Podcast

Sway

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.

Episodes

  • They Made the ‘Pfizer Vaccine’

    Dec 03 2020

    Drs. Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin are behind the first vaccine to be approved in the West. Starting next week, the “Pfizer vaccine” will be available in Britain.But while Pfizer is financing and distributing the vaccine, the science behind it was actually spearheaded by a lesser-known company called BioNTech, co-founded by Dr. Tureci and Dr. Sahin. When the couple embarked on this mission, the record for the fastest vaccine creation was four years. They did it in less than one.BioNTech started wo...more

  • In Hollywood, Women Are Seen as ‘a Risk’

    Nov 30 2020

    Marielle Heller had her big acting break in “The Queens Gambit,” a chess drama that has already been viewed on Netflix by over 60 million households. But prior to her performance as Alma Wheatley, Ms. Heller was already a big name — off the screen.She directed award-winning films like 2019’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and 2018’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Female directors remain a minority in the U.S. film industry, and Ms. Heller has spent her career navigating what she describes as ...more

  • Jane Goodall on Chimps, Presidents and Other Alpha Males

    Nov 23 2020

    Jane Goodall is an expert on alpha males — for decades, she’s been studying them in chimpanzee communities. She’s also inspired leaders in business, politics and culture to change their approach to animals and the environment.It’s been 60 years since Dr. Goodall’s first excursion to observe primates in Africa. Her discoveries there, which transformed our understanding of animals, continue to inspire generations of scientists and environmental activists.Now, at the age of 86, she reflects on her ...more

  • Why 3rd Grade Matters

    Nov 19 2020

    Harvard economist Raj Chetty believes that there’s a way to push past America’s political divide: data.Mr. Chetty, head of the Harvard-based research group Opportunity Insights, has amassed a powerhouse of information drawing on everything from I.R.S. tax filings to credit card spending. Armed with that data, he’s able to understand whether meritocracy — or inequality — determines the economic fate of Americans. He’s also able to translate datapoints into accessible visualizations and concrete p...more

  • At-Home Covid Tests and Other Powers of a Tech Billionaire

    Nov 16 2020

    Chamath Palihapitiya is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful tech investors. He’s also among the most candid. “I aspire to be a Koch brother before I aspire to be an under secretary,” he tells Kara Swisher on this episode of “Sway.” His definition of power has little to do with politics — it’s profits, he says, that empower you to “control the resources.”Mr. Palihapitiya made his first fortune as an early executive at Facebook. He has since multiplied his wealth as an investor, with big bets ...more

  • Math Lessons From Pennsylvania

    Nov 12 2020

    In the postelection uncertainty, all eyes were on Pennsylvania. And John Fetterman, the state’s Twitter-famous lieutenant governor, held court. He rallied Democrats with one-liners and taunted President Trump with arithmetic lessons on Twitter. Mr. Trump can try to challenge the election result, he said, but “you can’t litigate math.”Mr. Fetterman, the former mayor of a Rust Belt town, is 6-foot-8, with tattoos, a shaved head and a graduate degree in public policy from Harvard. He’s not your sta...more

  • Post-Election Therapy With Esther Perel

    Nov 09 2020

    With a divisive election, an economy in a tailspin and a global pandemic, we could all use a little healing. Enter Esther Perel, an author and psychotherapist with the power to help mend relationships. “We have a screaming match, but we have a foundation underneath that,” she says.In this episode of Sway, the couples counselor offers some advice: to Kara Swisher — on how to handle her Trump-loving mother, to Nancy Pelosi — on why she might be wise to surprise Donald Trump with a hug — and to all...more

  • ‘Some Version of the Apocalypse Is Inevitable’

    Nov 05 2020

    Jeff VanderMeer has built his career imagining weird futures in best-selling books like “Annihilation” and “Borne.” He says an apocalypse doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, but a reimagining of how we live on it.He’s doing just that in his own backyard, making homes for raccoons and “rewilding” the land with native species. “We spend a lot of time keeping the outside, outside,” says VanderMeer, who sees his writing as a form of activism. But “there’s less divide between our bodies and th...more

  • Sarah Cooper Is Tired of Being Donald Trump

    Nov 02 2020

    As the most powerful man in the country peddled hydroxychloroquine and disinfectant snake oil as cures for the coronavirus, the comedian Sarah Cooper scoured her kitchen cabinet for props, scouted her lockdown apartment for locations and angled her iPhone. The result: a series of lip-sync videos posted on TikTok and Twitter — and viewed by millions.The viral clips starred her facial expressions and the president’s voice.But Ms. Cooper’s voice quickly followed. She soon nabbed a headliner spot at...more

  • She’s Bursting Big Tech’s Bubble

    Oct 29 2020

    It finally looks as if Big Tech may face some breakups. Lawmakers are interrogating tech C.E.O.s on Capitol Hill while the Justice Department pursues a landmark antitrust case against Google. For decades, tech giants have avoided such scrutiny — hiding behind the idea that their products are free, beneficial, even beloved.Lina Khan says this is no excuse for a monopoly.As a 28-year-old law student, Ms. Khan published a single scholarly article that greatly shifted America’s antitrust debate. Thr...more

  • Hillary Clinton Says It’s Different This Time

    Oct 26 2020

    “We are advantaged — unfortunately — by four years of a record from Trump,” Hillary Clinton says as she predicts big wins for Democrats in 2020. The former candidate has been a lightning rod for the right, and has been called a lizard, a murderer and a human trafficker.But she believes that President Trump’s leadership — or lack thereof — has left American voters more engaged and less susceptible to disinformation. Or so she hopes.In this interview with Kara Swisher, Mrs. Clinton shares the mome...more

  • Should You Choose Your Baby’s Eye Color?

