught of lawsuits in response to it — have impacted her personal life and her family.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 21, 2021
Walt Mossberg's Take on Mark Zuckerberg and More
00:43:47

After leaked internal documents in The Wall Street Journal, whistle-blower testimony on Capitol Hill, a global server outage and drops in share price, Facebook has recently taken (another) spectacular beating. But the veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg says none of it has been a surprise. A longtime friend and mentor of Kara Swisher, he tells her, “I think the company is fundamentally unethical.” And, drawing on his experience covering controversial leaders, including Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (as he calls them, “the old guard”), Mossberg says the Facebook C.E.O. is still an aberration: “In my encounters with Mark Zuckerberg, I’ve never been able to discover any principles.”

In this conversation, Kara and Mossberg talk about “the sins of Facebook,” whether this new scandal really is the company’s Big Tobacco moment and why Sheryl Sandberg is still sitting at Zuckerberg’s side. They also swap stories of tech executives — from making Zuckerberg sweat (literally) and getting the cold shoulder from Elon Musk to Mossberg’s Taco Bell invitation from Gates and “arm-waving arguments” with Jobs.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Love listening to New York Times podcasts? Help us test a new audio product in beta and give us your thoughts to shape what it becomes. Visit nytimes.com/audio to join the beta.

Oct 18, 2021
Adam Schiff on Facebook, Fox News and the Trump Cult
00:41:30

It’s been nine months since the Capitol attack, and we still don’t have true accountability. Representative Adam Schiff and the rest of the Jan. 6 House select committee are issuing subpoenas to key witnesses, including Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino and two “Stop the Steal” rally organizers. “No one is off the table,” Schiff says.

But in a political ecosystem that is defined in part by the spread of misinformation and polarization on platforms like Facebook and the power of right-wing media outlets like Fox News and One America News Network, how much will a congressional investigation actually move the needle on a democracy at risk? Especially when the effort — billed as bipartisan — has only two Republican members?

In this conversation, Kara presses Schiff on the Jan. 6 committee’s ability to bring about change and its efforts to subpoena key witnesses. As Kara points out, “Issuing subpoenas is one thing, but getting people to comply is another” — and that is proving more difficult as Donald Trump advises allies to defy the committee. They also discuss the Facebook whistle-blower Frances Haugen, how Schiff wishes Mark Zuckerberg would have replied to questions about the platform’s role in amplifying polarization and whether Trump will run in 2024. And Schiff reflects on the former president’s nicknames for him.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 14, 2021
Samantha Bee Doesn't Miss Donald Trump
00:34:10

The 45th president may have been ripe material for (dark) comedy, but Samantha Bee sure does not miss him. After covering Donald Trump for six seasons on her late night show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” she says, “Comedy is better without him. Just the world in general, — the globe — is better without him.” She now has airtime to double down her coverage of other challenges like climate change and the affront to voting and abortion rights.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Bee about her role as a “funny advocate.” They also discuss the challenges of pandemic socializing, the future of entertainment and Bee’s hopes that Vladimir Putin “ride a bear into the woods.” And she gives her two cents, as a New Yorker, on the Texas gubernatorial race: “I would vote for a pizza stained paper plate over Greg Abbott.”

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 11, 2021
Is Texas Ready for Matthew McConaughey?
00:38:58

When the actor Matthew McConaughey dropped his rom-com act to pursue hard-hitting dramas, Hollywood called it a “McConaissance.” Now we may be on the cusp of the next one, as he mulls over a run for governor of Texas. McConaughey is the first to admit he’s not a conventional pick for Texans. “I’m not a man who comes at politics from a political background,” he says. “I’m a statesman-philosopher, folk-singing poet.” Even so, he has some thoughts about the current political climate, observing, “It’s necessary to be aggressively centric, at least, to possibly salvage democracy in America right now.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks McConaughey to unpack his thoughts on key issues like mask mandates, abortion and voting rights, and what he actually means when he says he’s “measuring” a run for governor. They also discuss his recent memoir, “Greenlights,” as he doles out some of his life philosophies and cackles in good humor at the critical reviews that Kara insists on reading him.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 07, 2021
What if Monica Lewinsky Had Twitter in 1998?
00:46:12

Truth and context may seem elusive today, but for Monica Lewinsky they both “went out the door in 1998.” As the investigation into Bill Clinton unfolded, Lewinsky came under scrutiny as the most infamous intern in Washington, but kept largely silent due to an immunity deal with investigators. In this conversation with Kara Swisher, Lewinsky says she and the other women entangled in the president’s impeachment “were all reduced in different ways to serve purposes for other people: for either political points or to make money.” She considers the toll of that experience on her own life, and contemplates how it might all have played out differently in the age of online accountability and the #MeToo Twittersphere.

Swisher also asks Lewinsky to reflect on the new FX series “Impeachment: American Crime Story” — on which she served as a producer, but did not have creative control — and Lewinsky’s latest project, an HBO Max documentary entitled “15 Minutes of Shame,” which explores the world of public humiliation. And they delve into cancel culture, Trump’s online trolling and how pitting women against one another “is one of the playbooks in the patriarchy”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 04, 2021
Can Andrew Yang End America’s 2-Party System?
00:33:44

Andrew Yang failed in his campaigns for president of the United States and mayor of New York City, but that has not stopped him from trying to disrupt the political status quo with a new party, which he has named “Forward.” This time, the candidate known for evangelizing universal basic income, or U.B.I., is championing ideas like open primaries and rank-choice voting (which, incidentally, was the voting system used in the mayoral race he lost). But critics are skeptical that he needs to work outside the two-party system to accomplish these goals.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Yang whether the new party is a gimmick to sell books or a real solution to political polarization. She presses him for some self-reflection on his mayoral campaign, and they unpack whether lack of government experience is an asset or a liability. Also, we get an update on the Yang Gang.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 30, 2021
Can Beto O’Rourke Pull a Stacey Abrams?
00:21:11

Beto O’Rourke came close to unseating Senator Ted Cruz in 2018 and fell far from winning the presidency in 2020. Now the former El Paso congressman has turned his attention back home. He’s been a key organizer and fund-raiser in the fight against Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting rights in the state, including their recent passage of S.B.1. He’s also rumored to be considering a run for Texas governor in 2022 — a race he describes as crucial given “the deep damage and chaos and incompetence that is connected to Greg Abbott,” the incumbent.

But can O’Rourke pull a Stacey Abrams and help flip his state blue? And if he decides to run, can he do what she previously couldn’t: win a governor’s seat?

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses O’Rourke on why he’s being so coy about a potential run and how dragging his feet may box out other Democratic contenders. They dig into some of those rumored contenders — specifically, the actor Matthew McConaughey. They also speak about the connection between Republican legislative moves to curb voting rights with S.B.1 and to restrict abortion with S.B.8 — and what it will take for Democrats to overcome these hurdles and actually win in Texas.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 27, 2021
How They Failed: C.A. Republicans, Media Critics and Facebook Leadership
00:34:08

In a special Opinion Audio bonanza, Kara Swisher, Jane Coaston (The Argument) and Ezra Klein (The Ezra Klein Show) sit down to discuss what went wrong for the G.O.P. in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom of California. “This was where the nationalization of politics really bit back for Republicans,” Jane says. The three hosts then debate whether the media industry’s criticism of itself does any good at all. “The media tweets like nobody’s watching,” Ezra says. Then the hosts turn to The Wall Street Journal’s revelations in “The Facebook Files” and discuss how to hold Facebook accountable. “We’re saying your tools in the hands of malevolent players are super dangerous,” Kara says, “but we have no power over them whatsoever.”

And last, Ezra, Jane and Kara offer recommendations to take you deep into history, fantasy and psychotropics.

Read more about the subjects in this episode:

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 23, 2021
What Is 23andMe Doing With Your DNA?
00:32:07

Anne Wojcicki is sitting on a treasure trove of genetic data. The co-founder and chief executive of 23andMe has led the genetic testing company through 14 years in which it has collected data from millions of customers through their at-home DNA spit test kits. In 2018, the company announced a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to use this anonymized, aggregated data to develop new pharmaceutical drugs — and attracted a $300 million investment from the pharmaceutical giant. And in June, when Wojcicki took the company public, it was valued at $3.5 billion. In some ways, it’s a standard Silicon Valley play: Lure customers in with the promise of democratizing information before quickly moving to monetize that information. But what are the implications when the information at stake is your DNA?

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Wojcicki on the ethical, privacy and security questions intertwined with the 23andMe business model. They discuss what the rise of genetic testing might mean for today’s 2-year-olds and how the United States is faring in a “genetic information race” with China. And they dig into the ongoing Theranos trial — specifically, whether the case against Elizabeth Holmes will rein in a Silicon Valley health tech sector that, in the past, has run a little wild.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 20, 2021
Jeffrey Katzenberg Talks About His Billion-Dollar Flop
00:34:37

The public failure of his start-up Quibi hasn’t stopped Jeffrey Katzenberg from doubling down on tech. A Hollywood power broker, he headed up Disney in the 1980s and ’90s and co-founded a rival studio, DreamWorks, before finding a puzzle he could not yet solve: getting people to pay for short-format content. Investors gave him and the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman $1.75 billion to build a video platform, but not enough customers opened up their wallets, at $4.99 a month, and Quibi folded within a year of its launch. Katzenberg says the problems were product-market fit and the Covid pandemic, not competition from TikTok or YouTube.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Katzenberg delve into Quibi’s demise, the shifting power dynamics in Hollywood and his pivot to Silicon Valley. They also discuss his influence in another sphere: politics. And the former Hollywood executive, who co-chaired a fund-raiser to help fend off California’s recent recall effort, offers some advice to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 16, 2021
Is Limitless Choice Killing Us Slowly?
00:35:34

Imagine a world in which Google and Amazon join together to form an all-knowing corporate juggernaut that could program our every movement. Author Dave Eggers has contemplated such a future in his latest dystopian novel “The Every.” Eggers, who limits his own use of technology to the bare minimum, says he was inspired by the limitless choice of our digital world and the idea of a data-driven tech monopoly that would use “your preferences and algorithmic-determined personality” to help you “become the better version of yourself and the ultimate version of yourself.”

