On with Kara Swisher

On with Kara Swisher

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.

Episodes

February 19, 2024 53 mins
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...
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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,...
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February 12, 2024 59 mins
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, fu...
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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 S...
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February 5, 2024 63 mins
Kara got a sneak peek of the Apple Vision Pro, and sat down before the official launch with tech reporters Joanna Stern, Nilay Patel and Mark Gurman to discuss why it took so long for Apple to get into the world of "spatial computing" headsets, who will buy it at a steep $3500 price tag, and what Steve Jobs might make of this new device. Note: This episode was taped on Wednesday, January 31st. Learn more about your ad choices. Visi...
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Today, our guest is acclaimed director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay, known for the Oscar-nominated films “Selma” and “13th.” Her latest film “Origin” is an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s 2020 bestseller “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.” We explore how she adapted the ideas of a nonfiction book into a gripping narrative film and why – instead of major Hollywood studios – DuVernay secured funding for “Origin” from philanthr...
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How does someone with more than five decades of political reporting under her belt assess the current state of the union? For the past year, former PBS NewsHour anchor and current senior correspondent Judy Woodruff has been touring the country for a new project, America at a Crossroads, reporting on the divisions that plague our nation. Kara speaks with Woodruff about the roles that both politicians and the media play in our growin...
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As Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro successfully defended the state election process in 2020 against suits brought by former President Donald Trump and his allies. We speak with Governor Shapiro about his administration's preparations for a likely Trump/Biden rematch in November. Plus: how his “Get Sh*t Done” motto is working out with a divided state legislature, why he’s launched a pilot project for using generative A...
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Donald Trump is an American figure decades in the making. That’s the argument historian and professor Heather Cox Richardson makes in her latest book: “Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America.” Richardson lays out her case, discusses her change of heart on Biden (whom she’s interviewed twice) and answers a question from former Representative Adam Kinzinger. She also sheds some light on whether she will take her popular n...
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January 18, 2024 49 mins
From therapeutic-assisted MDMA to decriminalized psilocybin and microdosing, movements to legalize psychedelics are everywhere. California-based Joe Green is a prominent voice in the movement, as the co-founder and President of the Psychedelic Science Funders Collaborative (PSFC). Kara asks him about the recent unfavorable headlines (including concerns over Elon Musk’s potential drug use and Matthew Perry’s death from ‘acute effect...
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January 15, 2024 61 mins
Before the OpenAI Drama which pit AI enthusiasts (accelerationists) against doomers (decelerationists) we had a conversation with Stanford computer scientist and pioneering AI researcher, Dr. Fei-Fei Li. While cognizant of the challenges AI poses — including disinformation, polarization, biases, a loss of privacy and job losses that could lead to unrest — Li is a fierce advocate for the humane development of artificial intelligence...
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January 11, 2024 58 mins
Trump’s back. Today, we go to a panel of experts to discuss his 2024 legal woes, dangerously escalating rhetoric, and what he might do if he retakes the White House in 2025.  Our guests are New York Times senior political correspondent Maggie Haberman, Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser, and ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl, who recently authored “Tired of Winning: Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old ...
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Four years after the start of the global pandemic, COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency, but in the U.S., every week, the virus is still hospitalizing 15,000 people and killing a thousand. Today, we look back – and ahead – with former New York Times global health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr., author of the new book The Wisdom of Plagues: Lessons from 25 years of Covering Pandemics. He and Kara discuss the conflicting fi...
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Kara and Nayeema look forward to the characters and moments that may define 2024 by looking back at the coverage of the last year. We unpack the drama at OpenAI, to the contrast between Biden and Trump and Fox News, to Elon Musk and X with the most revealing interview moments from 2023. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@voxmedia.com or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher and @nayeemaraza Learn mor...
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On is off for the holidays, so today we have an episode of friend-of-the-pod Preet Bharara's podcast Stay Tuned with Preet. In this episode, Preet is joined by author Mark Chiusano for a deep dive on our favorite (or least favorite) Washington fabulist: George Santos. Mark Chiusano is the author of The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos. He joins Preet to discuss Santos’s l...
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Randy Rainbow is a four-time Emmy and Grammy-nominated musical comedy sensation famous for his viral taunts of anti-LGBTQ+ politicians, hateful celebrities and, of course, George Santos. Rainbow (and, yes: that is his real name) talks about his approach to his work, his inspirations, and why he claims his videos aren’t political. Kara also asks Rainbow what “Elon the Musical” would sound like. Questions? Comments? Email us at on@v...
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Are world hunger, pandemics and climate change “fixable” – or is mitigating their impacts the best we can hope for? Is there any point in making them moonshots? In his new book, Big Bets: How Large-Scale Change Really Happens, Rockefeller Foundation President and former Administrator of USAID Rajiv Shah explains how going big impacts motivation – even if the result is a Big Fail. We speak with Shah about the outcome of the recent U...
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December 14, 2023 60 mins
Tim Alberta is a fantastic reporter whose profiles of 2024 hopeful Nikki Haley and former CNN boss Chris Licht proved illuminating and impactful (Licht lost his job days after). In his latest book, Alberta has profiled not a person but a movement: the evangelical church. It’s a community that rallied around Donald Trump in 2016, 2020 and will likely do so in 2024. And it’s one Alberta knows well: his father was an evangelical pasto...
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Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper details the threats and dangers we face. On the agenda: hot wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, a cold war with China, the threat posed by Iran, and the dangers that would come from the potential resurgence of Esper’s former boss: 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 ...
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December 7, 2023 57 mins
Former Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney is on a mission to defeat Donald Trump - and says she’ll do “whatever it takes” to prevent him and his “enablers” from a second term in the White House, including supporting Democrats or going up against him on a third party ticket. She lays out why she thinks Trump is a danger to the country in her new book, Oath and Honor. A Memoir and a Warning. We speak with Cheney about being ostracized ...
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