82 episodes

Power, unpacked. “Sway” is a new 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 • 2.2K Ratings

Power, unpacked. “Sway” is a new 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.

    Meet Big Tech’s Tormenter-in-Chief

    Meet Big Tech’s Tormenter-in-Chief

    Margrethe Vestager and Kara Swisher have something in common: They both have made it their job to keep watch on Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and the other titans of tech. Vestager does this from her post as the head of the European Commission’s antitrust division. And while Swisher may regularly opine on what drives tech C.E.O.s, Vestager isn’t interested in “soul-searching” their motives. She’s focused on catching them in the act — whether it’s companies sliding from “aggressive tax planning into tax avoidance” or moving from content moderation into censorship.

    In this conversation, Swisher and Vestager trade notes on the power of tech. They discuss the G7’s recent agreement to work toward a global corporate tax rate. (Vestager thinks she’ll be 150 years old by the time there’s a global tax authority.) They discuss Facebook’s two-year ban of Donald Trump. (Vestager admits that she’s not an active Facebook user, but even she was surprised that “one could express oneself as the former president did without any consequences until the very last minutes.”) And they talk about antitrust — where Vestager is quick to clarify that her point is “not to say that they should be smaller,” but instead that these companies “should take the responsibility that comes with the kind of power you have when you are this size.”

    You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

    • 32 min
    Silicon Valley’s Thin Skins and Giant Egos

    Silicon Valley’s Thin Skins and Giant Egos

    From allegations that Bill Gates had been coming on to Microsoft employees to the $22.5 million settlement of a gender discrimination suit against Pinterest, women in Silicon Valley are speaking out against what is still a male-dominated culture.

    Ellen Pao was one of the first to do that. In 2012, she sued the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination. Back then, she says, she was met with skepticism at the very idea that the industry suffered from sexism at all. Pao ultimately lost the case, but it raised a question that hangs almost a decade later: What will it take for Silicon Valley to become less sexist?

    In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Pao about the “thin skins” and “giant egos” of powerful people in tech, how these attributes define the work culture of Silicon Valley and why it may take a “perp walk” from a venture capitalist or a C.E.O. to see real change.

    You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

    • 39 min
    Women’s Basketball Is on the Rise. Is Anyone Paying Attention?

    Women’s Basketball Is on the Rise. Is Anyone Paying Attention?

    LeBron James and Steph Curry are household names and brand magnates, but Diana Taurasi and A’ja Wilson haven’t quite reached that level. That’s despite being, respectively, the W.N.B.A.’s career top scorer and reigning MVP. And it’s despite the average viewership for the 2020 women’s basketball finals shooting up 15 percent from the previous year — while the men’s finals saw a 49 percent drop. In a sport that’s beloved and at a time when female athletes are raising their profiles (think Naomi Osaka and Megan Rapinoe), why isn’t the W.N.B.A. minting superstars?

    That’s a question Cathy Engelbert, the league’s commissioner, is grappling with. Since joining the W.N.B.A. in 2019, she has settled a collective bargaining agreement to increase player compensation and has overseen the W.N.B.A.’s recent push into sports betting. In this conversation, Kara Swisher and Engelbert discuss why women’s sports are underwatched and undervalued, what that means for pay equity and whether the women’s league will ever be financially independent from their parent organization and male counterpart: the N.B.A.

    You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

    • 32 min
    Is Jake Tapper for Sale?

    Is Jake Tapper for Sale?

    AT&T owns CNN — for now. But one day Netflix and Apple could be in a bidding war for the CNN anchor Jake Tapper. That’s Kara's take, anyway. It could be the next step in the streaming wars, and a natural evolution for an increasingly personality-driven cable news business that is under pressure to compete with the 24/7 engagement — and enragement — of social media.

    In this conversation, Kara and Tapper discuss the potential spinoff of CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, from AT&T, what the post-Trump slump of cable news ratings means for the future of broadcast journalism and how Tapper intends to cover Kevin McCarthy and other Republican leaders who who are doubling down on Donald Trump’s big lie.

    They also discuss Tapper’s new novel, a political thriller called “The Devil May Dance” — though the author is quick to clarify that the real world, especially in these past four years, has been stranger than fiction.

    You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

    • 44 min
    How Online Sleuths Pantsed Putin

    How Online Sleuths Pantsed Putin

    It turns out you can use a prank call to expose suspected poisoners, mole patterns to identify a violent demonstrator at a white nationalist rally and online videos to reveal a weapons-smuggling operation to Syrian rebels.

    At least, Eliot Higgins and the online sleuths at the open source investigative operation Bellingcat can. Since Higgins founded the organization in 2014, his team has helped break major stories, from unearthing evidence that ties Russia to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to revealing the identities of Russian agents suspected of poisoning the opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

    In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Higgins about the perils of taking on Vladimir Putin and how Bellingcat’s work, which Kara calls “gumshoe journalism,” differs from online vigilantism. She presses Higgins on the ethics of paying for data, partnering with political figures like Navalny and building a company that benefits from the shaky relationship Big Tech has with user privacy.

    You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

    • 41 min
    Can Snapchat Win the War Against TikTok?

    Can Snapchat Win the War Against TikTok?

    Snap Inc. lost nearly $40 million when it introduced its first pair of camera-laden Spectacles in 2016. But the company’s C.E.O., Evan Spiegel, is trying again. He announced on Thursday that Snap is launching a new version of its Spectacles with augmented-reality capabilities. While it will take years for the technology to be in the hands of most consumers, it will allow them to view their physical surroundings with visual overlays. It’s one of several innovations Spiegel announced — alongside new revenue models for creators — in a quest to win the social media wars.

    In this conversation, Kara Swisher presses Spiegel on how he will compete with augmented-reality technology from Apple and Amazon, and whether glasses and creator gifting will help him win a war with TikTok or Instagram. They also discuss content moderation in a world where anyone can create their own reality.

    You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
2.2K Ratings

2.2K Ratings

Red195095602 ,

Five stars for content, Three for audio quality

Love the podcast - content, guests, topics, relevance, etc. audio quality is mediocre at best, distracting at worst. Compared to Pivot for example, it sounds like Kara’s head is in a bag or she has three masks on. Guest audio not much better.

Would be great if it could be corrected. Not my end as all other podcasts, including Kara’s Pivot are crystal clear.

Jelly54 ,

Informative, relevant, insightful, and intuitive

This podcast does an incredible job of diving into important topics with fascinating people. All of Kara Swishers interviews are amazing. Listen to her podcast, “Pivot,” with Scott Galloway too.

Pod Love ,

Gene Simmons

“ I wanna rock and roll all night and party everyday”

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

More by The New York Times