In this conversation, Swisher asks Eggers how close the real world is to this fictional dystopia. They dig into Eggers’s tech skepticism, his fears of an e-commerce “apex predator” poised to destroy our retail biodiversity, and why he probably won’t be on Jeff Bezos’ “phallic” rocket ship. He and Kara also discuss his the challenges that Amazon’s rapidly-growing market share poses for smaller publishing houses like Eggers’s own company McSweeney’s, and why he’ll still be selling paperbacks of a book that is critical of Amazon … on Amazon.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 13, 2021
When Will Hollywood Stop Stereotyping Muslims?
00:29:13

Since 9/11, and even before, Hollywood’s portrayal of Muslims has emboldened inaccurate stereotypes of dangerous villains or jihadist terrorists. In addition to misrepresenting Muslims, the industry has also arguably underrepresented this population — one U.S.C. study found Muslims represented 1.6 percent of speaking roles in recent major films. Actor, musician and activist Riz Ahmed is challenging this status quo in a career that has included playing a guileless assistant struggling to make ends meet in “Nightcrawler” and a drummer who loses his hearing in the film “Sound of Metal.” In 2021, he became the first Muslim to be nominated for a best actor Oscar — an accolade he found “bittersweet.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Ahmed discuss how far Hollywood has — or hasn’t — come in addressing the misrepresentation of Muslims and talk about the power of streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO Max to catalyze more authentic and diverse storytelling. They also dive into Ahmed’s latest project — “Mogul Mowgli,” which the artist describes as “a personal exploration of home and identity and, really, where you’re from and what that means.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 09, 2021
Why Ashton Kutcher and Julie Cordua Are Defending Apple
00:33:18

Apple has long been a pioneer on privacy, and has made that a central part of its marketing. So it was surprising to see privacy groups complain last month when it announced new features meant to combat child sexual abuse.

The updates were intended to make a dent in the rapid proliferation of child sexual abuse material online — the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children logged 21.7 million reports of such material in 2020 alone. But because one of these updates involves software that would allow Apple to scan images on a user’s device, privacy groups worry about setting a dangerous precedent that would open the door to surveillance and censorship.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks through the debate over balancing the protection of children and privacy with Julie Cordua, the chief executive of the child safety nonprofit Thorn, and Ashton Kutcher, a co-founder of the organization. They discuss the scale of child sexual exploitation online and the role that tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook play in both the problem and the solution. Kutcher — who was an early defender of Apple’s recent update — also jumps in to note “the one thing Facebook has been amazing at.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 02, 2021
Is Kara Behind on Barbie?
00:27:56

Mattel went through three chief executives in four years before Ynon Kreiz took the job in 2018. He stood the test of time in part because of a big bet: taking Mattel's toys to Hollywood. The toy giant is partnering with Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie to bring Barbie to life on the big screen, and creating films based on everything from UNO to Magic 8 Ball. It’s a strategy that draws on Kreiz’s past experience at entertainment companies like Maker Studios and Endemol, and one that draws inspiration from franchises like Transformers and companies like Lego, which Kreiz says was able to make “great movies out of bricks.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher stress tests Kreiz’s strategy, asking whether these potential movie franchises are any more than glorified marketing and what a movie based on the Magic 8 Ball may look like. (Reply hazy, try again.) They also discuss the future of play in an age of video games and smartphones, and when Mattel might introduce a transgender Barbie. Oh, and Kara pitches her own media franchise mash-up: a Teletubbies movie directed by Martin Scorsese.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 30, 2021
Why Vaccine Mandates for Teachers Have Been a Harder Sell Than Mask Mandates for Kids
00:36:36

As the pandemic has pushed the country into a debate about when and how to reopen schools, Randi Weingarten has faced the ire of parents, teachers, school boards and — of course — Fox News. The president of the American Federation of Teachers leads a union of 1.7 million educators across the nation. She’s been on the hook for pressing to keep school closed last fall and supporting mask mandates in classrooms this year. And most recently, she drew criticism from her own members when she personally endorsed a vaccine mandate and promised to work with states and school boards that are seeking to enact vaccine mandates or vaccinate-or-test requirements for teachers.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Weingarten on reopening procedures and the spectacle around mask mandates in states like Florida and Texas. They also discuss the wave of legislation prohibiting teachers from discussing critical race theory in classrooms, and why this former teacher has become a lightning rod for the right.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 26, 2021
Yes, the Owner of a Movie Theater Chain Feels Bad for Me
00:34:50

When Kara Swisher wrote a column declaring her love for Vin Diesel and predicting that we will not be returning to movie theaters, Tim League felt sorry for her. He’s the founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a luxury movie theater chain that opened in Austin over 20 years ago and has since expanded nationally. The pandemic has not been kind to the company, which he notes was in “dire” condition by December and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. But League still remains bullish about his industry and the value of the theater experience.

In this conversation, Swisher and League debate whether the rise of streaming giants means the end of cinemas, big and small. They also discuss the challenge of hiring and retaining workers, pushed release dates for movies like “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and whether a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon would buy a theater chain like Alamo. Mostly, though, they agree to disagree. Mostly, though, they agree to disagree.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 23, 2021
How Jason Miller Is Trying to Get Trump Back on the Internet
00:46:42

Social media has felt quieter without the constant ALL CAPS fury of Donald Trump, but Jason Miller is trying to change that.

Miller, who was the former president’s longtime aide and spokesman, recently took a new gig running a social media platform called Gettr, which claims to be a haven from censorship and cancel culture. It may sound a little like Parler 2.0, but the game-changer for Gettr — which has a little under two million users — would be if Miller can get Trump to create an account and get back online.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Miller how he intends to get Trump to log on, challenges him on his claims that Twitter and Facebook are out to censor conservatives and presses him about how content moderation works on his platform. And they discuss the question on everyone’s mind: Is Trump likely to run again in 2024?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 19, 2021
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: ‘Silicon Valley Now Owns Hollywood.’
00:33:20

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is deep in Silicon Valley these days. No, he’s not pitching a start-up (though he does have one of those): He is playing Uber’s former chief executive Travis Kalanick in an upcoming Showtime anthology series. And while Gordon-Levitt has some thoughts about society’s “overblown deification of technology,” he is relatively bullish on Silicon Valley and the trend of tech companies taking over Hollywood.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Gordon-Levitt discuss what this shift means for the entertainment industry and how he thinks about social media. They also dive deep into “Mr. Corman,” Gordon-Levitt’s latest project, which he created and produced for Apple TV.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 16, 2021
Should We Worry As Billionaires Buy Up Newspapers?
00:40:32

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, says we should — and he’s one of those billionaires. In 2018, Soon-Shiong — who minted his fortune by inventing a cancer drug in the 1990s — scooped up the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and a group of smaller newspapers for a cool $500 million. Since then, he’s been obsessed with two things: modernizing his media empire and continuing his medical pursuits, most recently with an experimental Covid-19 vaccine.

In this conversation, Soon-Shiong and Kara Swisher discuss why he bought the L.A. Times, his plans for it and why he didn’t do more to save other local papers from the jaws of a newsroom-slashing hedge fund. They also delve into his medical background, his take on how the Covid-19 pandemic will become endemic in unvaccinated communities and the job he says he passed up in the Trump administration.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 12, 2021
Michael Pollan's 'Trip Report'
00:39:56

Michael Pollan has brewed tea from opium poppies, quit caffeine cold turkey and tried mescaline, a psychedelic found in some kinds of cactus. While the author’s past works have taken on the Western diet and the cultural attitude toward psychedelics, in “This Is Your Mind on Plants,” Pollan wages a war against — well, the government’s war on drugs. He argues that the approach to regulation has been selective and self-serving, making him “question whether the real rationale of the drug war was ever public health.”

His point? Caffeine was welcomed because it sustained workers and fueled the economy, but psychedelics were criminalized because they were seen as a threat to the social order. Pollan advocates a new drug policy that is driven by science, not politics.

In this conversation, he and Kara Swisher discuss how changing cultural norms around certain drugs may pave the way for better policy and when MDMA therapy might be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 09, 2021
$54 Billion Later, Why Is Flying Still a Headache?
00:35:01

As the pandemic locked down cities and would-be travelers stayed home, the airline industry begged the government for  bailouts — and got them, to the tune of $54 billion. The funds were supposed to help airlines avoid furloughs and ramp up more quickly once travel returned. But this summer, chaos hit anyway, with airlines like American, Southwest, and Spirit racking up cancellations in the face of crew shortages.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Doug Parker, the C.E.O. and chairman of American Airlines, why the industry is still struggling to provide decent service and whether taxpayer dollars were wasted in the bailouts. They also discuss why the company “doesn’t deserve” Warren Buffett’s money, the in-flight rage over airline mask policies — and why Kara would make a terrible flight attendant. 

