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On with Kara Swisher
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On with Kara Swisher

Author: Vox Media

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It's on. Twice a week, award-winning journalist Kara Swisher gets to the heart of the story through no-holds-barred interviews with power players across business, tech, media, politics and beyond. So why do her guests show up? “Smart people,” says Kara, “like difficult questions.”

Mondays and Thursdays from New York Magazine and the Vox Media Podcast Network. 

165 Episodes
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“Flood the zone with shit.” It’s a zinger and a strategic imperative, from the oh-so-eloquent Steve Bannon, being expertly executed by Donald Trump and the MAGA-fied GOP.  To help us make sense of what our information morass means for the 2024 election, we’re joined by three political disinformation experts: Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation researcher, the former executive director of the Disinformation Governance Board at the Department of Homeland Security, and the author of "How To Lose the Information War"; Sasha Issenberg, a journalist and the author of five books, most recently, “The Lie Detectives”; and Barabara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan who teaches law at the University Michigan and recently authored “Attacks from Within.” Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
There are a lot of Trump/Hitler comparisons being thrown around these days. So we went to the source, as chronicled by historian Timothy Ryback in his new book Takeover: Hitler’s Final Rise to Power. Ryback zooms in on the final six months before Adolf Hitler dissolved the government of the Weimar Republic, revealing that Nazi Germany was not inevitable. Kara and Ryback discuss the Berlin power players that misjudged Hitler’s bankrupt party, and the (not just rhetorical) similarities between the ascendance of Hitler and Donald Trump. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Joan Nathan, the “doyenne of Jewish-American food” and a pillar of the DC dinner party scene, joins us to talk about her memoir, “My Life in Recipes.” Nathan has written a dozen cookbooks, but this is her most personal, drawing on family recipes from the old country that go back centuries. She and Kara discuss everything from Golda Meir’s terrible matzo balls, to the limits of gastro-diplomacy, the so-called “Hummus Wars,” and the war in Gaza.  Please note that while this discussion touches on chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen and its work in Gaza, the episode was recorded before the Israeli airstrikes that killed seven of the organization’s aid workers.  Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Author Geraldine DeRuiter a.k.a. The Everywhereist joins Kara to talk about her new book If You Can’t Take the Heat: Tales of Food, Feminism, and Fury. They talk about some of the author’s viral moments and the backlash she experienced after calling out two famed Italian chefs, the inherent sexism in the food industry (from dining rooms to professional kitchens), and how societal stigmas around beauty and our bodies have distorted our relationship to food. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Kara sits down with Brené Brown, researcher, author, and vulnerability expert, in this edition of the Burn Book book tour. Brené tries to bring out our host’s vulnerable side, asking about the life lessons Kara has learned from the tech titans she confronts in her memoir. This inevitably leads to a discussion of why Kara believes nice guys (like Mark Zuckerberg) can still be dangerous, and about her disappointment with Elon Musk.  This interview was taped at the Chicago Humanities Festival on March 21, 2024. You can hear more from Brené Brown on her two podcasts, Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Much Ado About TikTok