    Oct 22 2020

    CRISPR-Cas9 is the kind of scientific breakthrough that could change human evolution. Scientists call it “genetic scissors” — a tool that snips DNA with powerful and scary precision. As Dr. Jennifer Doudna, the co-developer of the gene-editing technology, explains, scientists can now edit the genomes of living organisms “like you might edit a Word document.”Dr. Doudna and her collaborator, Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year. Their pioneering research could pav...more

  • The Election Isn’t Doomed … Yet

    Oct 19 2020

    In part two of Sway’s two-part election integrity series, Kara Swisher speaks to Trevor Potter, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and an expert on the dark money and opaque laws that define modern American democracy.From witness or notary public requirements in Rhode Island to a double-envelope mandate in Pennsylvania and a single dropbox per county in Texas, Mr. Potter and the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center are on a legal spree to fight voter suppression and voting restric...more

  • Can Big Tech Make Sure That 2020 Is Not 2016?

    Oct 15 2020

    In part one of Sway’s two-part election integrity series, Kara Swisher speaks to Alex Stamos, former Facebook chief information security officer and current director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, about what went wrong in 2016 and what Big Tech can do better in 2020.Mr. Stamos — known in Silicon Valley for his willingness to speak truth to power — rose to national prominence when he departed Facebook amid disagreement about the tech giant’s handling of Russian interference in the last pre...more

  • Planned Parenthood’s Plan for Amy Coney Barrett

    Oct 12 2020

    Roe v. Wade is under threat. As Republican senators scramble to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat with a conservative justice who would tilt the court six to three, the nation’s largest abortion and reproductive rights provider has its own power playbook. In this episode of Sway, Kara Swisher speaks to Planned Parenthood’s president and C.E.O., Alexis McGill Johnson.While Ms. Johnson has little sway over the judicial appointment, she is in a powerful position to preserve women’s rights at ...more

  • Killer Mike Says He Has a Choice to Make

    Oct 08 2020

    You might know Michael Render, a.k.a. Killer Mike, from a speech he made that went viral four days after George Floyd’s death. Protests in Atlanta were escalating and so was the damage and violence. The mayor needed help turning the temperature down.“I’m mad as hell,” he said, in near tears. “I woke up wanting to see the world burn down yesterday because I’m tired of seeing Black men die.”You might also know Killer Mike as Grammy-winning rapper and one-half of the hip-hop duo Run the Jewels, who...more

  • The Man Behind America’s Race for a Vaccine

    Oct 05 2020

    Dr. Moncef Slaoui is the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, and arguably the most powerful force in the mission to vaccinate America from the coronavirus. The scientist, a 30-year pharmaceutical industry veteran and registered Democrat, says he doesn’t “want to get into the politics” even though everything about the United States’ coronavirus response — from mask-wearing to President Trump’s illness — seems to have been politicized.Dr. Slaoui says he’s an adviser with “significan...more

  • Alexander Vindman Knew Trump Would End His Career

    Oct 01 2020

    Alexander Vindman — war hero, European affairs expert, lieutenant colonel in the Army — had lofty dreams of serving the United States. But a call he heard between President Trump and Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, gave him pause. Little more than a year after taking a job at the White House, Colonel Vindman testified before Congress regarding the Ukraine scandal, and was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump.Now retired, citing bullying by the White House, Colonel Vin...more

  • Elon Musk: ‘A.I. Doesn’t Need to Hate Us to Destroy Us’

    Sep 28 2020

    Elon Musk has a vision of the future, and — as one of the world’s richest men with four corporations under his reign — the means to try to manifest it. In a conversation with Kara Swisher, he outlines his theory of, well, everything.“I do not think this is actually the end of the world,” say Musk. But at the same time, we need to hurry up. “The longer we take to transition to sustainable energy, the greater the risk we take.” But is relocating to Mars really necessary? Is our species ready to li...more

  • Gavin Newsom: ‘We Decided to Pull the Band-Aid Off’

    Sep 24 2020

    On this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher speaks to Gavin Newsom, a governor who is, by some measures, running a country. California is the world’s fifth-largest economy. And yesterday, the state joined the ranks of Britain, Denmark and Germany with an ambitious environmental order banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.Governor Newsom is making big moves, even in the midst of a pandemic and a wildfire crisis. He’s leading California as the state takes on the federal government — “W...more

  • Nancy Pelosi: ‘If The Election Were Held Today, We Would Win It All’

    Sep 21 2020

    In the inaugural episode of Kara Swisher’s new podcast, “Sway,” she interviews House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When it comes to presidential succession, Ms. Pelosi is second in line. And when it comes to taking on President Trump, she’s usually first.“The power of the speaker is awesome,” says Ms. Pelosi. But how is she actually using that power? Why not accept a compromise (to the tune of $1.5 trillion) that may help quell a national crisis? What progress is possible when the speaker hasn’t spoken ...more

  • Coming Soon: Sway

    Sep 09 2020

    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. Premiering September 21.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.