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 05, 2021
Is Ken Burns Taking Up Too Much Space? He Doesn’t Think So.
00:30:38

From “deepfaking” Anthony Bourdain’s voice to reconstructing a re-education camp in Xinjiang — technologies like A.I. voice generation and V.R. are warping the boundaries of documentary filmmaking. So how does a veteran like Ken Burns, who has spent over 40 years documenting American history, think about the ethical questions attached to these tools?

In this conversation, Kara Swisher learns why Burns was “very troubled” by the use of A.I. voice generation in a recent documentary about the late chef and food journalist Anthony Bourdain. She also asks him to respond to a public letter in March questioning PBS’s commitment to diversity and criticizing the network as having an “overreliance” on Burns and his films — which include his latest series on the boxer Muhammad Ali. Burns also explains why he considers Mark Zuckerberg an “enemy of the state.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Aug 02, 2021
Would You Give Up Google for This?
00:38:41

Call it a redemption narrative: After working to grow Google’s lucrative advertising business for 15 years, Sridhar Ramaswamy left the Silicon Valley Goliath to co-found Neeva, a subscription-based search engine that promises not to profit off its customers’ search data. It sounds good in theory; many companies have exploited user data under the guise of their free services. But whether Neeva can get users to care enough about their data to pay for privacy is a whole other story.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Ramaswamy, Neeva’s chief executive, what makes his search engine any different from the litany of others that have tried to take on Google. (Remember Duck Duck Go, Bing and Yahoo?) She presses him on whether users, who have long been conditioned to expect search to be free, will be amenable to a subscription-based alternative. And they discuss Google’s antitrust suit, what incognito mode really does and why background location is “truly evil.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 29, 2021
‘It’s a Tough Time to Be Mayor’: Lori Lightfoot Responds to Her Critics
00:34:20

Mayors across the country are facing heat. Bill DeBlasio was New York’s default punching bag (perhaps deservedly) throughout the pandemic. Keisha Lance Bottoms decided to forgo seeking a second term as the mayor of Atlanta. And in Chicago, Lori Lightfoot faces critics at every turn. Lightfoot, who in describing herself says, “Roll it all up — I’m Black, I’m female, I’m a lesbian, and no one expected me to win,” is two years into a term that has been defined by a brutal pandemic, a deeply unequal economy and rising crime.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Lightfoot to respond to the criticism she’s received — whether for her leadership style or for her recent move to grant one-on-one interviews marking her two years in office exclusively to journalists of color. They also discuss the challenges of rising crime in Chicago, why Lightfoot doesn’t support the defund-the-police movement and what would prompt her to consider reinstating a mask mandate.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 26, 2021
Robot Therapists? Not So Fast, Says Talkspace C.E.O.
00:33:03

Talk therapy has seen a boom during the pandemic. And with mental health chat bots like Woebot on the market and text therapy platforms like Talkspace going public, the possibility of humans outsourcing our behavioral health to algorithmic healers is only growing — along with the ethical questions attached to it. So Kara Swisher turned to Oren Frank, a co-founder and the chief executive of Talkspace, to ask what the increasing technologization of therapy means for treatment efficacy and for privacy.

In this conversation, Kara asks Frank whether health care apps like Talkspace, which collect patient data, are offering meaningful insights or are privacy sieves waiting to be hacked. They also talk about how to measure treatment efficacy and who is accountable — the platform or the provider — when something goes wrong.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 22, 2021
Kara Goes to the Olympics
00:34:26

People love the Olympics. But this year’s Games, which open on Friday, are plagued with controversial suspensions and public pushback, not to mention the pandemic. How did we get here?

That’s a question for Dick Pound. He’s a member of the International Olympic Committee and was the founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency. In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Pound to break down the I.O.C.’s decision to move forward with the Games as the Delta variant of the coronavirus threatens to surge, vaccination rates trickle and citizens of the host country express concerns about the event. She presses him on who he thinks should take responsibility if an outbreak happens. (Hint: He doesn’t think it’s the I.O.C.)

They also discuss American track star Sha’Carri Richardson’s recent one-month suspension after testing positive for marijuana and whether WADA’s policies on weed need to change.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 19, 2021
The Ezra Klein Show: Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power
01:11:37

Kara's on vacation this week, so we're bringing you an episode of another great Times Opinion podcast, 'The Ezra Klein Show.'

 “The technological progress we make in the next 100 years will be far larger than all we’ve made since we first controlled fire and invented the wheel,” writes Sam Altman in his essay “Moore’s Law for Everything.” “This revolution will generate enough wealth for everyone to have what they need, if we as a society manage it responsibly.”

Altman is the C.E.O. of OpenAI, one of the biggest, most important players in the artificial intelligence space. His argument is this: Since the 1970s, computers have gotten exponentially better even as they’re gotten cheaper, a phenomenon known as Moore’s Law. Altman believes that A.I. could get us closer to Moore’s Law for everything: it could make everything better even as it makes it cheaper. Housing, health care, education, you name it.

But what struck me about his essay is that last clause: “if we as a society manage it responsibly.” Because, as Altman also admits, if he is right then A.I. will generate phenomenal wealth largely by destroying countless jobs — that’s a big part of how everything gets cheaper — and shifting huge amounts of wealth from labor to capital. And whether that world becomes a post-scarcity utopia or a feudal dystopia hinges on how wealth, power and dignity are then distributed — it hinges, in other words, on politics.

This is a conversation, then, about the political economy of the next technological age. Some of it is speculative, of course, but some of it isn’t. That shift of power and wealth is already underway. Altman is proposing an answer: a move toward taxing land and wealth, and distributing it to all. We talk about that idea, but also the political economy behind it: Are the people gaining all this power and wealth really going to offer themselves up for more taxation? Or will they fight it tooth-and-nail?

We also discuss who is funding the A.I. revolution, the business models these systems will use (and the dangers of those business models), how A.I. would change the geopolitical balance of power, whether we should allow trillionaires, why the political debate over A.I. is stuck, why a pro-technology progressivism would also need to be committed to a radical politics of equality, what global governance of A.I. could look like, whether I’m just “energy flowing through a neural network,” and much more.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 15, 2021
The Argument: Not Everyone Is Worried About America's Falling Birthrates
00:34:54

Kara's on vacation this week, so we're bringing you an episode of another great Times Opinion podcast, The Argument.

U.S. birthrates have fallen by 4 percent, hitting a record low. And it’s not just America — people around the world are having fewer children, from South Korea to South America.

In some ways, this seems inevitable. From an economic standpoint, there’s the expensive trio of child rearing, education and health care in America. From a cultural perspective, women have more financial and societal independence, delaying the age of childbirth. What might be troubling are the consequences on our future economy and what an older population might mean for Social Security.

This week, Jane Coaston talks to two demographers who have differing levels of worry about the news of our falling birthrate. Lyman Stone is the director of research at the consulting firm Demographic Intelligence, an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, a Robert Novak Journalism fellow and a Ph.D. student in population dynamics at McGill University. Caroline Hartnett is a demographer and an associate professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina.

You can find more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 12, 2021
Chelsea Handler Has a Message for Straight Men
00:29:07

Chelsea Handler says men are “on probation” — at least the ones who don’t seem to grasp how the country’s social justice movement is reshaping how we talk about, well, everything. The female comic has crossed the line in her own career, including posting racially insensitive tweets. But she claims the current political climate, therapy (and cannabis) have led to a “kinder and gentler” persona that will be on the stage as she returns to the road this July in her new standup tour, titled “Vaccinated and Horny.”

In this conversation with Kara Swisher, Handler discusses how the sensitivities of cancel culture square with edgy, boundary-pushing comedy; revisits how she thinks about apologies; and explains why she did her latest standup special for HBO after her Netflix deal. She also reveals how her crush on Andrew Cuomo flamed out.

This episode contains strong language.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 08, 2021
What’s Keeping Biden’s Chief of Staff Up at Night?
00:33:20

Ron Klain tells Kara Swisher it’s “everything” — except, apparently, the midterms. As White House chief of staff, Klain helps determine how the president spends scarce resources like time and political capital.

He and Kara speak at a moment when the country is shy of President Biden’s July 4 vaccine target and the administration has just averted the unraveling of a bipartisan infrastructure deal that still has to crawl through a polarized Congress. Kara presses Klain on whether the president’s ambitious agenda and focus on bipartisanship will succeed — or whether infrastructure will be “Biden’s Obamacare,” costing Democrats their majority in the House and the Senate in 2022. Klain notes, “There’ll be obviously more of a time and a place for the focus on the politics of 2022,” but “the best way we can do well in 2022 is to get things done in 2021.”

