128 episodes

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. Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion Audio.

Sway The New York Times

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 2.6K Ratings

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. Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion Audio.

    Emily Ratajkowski Isn't Quite Ready to Quit Profiting Off the Male Gaze

    Emily Ratajkowski Isn't Quite Ready to Quit Profiting Off the Male Gaze

    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.

    • 36 min
    Sway's Newest Listener (and an Update on This Week)

    Sway's Newest Listener (and an Update on This Week)

    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.

    • 53 sec
    Can The Washington Post De-Snark the News?

    Can The Washington Post De-Snark the News?

    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.

    • 35 min
    What the Metaverse Sounds Like to Hans Zimmer

    What the Metaverse Sounds Like to Hans Zimmer

    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.

    • 35 min
    The Metaverse: Expectations vs. Reality

    The Metaverse: Expectations vs. Reality

    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.

    • 38 min
    Best Of: Sacha Baron Cohen Has a Message for Mark Zuckerberg

    Best Of: Sacha Baron Cohen Has a Message for Mark Zuckerberg

    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.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
2.6K Ratings

2.6K Ratings

northbanker ,

Ironic ad intro by Facebook!

High quality, smart interviews… if a little too openly partisan at times? Anyway, given Kara’s open (and rightful) disdain of the tech/media behemoths, it was truly ironic that the 30sec lead-in ad to the Lewinsky episode was by Facebook, who claims to be the leader in stopping bad actors online, spending $13B to prove it. Seriously??! Apparently even the mighty NYT can’t control which sponsors align with their podcasts.

Keepn-it-real ,

Typical

Woke garbage 🤮

SAV 74 ,

Truly enjoyed except

I was so impressed with this podcast until Kara Swisher talked to Katie Couric. I was enraged with Kara’s approach in asking Katie about the sexual predator Matt Lauer. Similar to victim blaming, how are the actions of this sexual predator and his bosses Couric’s responsibility? Why are females always held responsible and accountable for males’ actions. I am not sure if I will continue listening, since I expect better perspective from someone with Swisher’s stature.

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