On with Kara Swisher

Vox Media

Sit back. Relax. Get grilled.

  • 55 minutes 13 seconds
    On Journalism, Activism and Hope with Nicholas Kristof

    New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has been reporting on protests, wars and conflicts for more than 40 years, and he’s used his platform to highlight human rights issues at home and abroad. But despite being a proponent of "ethical journalism", he flinches at being called an “activist”. Kara talks to Nick about the swashbuckling adventures detailed in his new memoir, Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life, his take on the situation in Gaza and the student protests against the war, and why he’s more hopeful than cynical about the state of the world – even with Trump back on the ballot.

    This interview was taped on May 14, 2024.

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Threads/Instagram @karaswisher

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    20 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 58 minutes 35 seconds
    War in Gaza, Ukraine & Space, plus Biden vs. Trump with David Ignatius

    David Ignatius, a foreign affairs columnist for The Washington Post and the author of twelve novels, is also a noted expert on Middle East politics, one of the preeminent national security writers in the country, and perhaps, most importantly — the person who first assigned Kara Swisher to cover tech news. 

    Kara talks to her old boss about his new spy thriller, The Phantom Orbit, the upcoming presidential election, the war in Gaza, and the war in Ukraine. 

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Threads/Instagram @karaswisher

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    16 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    Walt Mossberg & MKBHD Break Down The Art of the Tech Review

    To savvy tech consumers, Walt Mossberg and Marques Brownlee, aka MKBHD, need no introduction. Before he retired in 2017, Walt was the undisputed dean of tech reviewers. As Senator Maria Cantwell, a recent guest and former tech executive put it, “all our product reviews lived or died by Walt Mossberg.”

    MKBHD began reviewing tech products on YouTube, as a high schooler, and he now has more than 18 million subscribers to his channel. He has become this generation’s Walt Mossberg, and as Jimmy Donaldson/MrBeast, the king of YouTube, put it, “you’re the video producer that decides what tech everyone in America buys.” 

    Yet, somehow, the titans of tech reviews had never met before. Kara rights this wrong, and she, Mossberg, and Brownlee discuss the art, philosophy and ethics of reviewing tech, as well as the Tesla Cybertruck, Apple Vision Pro, AI-in-a-box and Taylor Swift. 

    Click here to listen to Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast.

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher

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    13 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 49 minutes 58 seconds
    Radical Self-Acceptance, Cancel Culture, and Forgiveness with Writer Anne Lamott

    Author Anne Lamott has penned novels, but is most famous for her confessional memoirs about sobriety, raising her son as a single mother (Operating Instructions), being a liberal Christian and writing (Bird By Bird). Kara and Anne talk about her 20th book, Somehow: Thoughts on Love, why she thinks love is like Wi-Fi, how she dealt with nearly being canceled over a tweet, how to practice radical self-acceptance, and finding forgiveness — even for Donald Trump.

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Threads/Instagram @karaswisher

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    9 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 47 minutes 41 seconds
    Can Chipotle Founder Steve Ells Strike "Fast-Casual" Gold Again?

    Thirty-one years after founding Chipotle, Steve Ells is back with what he hopes will be another fast-casual dining revolution: the highly-automated, plant-based food chain, Kernel. Ells says that streamlining and automation will allow him to pay workers well above minimum wage and give them more benefits – all while reducing labor costs. But don’t call it a robot restaurant! Kara and Ells discuss the mechanics and philosophy underpinning Kernel’s concept and the downstream effects of integrating tech into our food.

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Threads/Instagram @karaswisher

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    6 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 45 minutes 35 seconds
    Wrestling with America’s (Racist) History with Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks

    In her latest play, Sally & Tom, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks tackles what is, arguably, one of the most complicated and personal chapters in American history: the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who gave birth to at least six of his children.

    Kara and Parks discuss the play in the context of her past work, as well as our nation's trend of revising history to sand down its rough edges, and why wrestling with our nation’s past is a sign of love.

    Sally & Tom is now playing at the Public Theater. You can buy tickets at: https://publictheater.org/productions/season/2324/sally--tom/ 

    Correction: Suzan-Lori Parks' Plays for the Plague Year begins in March 2020. In a previous version of this episode, we said it began in March 2022.