The conversation also dives into the pandemic response, the Delta variant and how social media platforms are petri dishes of pandemic misinformation. And when Klain describes a recent conversation with Mark Zuckerberg and complains about Facebook and other platforms not doing more to combat misinformation, Kara is quick to press him on what the Biden administration plans to do to regulate tech giants. After all, she reminds him, “you’re the government.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jul 01, 2021
A Guy Fieri Pep Talk
00:25:57

Guy Fieri recently inked an $80 million deal with the Food Network, making him the highest-paid chef on cable TV. He did this on the heels of a brutal year for the restaurant industry, which, according to the National Restaurant Association, has lost approximately $290 billion since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and seen insufficient relief from the federal government. While the airline industry received a big bailout in March 2020, as well as additional payroll support through the pandemic, it took almost a full year for Congress to earmark a grant program for American restaurants. Fieri’s take on why they got so little so late: It’s about “voice, power and money.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Fieri on how he’s using his own voice and power. They dig into how restaurants have adapted during the pandemic, why working conditions remain so bad in the industry and why he has gotten into ghost kitchens — a trend that, alongside food delivery apps, is reshaping the restaurant industry. Plus, she gets him to spill on his plans to join FoodTok someday.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 28, 2021
Exercise, and Accept Your ‘Inevitable Demise’
00:33:09

The fitness industry has exploded into a nearly $100 billion sector, and Alison Bechdel is among the exercise-obsessed. Bechdel, the cartoonist whose comic strip inspired the Bechdel Test for female representation in Hollywood, says she has found transcendence in everything from yoga and karate to weight lifting and biking. Her new book, “The Secret to Superhuman Strength,” examines the exercise craze, and what it exposes about our attitudes around self-care, the booming fitness economy and even our mortality.

In this conversation, Kara and Bechdel discuss the evolution of workout culture (“yoga boom” included), the politics of art (especially during the Trump era) and how mainstream cultural norms have finally caught up to, as Bechdel puts it, “where lesbians were back in the ’80s.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 24, 2021
Dr. Fauci Claps Back
00:32:39

Anthony Fauci doesn’t have a Twitter account. But he does have a lot to say about the recent scrutiny following the release of his emails from 2020 — an especially busy time in his tenure as America’s chief immunologist. Republicans like Ron DeSantis have used the emails as fodder for criticism, accusing him of “faucism” (yes, that’s a play on fascism). Fauci’s response: “Here’s a guy whose entire life has been devoted to saving lives. And now you’re telling me he’s like Hitler? Come on, folks. Get real.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Fauci parse the science from the politics. She presses him on the Wuhan lab leak theory, which critics claim Fauci and the media were too quick to dismiss. They discuss what went wrong with his early mask-wearing guidance and whether there is room for error or evolution of advice when it comes to public health in a social media age. And of course, they dig into some of the 4,000 or so pages of Fauci’s emails, including exchanges with Sylvia Burwell, the former Health and Human Services secretary, and Mark Zuckerberg. (No, he was not asking Zuck for help with his Instagram.)

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 21, 2021
Is This the Big Tech Breakup We’ve Been Waiting For?
00:30:02

Representative David Cicilline’s bipartisan package takes aim at tech companies and would be the biggest antitrust reform in decades. But is it too little, too fragmented and way too late? The tech-savvy Democrat is joining forces with Republicans like Ken Buck and Burgess Owens to push through a large suite of new antitrust legislation aimed at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. If the five bills are passed (without being watered down), they will empower regulators, raise the bar for mergers and acquisitions, and make it a whole lot easier for enforcers to break up businesses. The power of Big Tech is not news, so Kara starts by asking Representative Cicilline: Why did it take so long for Congress to try and catch up?

 

In this conversation, they break down the bills and discuss why the timing for sweeping tech regulation is particularly ripe in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol enabled by social media. Kara presses the lawmaker to respond to criticisms — including the notion that the proposed legislation robs the tech robber barons of the proceeds of their innovation and allows government to pick and choose winners in a way that feels more fit for China than the United States. And she asks Cicilline why he thinks Big Tech is the common enemy that can unite Democrats and Republicans.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 17, 2021
Inside the I.R.S. Files of the Ultra-Wealthy
00:37:10

It’s an open secret that the uber-rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes. But Jesse Eisinger and his team at ProPublica have unearthed the numbers to back that up. In “The Secret I.R.S. Files,” they combed through more than 15 years of federal income tax records, revealing that Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, George Soros and many more have paid as little as $0 in recent years. By amassing and borrowing off their wealth, while minimizing how much of it is treated as income, these billionaires live outside the tax system perfectly legally. It’s on top of that, Eisinger explains, that the rich have built “their power, their purchasing power, their political power, their influence.”

In this conversation, Kara Swisher gets a play by play of the investigation into the “secret IRS files.” Eisinger breaks down the investigative team’s decision to use an anonymous source and says whether he fears the Biden administration will loop ProPublica into an investigation into that source (in which case, he’d “raise bloody hell”). They discuss why the Biden administration’s efforts to increase the marginal tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent is “irrelevant” for the ultrawealthy (or as Kara puts it, “using a fly swatter to kill a bear”). And they go through the billionaires’ responses to the investigation, including a question mark from Elon Musk, privacy concerns from Michael Bloomberg and confusion from Carl Icahn, who was “incredibly charming” but also “totally perplexed by the concept of needing to pay taxes.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 14, 2021
Meet Big Tech’s Tormenter-in-Chief
00:32:32

Margrethe Vestager and Kara Swisher have something in common: They both have made it their job to keep watch on Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and the other titans of tech. Vestager does this from her post as the head of the European Commission’s antitrust division. And while Swisher may regularly opine on what drives tech C.E.O.s, Vestager isn’t interested in “soul-searching” their motives. She’s focused on catching them in the act — whether it’s companies sliding from “aggressive tax planning into tax avoidance” or moving from content moderation into censorship.

In this conversation, Swisher and Vestager trade notes on the power of tech. They discuss the G7’s recent agreement to work toward a global corporate tax rate. (Vestager thinks she’ll be 150 years old by the time there’s a global tax authority.) They discuss Facebook’s two-year ban of Donald Trump. (Vestager admits that she’s not an active Facebook user, but even she was surprised that “one could express oneself as the former president did without any consequences until the very last minutes.”) And they talk about antitrust — where Vestager is quick to clarify that her point is “not to say that they should be smaller,” but instead that these companies “should take the responsibility that comes with the kind of power you have when you are this size.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 10, 2021
Silicon Valley’s Thin Skins and Giant Egos
00:39:39

From allegations that Bill Gates had been coming on to Microsoft employees to the $22.5 million settlement of a gender discrimination suit against Pinterest, women in Silicon Valley are speaking out against what is still a male-dominated culture.

Ellen Pao was one of the first to do that. In 2012, she sued the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination. Back then, she says, she was met with skepticism at the very idea that the industry suffered from sexism at all. Pao ultimately lost the case, but it raised a question that hangs almost a decade later: What will it take for Silicon Valley to become less sexist?

In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Pao about the “thin skins” and “giant egos” of powerful people in tech, how these attributes define the work culture of Silicon Valley and why it may take a “perp walk” from a venture capitalist or a C.E.O. to see real change.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 07, 2021
Women’s Basketball Is on the Rise. Is Anyone Paying Attention?
00:32:38

LeBron James and Steph Curry are household names and brand magnates, but Diana Taurasi and A’ja Wilson haven’t quite reached that level. That’s despite being, respectively, the W.N.B.A.’s career top scorer and reigning MVP. And it’s despite the average viewership for the 2020 women’s basketball finals shooting up 15 percent from the previous year — while the men’s finals saw a 49 percent drop. In a sport that’s beloved and at a time when female athletes are raising their profiles (think Naomi Osaka and Megan Rapinoe), why isn’t the W.N.B.A. minting superstars?

That’s a question Cathy Engelbert, the league’s commissioner, is grappling with. Since joining the W.N.B.A. in 2019, she has settled a collective bargaining agreement to increase player compensation and has overseen the W.N.B.A.’s recent push into sports betting. In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Engelbert discuss why women’s sports are underwatched and undervalued, what that means for pay equity and whether the women’s league will ever be financially independent from their parent organization and male counterpart: the N.B.A.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jun 03, 2021
Is Jake Tapper for Sale?
00:44:30

AT&T owns CNN — for now. But one day Netflix and Apple could be in a bidding war for the CNN anchor Jake Tapper. That’s Kara's take, anyway. It could be the next step in the streaming wars, and a natural evolution for an increasingly personality-driven cable news business that is under pressure to compete with the 24/7 engagement — and enragement — of social media.

In this conversation, Kara and Tapper discuss the potential spinoff of CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, from AT&T, what the post-Trump slump of cable news ratings means for the future of broadcast journalism and how Tapper intends to cover Kevin McCarthy and other Republican leaders who who are doubling down on Donald Trump’s big lie.

They also discuss Tapper’s new novel, a political thriller called “The Devil May Dance” — though the author is quick to clarify that the real world, especially in these past four years, has been stranger than fiction.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 27, 2021
How Online Sleuths Pantsed Putin
00:41:11

It turns out you can use a prank call to expose suspected poisoners, mole patterns to identify a violent demonstrator at a white nationalist rally and online videos to reveal a weapons-smuggling operation to Syrian rebels.