Much Ado About TikTok

2024-03-2501:00:582

The effort to ban TikTok in the US is back in the spotlight as a new bill has passed through the House and is now in the Senate. Today, we have a lively debate with two guests who bring competing analysis to the table. Alex Stamos is Chief Trust Officer at SentinelOne and the former Chief Information Security Officer at Facebook (he can often be heard on Moderated Content). Taylor Lorenz is a columnist at the Washington Post covering technology and culture and hosts the new VoxMedia podcast, Power User. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Reddit has been around for 19 years, but today the social media platform goes public and starts a new chapter. Its listing on the New York Stock Exchange also marks the first major social media IPO since 2019. Kara speaks to co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman about money, content moderators and whether the subreddit r/WallStreetBets could make this one a meme stock. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
For the past decade, the European Commission has taken on Big Tech under the leadership of Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, inspiring fear and griping from tech CEOs the world over. Today, Vestager reveals why, despite being one of the toughest regulators in the business, she considers herself a tech optimist. She and Kara discuss the impact of EU antitrust lawsuits - including the most recent $2 billion fine against Apple - whether EU tech regulations passed to improve safety and competition (the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act) could hamper innovation, and if guardrails created for the future (the AI Act) might come too late. Plus: what’s next for Vestager when her term ends this year? Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
We're continuing book tour week in this bonus episode of “On.” Kara takes the SXSW stage with Mark Cuban, the entrepreneur turned "Shark Tank" star who is currently focused on his healthcare venture CostPlus Drug Company. The two have known each other for decades and Cuban was even featured in the "Mensch" chapter of Burn Book — a short chapter at that. On stage, Mark grills Kara on how few women are featured in her book, what makes her so successful and why she didn't just call the book "told you so." Plus, Cuban shares his theory on why a possible forced divestiture of TikTok by the US government may not yield many buyers – he suggests that the social media giant isn't worth much as long as the algorithm is not for sale. This episode was recorded on March 10, 2024 at SXSW. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
We continue Kara's tour of her memoir Burn Book: a Tech Love Story as she gets candid with Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos about the nonsensical nature of 1990s/early 2000s tech culture, how technology disrupted media, where Kara's candor comes from and Ted's short-lived career as a journalist. This interview was taped at Live Talks LA on March 4,2024.  Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
This week, we join Kara on tour as she speaks with some of the most influential names in tech about her memoir Burn Book: a Tech Love Story. Today's stop: San Francisco’s City Arts & Lectures with Sam Altman, OpenAI’s co-founder and CEO (and recently reinstated Board Member). This time, it’s Kara in the hot seat and Altman asking the questions. The two talk about last year’s OpenAI drama, Kara’s live coverage of Sam’s ouster and return, the lawsuit Elon Musk has brought against OpenAI and the public spiral that Musk has taken in recent years. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
In high school, Reed Jobs was a summer intern in oncology labs while his dad, the late Apple co-founder and tech icon Steve Jobs, was battling pancreatic cancer. In his biography, Steve is quoted as calling his son’s interest in biotech the “silver lining” of his illness – and making cancer “non-lethal” has become Reed’s life mission. In 2023, he spun off the venture capital firm Yosemite from Emerson Collective (the philanthropy and family office founded by his mother, Laurene Powell Jobs) to focus on cancer research and biotech. Kara and Reed talk about the research-to-start up pipeline, how he’s been influenced by both of his parents, and whether AI, mRNA or CRISPR will be game changers for cancer patients. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Tomorrow is Super Tuesday - the nation's biggest primary vote - and hundreds of delegates are up for grabs. But what impact do primaries have when the nation seems resigned to a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump? David Chalian, CNN Political Director (i.e. the man who makes the call on election night), shares his thoughts on the stakes for 2024, why Nikki Haley is still in the race, and which state he believes matters most this November. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
This week marks the release of Kara’s memoir, Burn Book: A Tech Love Story and the launch of her national book tour. At events from New York to Seattle, some of the tech CEOs, politicians and other bold names Kara writes about in her book will be putting her in the hot seat. Today’s episode is the first of these conversations: former CNN anchor Don Lemon interviewed her about her career and the tech giants she’s slain, and drops some intel about his own new show on X. This conversation was taped Monday, February 26th, at NYC’s 92nd Street Y. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Renowned litigator Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan says she’s a born fighter. In January she won one of those fights when a jury ordered Donald Trump to pay Kaplan’s client, E. Jean Carroll, $83.3 million dollars for defamation. Kara and Robbie talk about why Trump’s behavior in and out of the court cost him. They also discuss the state of LGBTQ+ rights more than a decade after Kaplan successfully championed same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court. And Kaplan unpacks how Elon Musk and others with deep pockets are using the law to try to silence their critics (and why they won’t win). Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Actor Paul Giamatti seems to have perfected the hyper-articulate, slightly depressed curmudgeon – and this year, it might land him an Oscar. Kara and Paul talk about why his role in The Holdovers hit close to home, the challenges of developing a multi-season TV character like Billions’ D.A. Chuck Rhoades, and how a “chinwag” led him to co-host a podcast about metaphysics, time travel and UFOs. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Today, we’re replaying a conversation that Kara taped last spring with none other than Brooke Shields. Shields became a teenage superstar through her roles in “Pretty Baby” and “Blue Lagoon” as well as the famous Calvin Klein ads (“Do you want to know what comes in between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”). In her new Hulu documentary, “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields,” she talks about how she sees those hypersexualized roles today and how she survived life in an industry that she says did nothing to help her. Shields also revisits her complex relationship with her mother, who introduced her to modeling and acting, and how Shields now counsels her own two teenage daughters about feeding the social media “monster.” Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Writer and director Cord Jefferson’s first feature film, American Fiction, has been nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jefferson was once a journalist, but shifted into TV and film a decade ago, working on shows including Succession, The Good Place, and Watchmen, for which he won an Emmy for his writing. Kara and Cord discuss why Percival Everett’s book Erasure spoke to him so personally, how satire helped him break out of the “race beat,” and what projects he’s got in the pipeline. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
More than 35 years after its release, Tracy Chapman’s eponymous debut album – and the single Fast Car – hit #1 on the charts last week, fueled by her performance with country star Luke Combs at the Grammy Awards. Kara speaks with Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times’ Matter of Opinion podcast, music reporter Maura Johnston, and Estelle Caswell, formerly of Vox Pop Earworm, about why an album written at the end of the Reagan era, full of songs about social injustice, racial tensions and striving for upward mobility, has struck a chord with Gen Z audiences. Plus: they talk about the changing music industry and another surprise Grammy comeback: the legendary Joni Mitchell.  You can watch the original performances on the Grammy Awards website. Other questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Rahm Emanuel is the ultimate political insider: He’s worked closely with three presidents, he’s been mayor of the nation’s third largest city (Chicago), and he’s now “redefining” diplomacy as ambassador to Japan. Kara talks to Rahm about the “new” Japan he sees emerging today, the importance of strong Asia-Pacific collaboration to counter China, his thoughts on a probable Biden-Trump rematch in November, and whether or not Taylor Swift will make it back from Tokyo in time for the Superbowl.  Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Comments (19)