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Threads/Instagram as @karaswisher 

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    2 May 2024, 9:00 am
  • 49 minutes 50 seconds
    Time for a Data Privacy Bill + the TikTok Crackdown with Senator Maria Cantwell

    When Kara first met Senator Maria Cantwell in the 90s, she was a tech executive at an early player in the streaming media industry called RealNetworks. Now, the Democrat from Washington is the chair of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee, and she recently released a draft of the American Privacy Rights Act. For the first time in a long time, it looks like a tech privacy bill might have a decent shot at actually becoming law. 

    Senator Cantwell joins the podcast to discuss her bill, her approach to tech legislation, and the biggest (and arguably most controversial) tech bill in recent history: the TikTok divestment bill.   

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher

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    29 April 2024, 9:00 am
  • 57 minutes 1 second
    How to Prevent War with China with Dmitri Alperovitch and Chris Krebs

    Kara discusses the “pacing threat” that is China – from TikTok to cyberattacks to semiconductors and Taiwan – with two cybersecurity experts: Dimitri Alperovitch, co-founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike and author of the new book World on the Brink: How America Can Beat China in the Race for the 21st Century, and Chris Krebs, Chief Intelligence Officer at SentinelOne and former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency under President Trump (until he was fired in a tweet for batting down Trump’s election lies).

    The episode features an expert question from a previous On guest: former Congressman Mike Gallagher, the Republican from Wisconsin who chaired the Select Committee on the CCP. If you like this episode, make sure you go back to listen to that conversation as well. 

    This conversation was taped live at American University on April 19, 2024.


    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher  

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    25 April 2024, 9:00 am
  • 43 minutes 48 seconds
    Is the Fight Over Abortion Rights Enough to Beat Trump? with Shefali Luthra, Sarah McCammon and Mary Jo Pitzl

    Despite a recent uptick, President Biden’s approval rating and his poll numbers against Donald Trump are far from stellar. And with inflation remaining stubbornly high and gas prices moving up, Biden and his party seem eager to focus voters on abortion rights — and Republicans in Arizona and Florida have given him plenty of material to work with. 

    To understand how the abortion issue might play out in November — and how the Dobbs decision is already affecting millions of people across the country, even in states without bans — we turn to three experts: Shefali Luthra covers abortion for The 19th, and her book, “Undue Burden, Life and Death Decisions in Post Roe America,” comes out in May; Sarah McCammon is a national political correspondent for NPR and the co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. Her book, “Exvangelicals: Loving, Living and Leaving the White Evangelical Church,” came out in March; and Mary Jo Pitzl is a senior state government reporter for the Arizona Republic who’s been reporting in Arizona for decades. She’s also the host of The Gaggle, an Arizona politics podcast.


    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher

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    22 April 2024, 9:00 am
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    Kids and Phones: Moral Panic or Time to Panic? with Jonathan Haidt

    Is Gen Z’s mental health in decline because their “phone-based childhood” has flooded them with anxiety and ruined their sleep? Or is there a more complex mix of factors at play? Jonathan Haidt makes his case for the former explanation in his latest book, The Anxious Generation

    While many people intuitively agree with his argument that phones and social media are ruining kids, some researchers are accusing Haidt of coming up with a grand overarching theory that isn’t supported by the data. Kara brings the moral psychologist and NYU professor onto the podcast to discuss his ideas, the criticism he’s gotten, and his proposed solutions to the problem. 


    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find Kara on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher

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    18 April 2024, 9:00 am
  • 53 minutes 6 seconds
    Can Yahoo Bring Back the "Good Internet"?

    Yahoo, the one-time "oracle of the internet", has had many iterations in its 30 year history - and private equity is betting that Yahoo CEO and digital media veteran Jim Lanzone can bring back its relevance. Kara has been covering Yahoo since its inception and has known Lanzone - who has had leadership stints at Ask.com, CBS and Tinder - almost as long. They discuss Jim's vision for the new Yahoo, what’s going on with search, how he’s integrating AI, and whether there could be another Yahoo merger or IPO on the horizon.

    Questions? Comments? Email us at [email protected] or find us on social media. We’re on Instagram/Threads as @karaswisher

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    15 April 2024, 9:00 am
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