At least, Eliot Higgins and the online sleuths at the open source investigative operation Bellingcat can. Since Higgins founded the organization in 2014, his team has helped break major stories, from unearthing evidence that ties Russia to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to revealing the identities of Russian agents suspected of poisoning the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Higgins about the perils of taking on Vladimir Putin and how Bellingcat’s work, which Kara calls “gumshoe journalism,” differs from online vigilantism. She presses Higgins on the ethics of paying for data, partnering with political figures like Navalny and building a company that benefits from the shaky relationship Big Tech has with user privacy.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 24, 2021
Can Snapchat Win the War Against TikTok?
00:42:24

Snap Inc. lost nearly $40 million when it introduced its first pair of camera-laden Spectacles in 2016. But the company’s C.E.O., Evan Spiegel, is trying again. He announced on Thursday that Snap is launching a new version of its Spectacles with augmented-reality capabilities. While it will take years for the technology to be in the hands of most consumers, it will allow them to view their physical surroundings with visual overlays. It’s one of several innovations Spiegel announced — alongside new revenue models for creators — in a quest to win the social media wars.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Spiegel on how he will compete with augmented-reality technology from Apple and Amazon, and whether glasses and creator gifting will help him win a war with TikTok or Instagram. They also discuss content moderation in a world where anyone can create their own reality.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 20, 2021
We're Running a Little Late!
00:00:46

Kara's conversation with Snap C.E.O. Evan Spiegel will be coming out at 2 p.m., Eastern today!

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 20, 2021
Algorithms Make Fewer Mistakes Than Humans. Why Don't We Trust Them?
00:33:17

The Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman on why human “noise” makes systems less fair.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 17, 2021
Inside the Republican Anti-Transgender Machine
00:34:59

A.C.L.U. attorney Chase Strangio on the coordinated strategy behind the more than 100 anti-transgender bills introduced this year.

 

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 13, 2021
Who Wins in a Meme Stock World?
00:32:40

Jannick Malling, Public’s co-C.E.O., weighs the risks and rewards of the retail trading boom.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 10, 2021
Inside the Decision on Trump’s Facebook Fate
00:42:52

Alan Rusbridger led The Guardian through the Snowden revelations and WikiLeaks. Now, he's on the Facebook Oversight Board. He explains how the decision went down. 

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 07, 2021
‘It’s His Own Damn Fault,’ Frank Luntz Says of Trump and Facebook
00:39:39

Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz has never felt so gloomy.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 06, 2021
Can Pete Buttigieg Deliver Joe Manchin?
00:37:14

Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan may depend on it.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

May 03, 2021
Why is So Much Money Moving to Miami?
00:35:45

The city might be sinking, but Mayor Francis Suarez is still luring tech bros there.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 29, 2021
Why Does the C.I.A. Need Puppets?
00:36:45

And where does it get them? The agency’s top technologist Dawn Meyerriecks talks spy gear and why Hollywood and Silicon Valley play a critical role in national security.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 26, 2021
The Evolution of Desus & Mero
00:35:12

From Twitter to cable TV, the duo is changing the culture of comedy.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 22, 2021
She's Taking Jeff Bezos to Task
00:36:39

Joy Buolamwini is on a crusade against bias in facial recognition technology, and the powerful companies that profit from it.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 19, 2021
CNN Is in a Post-Trump Slump. What Does That Mean for Don Lemon?
00:46:25

The prime-time host on the future of cable news, the urgency of conversations about race and whether CNN is a boys’ club.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 15, 2021
A Public Health Lesson for Ron DeSantis, From Harvard
00:33:47

Michelle A. Williams, an epidemiologist and Harvard dean, urges politicians to focus on public health if they want a strong economy.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 12, 2021
A 5 O’Clock Shuttle to Mars?
00:28:58

Diana Trujillo, a NASA flight director, discusses the future of space travel and the search for signs of life on the red planet.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 08, 2021
Is Apple's Privacy Push Facebook's Existential Threat?
00:35:24

Apple C.E.O. Tim Cook says it's not.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 05, 2021
Why It's Taken Us So Long to Talk About Anti-Asian Racism
00:40:15

The writer and poet Cathy Park Hong discusses Asian outrage and why she's seeking power, not assimilation. 

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Apr 01, 2021
Amy Klobuchar vs. Silicon Valley
00:42:26

The senator presents her case for regulating big tech and why it’s time to "make antitrust cool again."

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 29, 2021
The Spiritual Teacher Biden’s Campaign Called for Help
00:41:47

Glennon Doyle says her role has been to “go get the white women.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 25, 2021
What the Heck are NFTs? Let's Ask Beeple.
00:48:20

The artist, whose real name is Mike Winklemann, just sold an encrypted digital collage for $69 million. So are non-fungible tokens the next new asset class, or is it all hype?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 22, 2021
Airbnb Has a Hate Group Problem Too
00:33:22

But it’s not the same as Facebook’s. C.E.O. Brian Chesky discusses why he and Mark Zuckerberg have different consequences to consider.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 18, 2021
Stop Whining About Big Government
00:44:10

Economist Mariana Mazzucato says the narrative that the private sector drives innovation is only half the story.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 15, 2021
Spike Lee Predicts the Future
00:44:52

The director of “Da 5 Bloods” talks about why his old movies still resonate, whether an awards snub even matters and how it’s not his job to end racism.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 11, 2021
I Asked the Head of Space Force What the Agency Has Done for Me Lately
00:28:48

Gen. John Raymond has put up with plenty of mockery. But, he says, there’s nothing funny about protecting U.S. interests from Russian and Chinese anti-satellite technology.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 08, 2021
Stacey Abrams on American Idealism and American Betrayal
00:44:55

 After she helped win major Democratic victories in Georgia, the right is retaliating, and it’s getting personal. But Abrams says she doesn’t mind; it’s all about the long game.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 04, 2021
If Government Did Its Job We Might Not Need GoFundMe
00:26:27

The crowdfunding platform helps people pay their rent and medical bills. Its chief executive, Tim Cadogan, says it was never meant to be a social safety net.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Mar 01, 2021
Sacha Baron Cohen Has a Message for Mark Zuckerberg
00:40:11

The actor who, as Borat, drew our attention to racism, misogyny and autocratic propaganda calls out the social media companies who profit off these trends.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 25, 2021
Lessons on Resilience From Dogs and Dog Sledders
00:37:22

The adventurer Blair Braverman has led a team of sled dogs over a 900-mile race in Alaska, seen her skin dissolve in the desert and overcome Covid-19. What makes it all less terrifying? Accepting the unknown.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 22, 2021
Bonus: Is Kara a Chump?
00:21:13

Kara’s conversation yesterday with Oberlin College’s president, Carmen Twillie Ambar, touched on the cost of a college education and why “sticker prices” are so high. She called up Ron Lieber, who writes the “Your Money” column for The Times, to discuss.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 19, 2021
No Parties. No Sports. How Oberlin College Is Surviving the Pandemic.
00:39:52

Colleges across the country are figuring out how Covid has changed the college experience, while parents are struggling to understand why schools haven’t changed their price tag.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 18, 2021
Innovation, Not Trees. How Bill Gates Plans to Save the Planet
00:41:35

He has billions to donate for crises from coronavirus to climate change, and more hope now that Trump is out of office.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 15, 2021
Fran Lebowitz Isn’t Buying What Jack Dorsey Is Selling
00:37:47

The 70-year old social commentator and humorist doesn’t have a smartphone. That doesn’t stop her from having a take on big tech (and everything else).

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 11, 2021
Bonus: Kara and Nicole Perlroth Debrief on Brad Smith
00:24:22

Kara’s conversation on Monday with Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, touched on Russia, the attack on SolarWinds software and how the U.S. government deals with hacks. She hopped on a call with the Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth to discuss.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 09, 2021
Should Big Tech Stay Out of Politics?
00:49:49

The president of Microsoft says "absolutely not" — at least when it comes to his company. Brad Smith discusses Microsoft's new guidelines for political contributions, the six stages of antitrust grief and how corporations — and the U.S. government — missed the SolarWinds Hack.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 08, 2021
Why GameStop Reminds Mark Cuban of the ’90s
00:37:36

The billionaire says the current stock market is reminiscent of the first dot-com boom. “Everybody’s a genius in a bull market — until they’re not.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 04, 2021
Is it Investing or Cliff Jumping? Reddit C.E.O. on the Forum Shaking Up Wall Street
00:38:15

Shares of GameStop shot up 400 percent last week, egged on by the Reddit forum r/WallStreetBets. The online community rallied to drive up the stock price and put the squeeze on big hedge funds who had bet against the struggling video game retailer. Reddit chief executive Steve Huffman — who calls  r/WallStreetBets one of his “guilty pleasures” — described this as “the online stock-betting equivalent of, like, jumping off a cliff into a river.”

On this episode of “Sway,” Kara speaks to Huffman about the ethos behind the online movement, whether Reddit may have been used for market manipulation and if he fears an investigation by the S.E.C. She also presses him on the narrative that this is a David vs. Goliath story of Main Street beating Wall Street — after all, who will be left holding the bag when GameStop’s stock eventually comes crashing?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Feb 01, 2021
What if the ‘Karate Kid’ Isn’t the Hero?
00:34:57

The “Karate Kid” was a hero of the 1980s. Now he’s back, with the actor Ralph Macchio reprising the role for the series “Cobra Kai.” The story is ostensibly a classic battle between a hero and a villain. But as Mr. Macchio notes, it’s actually more complex. Audiences, he says, “recognize the good and bad in both these guys and are rooting for both with their two separate types of shortcomings and problems and demons.”

