Episodes
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...
Published 05/18/22
Published 05/16/22
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...
Published 05/16/22
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...
Published 05/12/22
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...
Published 05/09/22
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...
Published 05/06/22
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...
Published 05/05/22
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...
Published 05/02/22
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...
Published 04/27/22
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...
Published 04/25/22
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....
Published 04/21/22
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...
Published 04/18/22
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...
Published 04/14/22
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...
Published 04/11/22
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...
Published 04/07/22
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...
Published 04/04/22
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...
Published 03/31/22
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...
Published 03/28/22
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...
Published 03/24/22
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...
Published 03/21/22
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...
Published 03/17/22
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...
Published 03/14/22
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....
Published 03/10/22
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...
Published 03/07/22
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...
Published 03/03/22