V K

omggg, this interview is such a treat !! thank you, Kara, for chatting with Paul Giamatti the way I wished to have had the opportunity to. Paul "caught my eye" in American Splendor in a totally unexpected way, and ever since ,i was smitten, although he always plays the characters that are really not to be smitten with . but I guess the voice makes a lot of soothing ,too. Simply a great episode, thanks a billion ✨

Feb 22nd
Reply (1)

Lisa Hoffman

So are you going to tell us what happened to Nayeema???!!!!

Jan 31st
Reply (1)

j law

So enjoyed this episode! Keep up the great work; all the best to the ON team in 2024.

Jan 9th
Reply

j law

I find it strange that Kara cannot easily understand Martina's explanation of why male bodies should not be allowed to compete in any female sports category. It makes perfect sense. This is IN NO WAY transphobic. It is about maintaining a fair playing field, and upholding women's rights. This has to be made crystal-clear to trans athletes who identify as female.

Dec 2nd
Reply

Liz Kreml

Kara's sick voice is annoying and hard to understand, sounds like reverb is on. How about using some tech to clean it up?

Oct 28th
Reply

j law

Love your podcast. It is invaluable to me, to find sources like this, that cut through the bullshit. Thanks for your work 🙏

Oct 24th
Reply

j law

Yikes, Linda's reactions/responses are painful to listen to. Such a clear example of a person who has sold their integrity and their soul along with it. She's trying her best to justify it to the audience...and perhaps to herself.

Sep 29th
Reply

Kristopher Mullin

Conan carried this one. The outro was quite distasteful.

Sep 13th
Reply

jason carey

he's Mr. Burns so he's the evil one

Aug 31st
Reply

dp

Oppenheimer was a disappointment. no need for imax as it could have as easily been a netflix original or TV movie. Great performances but really bad creative choices by director and producers. We get it, he got screwed over but way too much time in the dramatic (zzz) hearings and didn't even really touch on Oppys management of the project or the plates he must have kept in the air. Which didn't allow for audience who isn't familiar with the project to really feel the screwing he got. The choices made by the powers that decided how to tell the story made the film an hour too long. Juice not worth the squeeze. Hype.

Aug 3rd
Reply

Enea Koxhioni

Rarely disagree with too many of Kara's takes but Nayeema was absolutely right to push back and hold her feet to the fire at the end. You CAN regulate your way to healthier society. That's literally what the FDA should be doing, but isn't. Tons of governments have strict food regulations (Finland, Japan, Canada, Ireland) AND are also effective in having healthier citizens because of those policies. McDonalds ketchup tastes different on either side of Niagara because Health Canada simply does not allow certain ingredients, or above certain concentrations of additives. Companies always take the path of least resistance no matter the human cost. It's not totalitarian or anti-capitalist to acknowledge that and want your government to want what's best for its citizens, and actually intervene on their behalf (what the FDA doesn't do). Ironically people can now live longer and consume more of that corpo's products. This baked in presumption of failure or incompetence of government is really a

Apr 13th
Reply

🤨

These two are insufferable. Finding excuses for china during a moment of high tension. Way to go.

Mar 16th
Reply

Corrie Schmidt

his vitriol towards meghan stems from the fact that he had a romantic interest in her that wasn't reciprocated. he's been relentlessly trashing her ever since. he's an awful human being

Dec 20th
Reply

Laura Norvig

I would never defend Elon or his actions, but you guys do get that he's neurodivergent, not neurotypical like you, right?

Nov 17th
Reply

Laura Norvig

"The laws I make they may be wrong, but that depends what side you're on. ... don't question me. I am the law." -- Saucy Jack in Captain Andy https://youtu.be/vy32krRMkEk

Nov 17th
Reply

Krisztina Szabo

is there such a thing as too-many-same-same-slacker-ads? am ready to unsubscribe - so sorry you see me leave.

Oct 19th
Reply

Patricia Bowen

Thought your intro was a bit self important and your first guest was too. hope the next episode is better.

Sep 28th
Reply
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