On this episode of “Sway,” Kara  and Mr. Macchio discuss how “Cobra Kai” got from YouTube to Netflix, and explore the show’s underlying themes of toxic masculinity, bullying and polarized politics.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 28, 2021
Bonus: Kara and Kevin Roose Debrief on Chris Best
00:23:04

Kara’s conversation on Monday with Chris Best, the chief executive of Substack, hit on echo chambers, extremism and the future of journalism. Afterward, she called up the Times tech columnist Kevin Roose to discuss.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 26, 2021
The Site Trump Could Run to Next
00:31:09

Facebook and Twitter have kicked Donald Trump off their platforms and Amazon Web Services removed Parler from its cloud. But there’s another popular platform that markets itself as the destination for free speech: Substack.

With more than 250,000 unique individuals paying for the newsletters on its platform, Substack is a lot smaller than Twitter or Facebook. Still, it’s a rapidly growing space for big media personalities who want to reach their audience directly. Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan, Hunter Harris and Anne Helen Petersen have all left their legacy media publications to start their own Substack newsletters. So should media companies be worried about the competition?

On this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher speaks to Chris Best, the chief executive and a co-founder of Substack, about content moderation on his platform and asks whether Substack is going to destroy media gatekeepers or just turn into one of them.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 25, 2021
A Black and Asian Female V.P. Doesn’t Mean We’ve Escaped Caste
00:38:25

At the inauguration on Wednesday, Kamala Harris became vice president — the nation’s first Black person, the first Asian person and the first woman to do so — and President Biden spoke of “a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making,” adding that “the dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.”

But according to Isabel Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and historian, change may not come so easily. Her reporting reveals that the systems of power in America are deeply defined by caste. On this episode of “Sway,” she explains how she saw an invisible ranking system play out in the raid at the U.S. Capitol, and argues that rushing to move on would be a mistake.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 21, 2021
Bryan Cranston Won’t Play Donald Trump
00:39:32

Bryan Cranston has built his reputation playing powerful men, from President Lyndon B. Johnson to  Walter White in "Breaking Bad" to  Michael Desiato in "Your Honor." On this episode of "Sway," the Tony and Emmy-winning actor breaks down his method, the motivations behind the larger-than-life men he plays and why he draws the line at playing the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz" or the President currently in the White House.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 19, 2021
Food Delivery Is Keeping Uber Alive. Will It Kill Restaurants?
00:37:32

Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, is charging toward a world in which food is delivered through apps like Uber Eats and “a driver may be human or may be software.” On the way, he acknowledges, “the human consequences can be painful.” Uber is not profitable yet, but its deep pockets and vast infrastructure give it power over independent restaurants and individual drivers. He says, “Do I feel guilty about it? No.”

On this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher asks Mr. Khosrowshahi about the plight of drivers and restaurant owners, and whether Uber is part of the “menace economy.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 14, 2021
Anna Wintour on the Kamala Harris Vogue Cover
00:32:35

The February cover of Vogue featuring Vice President-elect Kamala Harris kicked off a controversy involving the most powerful woman in fashion and the soon-to-be most powerful woman in the White House. In a multiday social media maelstrom, a leaked cover photo that Anna Wintour originally described as “joyful,” “casual” and “accessible” was deemed “disrespectful” by Twitter. According to people familiar with the matter on both sides, although there had been no contractual cover approval agreement in place, the cover image was not what the vice president-elect’s team had expected. The day after the first photo leaked, a second — more formal — digital exclusive cover was also released.

Ms. Wintour said in a follow-up statement to "Sway," “Obviously we have heard and understood the reaction to the print cover and I just want to reiterate that it was absolutely not our intention to, in any way, diminish the importance of the vice president-elect’s incredible victory.”

In an exclusive interview on this episode of "Sway," Ms. Wintour discusses the magazine cover, diversity concerns at Condé Nast, the future of the fashion industry — and whether Jeff Bezos could be the next Anna Wintour.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 12, 2021
Inside the Billion-Dollar War Against Right-Wing Conspiracists
00:27:41

Dominion Voting Systems has filed a $1.3 Billion defamation suit against former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell. Chief Executive John Poulos says it’s the “first step” in the voting machine company’s efforts to counter a “malicious campaign of lies” spread by right wing media outlets and members of Donald Trump's inner circle.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 11, 2021
If You Were on Parler, You Saw the Mob Coming
00:33:29

Update: Jan. 11, 2020

Parler went offline Monday after Amazon stopped providing it with web-hosting services. This followed Apple and Google’s removal of Parler’s app from their app stores. In notices to Parler about these decisions, both Apple and Amazon cited chief executive John Matze’s statement in this episode of “Sway” that “I don’t feel responsible for any of this and neither should the platform.”

A mob stormed Washington and Twitter locked the account of a president who helped incite this violence. But Donald Trump and his supporters still have an effectively unregulated safe space: Parler. Chief executive John Matze calls his social media platform a “neutral town square.” Kara Swisher disagrees. On today’s episode of “Sway,” she challenges Matze on the neutrality of a site whose users, investors, advertisers and “community jury” skew right. And she presses him on the role Parler has played in our current national crisis.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 07, 2021
What’s Next in Your Netflix Queue?
00:37:39

Bela Bajaria has an unprecedented job at Netflix. In an executive shake-up this year, she was elevated from head of “local language” (read: non-English) productions to a newly created role, head of global television (read: all TV, everywhere). Her promotion signals how much Netflix is banking on international markets and diverse content to help it win the streaming wars.

Ms. Bajaria previously ran Universal Television, the studio arm of NBC. She was behind many of the shows the world has been watching, including “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Master of None,” and “The Mindy Project.” On the way, she hit pushback from executives who thought unconventional shows would be small and play only for niche audiences. Bela had other plans: “I want to do big shows that have underrepresented voices and people. They can be big, and they can be commercial.”

In this episode of “Sway,” the Netflix executive discusses how change happens in Hollywood, why she got fired from NBC-Universal and which shows you might be bingeing next.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Jan 04, 2021
This Astrologer Has Some Things to Tell Kara Swisher
00:33:35

Astrology has been around for thousands of years, so why are “Mercury in retrograde” memes and horoscopes still so popular in 2020? “We all need, at some point or another, to have someone say: ‘Yeah, that’s how you were made, and that’s perfect. Now, go do your thing,’” says Chani Nicholas, one of the internet era’s most prominent astrologers. In this episode, she demystifies the $2.2 billion industry of astrology — and reads Kara's birth chart.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 28, 2020
Bonus: Kara and Nick Kristof Debrief on Ajay Banga
00:24:53

On yesterday’s episode of Sway, the chief executive of Mastercard spoke about why the company blocked subscription payments on Pornhub. Was it too little too late? Kara asks Nicholas Kristof, the journalist whose reporting on child pornography forced the payment company’s hand.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 22, 2020
Your Card Payment Has Been Declined
00:40:47

Ajay Banga has spent a decade as chief executive of Mastercard. Last year, he oversaw $6.5 trillion in transactions. That means he knows what we’re spending right now (aggregated and anonymized, of course) and how long it might take to get us out of our current economic funk. It also means Mr. Banga has leverage over virtually any business that relies on credit card payments.For example, following recent reporting from New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on the scale of child pornography on PornHub, Mastercard announced that it would terminate payments on that site.

Mr. Banga departs as chief executive at the end of this year, transitioning to the post of executive chairman. In this “exit interview,” Kara Swisher presses him on whether the company he’s helped build can keep up with Silicon Valley — and with the social consciousness of the next consumer generation.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 21, 2020
Can Kara be Vulnerable?
00:37:33

Brené Brown’s best-selling books and TED talks about embracing vulnerability and shame have made her a cultural phenomenon. Silicon Valley executives often invite her to speak to their companies, though she is skeptical about their intentions to follow through on her advice. “For some people, I am the kombucha shake of the month,” she says.

In this episode of Sway, she’s taking on the toughest case of all: the self-proclaimed “vulnerability skeptic” Kara Swisher.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 17, 2020
Bonus: Kara and Maggie Haberman Debrief on Brad Raffensperger
00:24:01

Kara's interview with Georgia’s Secretary of State was a doozy. This episode refers back to yesterday’s episode, “Georgia’s Secretary of State on Standing Up to Trump."

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 15, 2020
Georgia's Secretary of State on Standing Up to Trump
00:31:23

Georgia begins early voting today in two runoffs that will decide the composition of the next U.S. Senate. If Democrats win both seats, the Senate will be split 50-50 (with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris acting as tiebreaker). If they don’t, it will be controlled by Republicans who stand ready to block most actions of a Biden presidency.

Brad Raffensperger is the man overseeing Georgia’s critical race. As secretary of state, his role is to ensure that the election is fair and — he hopes — drama-free. “My job is to have fair and honest elections, but also I’d love to have elections get back to being boring again.” He does not want “everything flamed up.”

That’s because Mr. Raffensperger is still dealing with the flames of last month’s presidential election. Donald Trump called the secretary of state “an enemy of the people” as he certified (and then recertified) Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. Mr. Raffensperger has faced pressure — and death threats — from members of his own party.

In this episode of Sway, Kara Swisher presses the secretary of state on how he’s managing the ire of his party, why — if elections were free and fair — he and fellow Republicans continue to champion voting restrictions, and how wrong Mr. Raffensperger was to compare Donald Trump to Stacey Abrams.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 14, 2020
Bonus: Kara Swisher and Ben Smith Debrief on Jason Kilar
00:20:17

This week, Kara Swisher interviewed WarnerMedia’s chief executive, Jason Kilar, fresh on the heels of the announcement that Warner Bros. will release its 2021 film slate in theaters and on its streaming site, HBO Max, simultaneously. (If you missed that episode — scroll back and hit play! Or click here if you’re on the World Wide Web).

In this bonus episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher and the New York Times media columnist Ben Smith discuss what the news means for the future of the film industry, and whether this move will establish Mr. Kilar as the streaming king of Hollywood or leave his “head on a platter.” As Mr. Smith puts it, “A huge piece of the studio business — and of Warner’s business — are these relationships with directors who they just burned the hell out of."

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 11, 2020
Movie Theaters Are Dying. Did Jason Kilar Deal the Final Blow?
00:40:06

If you want to be the first to watch “Dune,” “Godzilla vs. Kong” or the new “Matrix” movie this year (yes, there’s a fourth one) — you won’t have to line up at a movie theater. That’s because Jason Kilar, the C.E.O. of WarnerMedia, announced last week that the full slate of Warner Bros. films will be simultaneously released in theaters and on the company’s streaming service, HBO Max.

Mr. Kilar is only seven months into the job, and he just unleashed one of the biggest industry shake-ups in recent history. Movie theater executives and filmmakers are reeling. As director Christopher Nolan told The Hollywood Reporter, “some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.”

In this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher questions Mr. Kilar on whether he just delivered the final death blow to struggling theaters, how he’ll make good with Hollywood’s top talent, and what films will look like when — as Mr. Kilar predicts — blockbuster budgets surpass a billion dollars.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 10, 2020
Lifestyles of the ‘More Famous Than Rich’
00:26:28

Steven Galanis is helping celebrities get into the gig economy. He launched his company, Cameo, three years ago as a marketplace for the famous (and not-so-famous) to sell personalized shout-outs.

For $500, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may wish you a happy birthday. For $200, Ian Ziering (a.k.a. Steve Sanders from the original “Beverly Hills, 90210”) can send your mom a Happy Mother’s Day greeting. And for $10, the company’s chief executive, Mr. Galanis, will wish your kid’s team good luck on its next hockey game.

The company is facilitating fan requests, gag gifts and even political pranks. (The former New Jersey governor Chris Christie was a recent target.) But the point, says Mr. Galanis, is to bridge the gap for people who are “more famous than rich” — aging athletes, faded pop idols, out-of-work supporting actors and even artists whose inappropriate actions have led them to be “canceled.”

In the process, Mr. Galanis is taking on Hollywood power houses. Cameo is cutting agents, managers and publicists out of the equation, compressing the distance between celebrities and, well, the rest of us.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 07, 2020
They Made the ‘Pfizer Vaccine’
00:27:01

Dr. Ozlem Tureci and Dr. Ugur Sahin, the co-founders of BioNTech, are behind the first coronavirus vaccine to be approved in the West. Starting next week, the “Pfizer vaccine” will be available in Britain.

While Pfizer is financing and distributing the vaccine, the science behind it was actually spearheaded by the couple’s lesser-known company. When Drs. Tureci and Sahin, along with their BioNTech team, embarked on this mission, the record for the fastest vaccine creation was four years. They did it in less than one.

BioNTech started working on a vaccine in January. By early November, the company shared the results of its Phase 3 trials: over 90 percent efficacy. The announcement was made days after the presidential election was called for Joe Biden, and Donald Trump claimed the timing was politically motivated.

In this episode of “Sway,” the couple dismiss that accusation and speak instead to the science. “Clinical trials are highly regulated,” Dr. Tureci says. “And this is something which you cannot really delay or stop or expedite.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Dec 03, 2020
In Hollywood, Women Are Seen as ‘a Risk’
00:34:33

Marielle Heller had her big acting break in “The Queens Gambit,” a chess drama that has already been viewed on Netflix by over 60 million households. But prior to her performance as Alma Wheatley, Ms. Heller was already a big name — off the screen.

She directed award-winning films like 2019’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and 2018’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Female directors remain a minority in the U.S. film industry, and Ms. Heller has spent her career navigating what she describes as a male-dominated Hollywood “machine.”

“I do think there’s a weird stigma where people probably think that female directors are a risk,” Ms. Heller says, explaining that people “watch a male director make one little indie that comes out of Sundance and they go, ‘I see potential in that kid.’ And then they watch a female director come out of Sundance and make one little indie and they go: ‘That was excellent. I’ll wait to see her next movie to see if she gets a job.’”

In this episode of “Sway,” Ms. Heller and Kara Swisher discuss what it’s like to be “difficult” women, why Hollywood lets Tony Soprano get away with murder but worries that female characters are “unlikable,” and how Ms. Heller — despite all her directorial acclaim — still gets offered 30 to 40 percent less pay than men who do the same job.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 30, 2020
Jane Goodall on Chimps, Presidents and Other Alpha Males
00:25:23

Jane Goodall is an expert on alpha males — for decades, she’s been studying them in chimpanzee communities. She’s also inspired leaders in business, politics and culture to change their approach to animals and the environment.

It’s been 60 years since Dr. Goodall’s first excursion to observe primates in Africa. Her discoveries there, which transformed our understanding of animals, continue to inspire generations of scientists and environmental activists.

Now, at the age of 86, she reflects on her legacy. On this episode of “Sway,” she reveals how she rose to celebrity status, how she uses her platform to persuade world leaders and which politicians (like President Trump) she wouldn’t even bother trying to persuade.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 23, 2020
Why 3rd Grade Matters
00:42:38

Harvard economist Raj Chetty believes that there’s a way to push past America’s political divide: data.

Mr. Chetty, head of the Harvard-based research group Opportunity Insights, has amassed a powerhouse of information drawing on everything from I.R.S. tax filings to credit card spending. Armed with that data, he’s able to understand whether meritocracy — or inequality — determines the economic fate of Americans. He’s also able to translate datapoints into accessible visualizations and concrete policy proposals.

In this episode of Sway, Mr. Chetty draws on data to answer questions like what age a person’s future has been largely determined (around 23), which ZIP codes provide the most economic opportunity (including some in rural Iowa), and what stands between a third-grader who will grow up to become an inventor and one who will not.

Mr. Chetty’s own trajectory was shaped by a move his parents made when he was 9 years old — from India to the U.S. — to pursue the American dream. His datasets reveal that this American dream is fading for future generations. But Mr. Chetty is determined to revive it. And given his influence on the future president, the economist may finally have his chance.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 19, 2020
At-Home Covid Tests and Other Powers of a Tech Billionaire
00:43:17

Chamath Palihapitiya is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful tech investors. He’s also among the most candid. “I aspire to be a Koch brother before I aspire to be an under secretary,” he tells Kara Swisher on this episode of “Sway.” His definition of power has little to do with politics — it’s profits, he says, that empower you to “control the resources.”

Mr. Palihapitiya made his first fortune as an early executive at Facebook. He has since multiplied his wealth as an investor, with big bets and bold forecasts about the future. These days, he’s behind one of the most lucrative and controversial trends — SPACs, the acronym for blank check or special purpose acquisition companies, which some call the next bubble.

On this episode of “Sway,” Mr. Palihapitiya shares his predictions for American economic recovery and the return of centrism — and his prescriptions for what the Biden administration should do first.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 16, 2020
Math Lessons From Pennsylvania
00:32:43

In the postelection uncertainty, all eyes were on Pennsylvania. And John Fetterman, the state’s Twitter-famous lieutenant governor, held court. He rallied Democrats with one-liners and taunted President Trump with arithmetic lessons on Twitter. Mr. Trump can try to challenge the election result, he said, but “you can’t litigate math.”

Mr. Fetterman, the former mayor of a Rust Belt town, is 6-foot-8, with tattoos, a shaved head and a graduate degree in public policy from Harvard. He’s not your standard politician. And that’s helped him sell progressive politics to working-class voters and become a powerful voice of the left.

In this interview with Kara Swisher, Mr. Fetterman explains the “purple churn” in Pennsylvania and why Mr. Trump’s increasingly desperate pleas for a recount won’t reverse a Biden victory. “There is no enchanted village in Pennsylvania full of 50,000 Trump voters that we haven’t heard from already,” he says. “It doesn’t exist.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 12, 2020
Post-Election Therapy With Esther Perel
00:41:15

With a divisive election, an economy in a tailspin and a global pandemic, we could all use a little healing. Enter Esther Perel, an author and psychotherapist with the power to help mend relationships. “We have a screaming match, but we have a foundation underneath that,” she says.

In this episode of Sway, the couples counselor offers some advice: to Kara Swisher — on how to handle her Trump-loving mother, to Nancy Pelosi — on why she might be wise to surprise Donald Trump with a hug — and to all of us — on how we love and work through tumultuous times.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 09, 2020
‘Some Version of the Apocalypse Is Inevitable’
00:35:44

Jeff VanderMeer has built his career imagining weird futures in best-selling books like “Annihilation” and “Borne.” He says an apocalypse doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, but a reimagining of how we live on it.

He’s doing just that in his own backyard, making homes for raccoons and “rewilding” the land with native species. “We spend a lot of time keeping the outside, outside,” says VanderMeer, who sees his writing as a form of activism. But “there’s less divide between our bodies and the world than we recognize.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 05, 2020
Sarah Cooper Is Tired of Being Donald Trump
00:47:11

As the most powerful man in the country peddled hydroxychloroquine and disinfectant snake oil as cures for the coronavirus, the comedian Sarah Cooper scoured her kitchen cabinet for props, scouted her lockdown apartment for locations and angled her iPhone. The result: a series of lip-sync videos posted on TikTok and Twitter — and viewed by millions.

The viral clips starred her facial expressions and the president’s voice.

But Ms. Cooper’s voice quickly followed. She soon nabbed a headliner spot at the Democratic National Convention. Months later, she’s the star of the celebrity-packed Netflix special “Everything’s Fine.”

Ms. Cooper says, “My success is forever linked to this person that I absolutely hate.” But she hopes that after Nov. 3, she can put Trump behind her.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Nov 02, 2020
She’s Bursting Big Tech’s Bubble
00:44:33

It finally looks as if Big Tech may face some breakups. Lawmakers are interrogating tech C.E.O.s on Capitol Hill while the Justice Department pursues a landmark antitrust case against Google. For decades, tech giants have avoided such scrutiny — hiding behind the idea that their products are free, beneficial, even beloved.

Lina Khan says this is no excuse for a monopoly.

As a 28-year-old law student, Ms. Khan published a single scholarly article that greatly shifted America’s antitrust debate. Three years later, she remains an existential threat to companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.

Ms. Khan served as counsel to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee in this summer’s investigation, helping expose how Silicon Valley’s most revered companies use data and power to undercut, threaten and swallow up their competition.

In this episode of “Sway,” she tells Kara Swisher that Big Tech’s practices have had a “chilling effect” on the American economy, and that it’s time to drag the nation’s antitrust thinking out of the “ice age.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 29, 2020
Hillary Clinton Says It’s Different This Time
00:40:07

“We are advantaged — unfortunately — by four years of a record from Trump,” Hillary Clinton says as she predicts big wins for Democrats in 2020. The former candidate has been a lightning rod for the right, and has been called a lizard, a murderer and a human trafficker.

But she believes that President Trump’s leadership — or lack thereof — has left American voters more engaged and less susceptible to disinformation. Or so she hopes.

In this interview with Kara Swisher, Mrs. Clinton shares the moments that still haunt her four years later and her priorities for a post-Trump future.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 26, 2020
Should You Choose Your Baby’s Eye Color?
00:38:28

CRISPR-Cas9 is the kind of scientific breakthrough that could change human evolution. Scientists call it “genetic scissors” — a tool that snips DNA with powerful and scary precision. As Dr. Jennifer Doudna, the co-developer of the gene-editing technology, explains, scientists can now edit the genomes of living organisms “like you might edit a Word document.”

Dr. Doudna and her collaborator, Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year. Their pioneering research could pave the way for a cure for cancer. Some fear it could be used to create designer babies.

So what does this technology mean for how we live — and die? How will potential profit complicate the incentives of scientists? And just because we can more precisely “edit” life, should we?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 22, 2020
The Election Isn’t Doomed … Yet
00:41:59

In part two of Sway’s two-part election integrity series, Kara Swisher speaks to Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and an expert on the dark money and opaque laws that define modern American democracy.

From witness or notary public requirements in Rhode Island to a double-envelope mandate in Pennsylvania and a single dropbox per county in Texas, Mr. Potter and the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center are on a legal spree to fight voter suppression and voting restrictions. Millions of ballots are at stake. These court cases will help determine whose vote counts — and which candidate wins — in 2020.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 19, 2020
Can Big Tech Make Sure That 2020 Is Not 2016?
00:53:49

In part one of Sway’s two-part election integrity series, Kara Swisher speaks to Alex Stamos, former Facebook chief information security officer and current director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, about what went wrong in 2016 and what Big Tech can do better in 2020.

Mr. Stamos — known in Silicon Valley for his willingness to speak truth to power — rose to national prominence when he departed Facebook amid disagreement about the tech giant’s handling of Russian interference in the last presidential election.

As Election Day draws nearer, social media platforms are amending their policies around political advertising, disinformation warnings and moderation of online groups like QAnon. But how do these decisions get made? What do these platforms plan to do if there is a contested presidential election? And whom can we really trust?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 15, 2020
Planned Parenthood’s Plan for Amy Coney Barrett
00:37:25

Roe v. Wade is under threat. As Republican senators scramble to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat with a conservative justice who would tilt the court six to three, the nation’s largest abortion and reproductive rights provider has its own power playbook. In this episode of Sway, Kara Swisher speaks to Planned Parenthood’s president and C.E.O., Alexis McGill Johnson.

While Ms. Johnson has little sway over the judicial appointment, she is in a powerful position to preserve women’s rights at the state level, even if protections are rolled back nationally. And she is braced for the fight.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 12, 2020
Killer Mike Says He Has a Choice to Make
00:43:53

You might know Michael Render, a.k.a. Killer Mike, from a speech he made that went viral four days after George Floyd’s death. Protests in Atlanta were escalating and so was the damage and violence. The mayor needed help turning the temperature down.

“I’m mad as hell,” he said, in near tears. “I woke up wanting to see the world burn down yesterday because I’m tired of seeing Black men die.”

You might also know Killer Mike as Grammy-winning rapper and one-half of the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels, whose music has been described by The New York Times as “the most politically timely hip-hop act of the day.”

Both his lyrics and his rhetoric speak to an urgent political moment. Killer Mike has a platform, a microphone and a blistering message about racial justice. Now, he also has his own bank — part of a push to empower the Black community.

Killer Mike sat down with Kara Swisher to talk about his power as a protest musician and entrepreneur, the temptation to burn it all down — and lasting lessons from the X-Men.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 08, 2020
The Man Behind America’s Race for a Vaccine
00:45:41

Dr. Moncef Slaoui is the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, and arguably the most powerful force in the mission to vaccinate America from the coronavirus. The scientist, a 30-year pharmaceutical industry veteran and registered Democrat, says he doesn’t “want to get into the politics” even though everything about the United States’ coronavirus response — from mask-wearing to President Trump’s illness — seems to have been politicized.

Dr. Slaoui says he’s an adviser with “significant influence” — not a decision maker. And while he makes no guarantee about vaccine timelines, he does stand by a commitment to quit if politics interferes with science, saying, “I can guarantee that I will say what I think, and I am saying what I think.”

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 05, 2020
Alexander Vindman Knew Trump Would End His Career
00:36:44

Alexander Vindman — war hero, European affairs expert, lieutenant colonel in the Army — had lofty dreams of serving the United States. But a call he heard between President Trump and Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, gave him pause. Little more than a year after taking a job at the White House, Colonel Vindman testified before Congress regarding the Ukraine scandal, and was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump.

Now retired, citing bullying by the White House, Colonel Vindman tells Kara Swisher he doesn’t regret testifying. But what drew him to the White House in the first place? Why did he speak up when so many others haven’t?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Oct 01, 2020
Elon Musk: ‘A.I. Doesn’t Need to Hate Us to Destroy Us’
00:46:08

Elon Musk has a vision of the future, and — as one of the world’s richest men with four corporations under his reign — the means to try to manifest it. In a conversation with Kara Swisher, he outlines his theory of, well, everything.

“I do not think this is actually the end of the world,” say Musk. But at the same time, we need to hurry up. “The longer we take to transition to sustainable energy, the greater the risk we take.” But is relocating to Mars really necessary? Is our species ready to live with chips in our brains? And who’s Musk voting for, anyway?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 28, 2020
Gavin Newsom: ‘We Decided to Pull the Band-Aid Off’
00:34:56

On this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher speaks to Gavin Newsom, a governor who is, by some measures, running a country. California is the world’s fifth-largest economy. And yesterday, the state joined the ranks of Britain, Denmark and Germany with an ambitious environmental order banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.

Governor Newsom is making big moves, even in the midst of a pandemic and a wildfire crisis. He’s leading California as the state takes on the federal government — “We’d be in the hall of fame if this was a sporting event.” But how does the governor choose his battles? What goes through his mind when he sits opposite a president who once called climate change a hoax? And how will the governor salvage California’s environment, economy and morale after a brutal year?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 24, 2020
Nancy Pelosi: ‘If The Election Were Held Today, We Would Win It All’
00:50:52

In the inaugural episode of Kara Swisher’s new podcast, “Sway,” she interviews House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When it comes to presidential succession, Ms. Pelosi is second in line. And when it comes to taking on President Trump, she’s usually first.

“The power of the speaker is awesome,” says Ms. Pelosi. But how is she actually using that power? Why not accept a compromise (to the tune of $1.5 trillion) that may help quell a national crisis? What progress is possible when the speaker hasn’t spoken directly to the president in months? And with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaving a looming conservative court, can Ms. Pelosi maximize the power of a Democratic-controlled House?

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 21, 2020
Coming Soon: Sway
00:01:20

Power, unpacked. “Sway” is a new interview show hosted by Kara Swisher, “Silicon Valley’s most feared and well liked journalist.” Now taking on Washington, Hollywood and the world, Kara investigates power: who has it, who’s been denied it, and who dares to defy it. Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion. Premiering September 21.

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

Sep 09, 2020