Kara Swisher & Katie Stanton at the 2022 MAKERS Conference
- Please welcome Kara Swisher and Katie Stanton.
KARA SWISHER: Hey. Hey, ladies.
KATIE STANTON: Hi, everybody. I'm so excited to be here with Kara, who is the most feared and revered--
KARA SWISHER: Oh, stop.
KATIE STANTON: --journalist--
KARA SWISHER: Please stop that.
KATIE STANTON: --in the world.
KARA SWISHER: That one's got to end.
KATIE STANTON: And when MAKERS asked me if I wanted to be interviewed here, I was like, not really. If I could interview anyone in the world, it'd be Kara Swisher. Because now is the time for payback. So--
KARA SWISHER: All right. Let's see how that works out.
KATIE STANTON: All right, let's see how it works out. OK, so--
KARA SWISHER: By the way, I'm going to fast forward to the end-- not well. But go ahead.
KATIE STANTON: So I'm not going to do an intro because you all know who she is. But I want to share a few stories about Kara. One is that-- well, actually, you probably do all know this.
But Kara is the ultimate and most unusual power broker. So all of Silicon Valley, and every circle of power, has this boys club. And Silicon Valley's been lucky to have a lot of great women like Aileen Lee with All Raise, and #Angels and f7, who are swapping deals together, and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, who is helping women get on all these boards, which is amazing.
But Kara is unique in that she has been the source of truth. So every time there's a woman who needs to be profiled-- and not that you are trying to do anyone any favors-- you're not nice to people.
KARA SWISHER: Mm-hmm.
KATIE STANTON: But you are making sure truth gets out. And you're holding everyone accountable. And maybe even most importantly is that you stand up to the bullies.
KARA SWISHER: Yes.
KATIE STANTON: And a lot of women, especially in Silicon Valley, like, can't. You're nervous about getting that next deal, the next fundraise. So you're trying to be careful. But you stand up. So thank you for standing up.
KARA SWISHER: Any time. It's not that hard.
KATIE STANTON: And I'll also share two pieces of advice that Kara has given me over the past 20 or so years since I've known you. And I think about it a lot, and I want to share it here. One is, stop apologizing.
I think when I was early in my career, I kept saying, I'm so sorry to ask you this, and blah, blah, blah. You were like, stop apologizing! And I was like, OK, I won't.
And the second is, take your space. So you had asked me to be at some event at some point. I was like, I'm too busy. I've got kids. I've got parents. I've got my job.
She's like, take your space. I will ask 10 women to do something. And 10 of you will say, no, I'm busy. And I'll ask 10 men to do something, and they will always step up and take that space.
KARA SWISHER: They will.
KATIE STANTON: So take your space, ladies.
KARA SWISHER: OK.
KATIE STANTON: OK, let's get into it.
KARA SWISHER: All right, let's go.
KATIE STANTON: OK, let's go. All right, so you have interviewed every tech person that basically matters.
KARA SWISHER: Mm-hmm.
KATIE STANTON: If you could get an on the record interview with your notorious truth serum--
KARA SWISHER: Mm-hmm.
KATIE STANTON: --who would you interview next?
KARA SWISHER: Well, I'm trying to get different people all the time. I sometimes try to get people you don't know very well. I had some of the earliest interviews with Stacey Abrams, for example, when she was just in the Georgia Senate, which was interesting. And I was super attracted to her-- her ability to compromise with the other side. And at the time, it was not-- it was unusual.
I think-- I think I've interviewed pretty much everyone I've wanted. I've always wanted to interview Dolly Parton and Taylor Swift together.
KATIE STANTON: Amazing.
KARA SWISHER: And I don't want any adorableness from either of them. Like, I want to talk about business with them. Because what happens is Taylor Swift talks a lot about the art itself, or her weird Easter eggs, or whatever. But she's so super intelligent. I'd like to talk to her about the business-- like, the money.
Same thing with Dolly Parton. You get some, like, Kentucky aphorism like, I don't know, whatever, that's as sweet as a pumpkin pie in fall. Like, I don't want to talk to her about that.
I want to talk to her about her really-- if you look at her history, she's been incredibly savvy from a business point of view. And I think she covers up with adorableness. And I'd like to see that aspect. So I'd like to talk to them together as songwriters, owners of IP, and businesspeople more than anything. Because I think there's a lot there.
That's who I would like to interview. I've tried. I've tried and tried again, but so far, no.
KATIE STANTON: All right, so Dolly and Taylor, if you're listening--
KARA SWISHER: Yeah, I'm sure they're listening. Not at all.
I've tried. I'll keep asking. Eventually, I get them, eventually, so--
KATIE STANTON: So who's probably listening right now is Silicon Valley, who hangs on many of your-- every words, I think.
KARA SWISHER: Not really.
KATIE STANTON: Not really?
KARA SWISHER: I guess. I don't know.
KATIE STANTON: OK.
KARA SWISHER: I don't think they care anymore. I think they've moved to a spot where they could give a fuck about anything, as you could see. I can do damage to them, I suppose. That's the only thing they're interested in, if I can possibly do damage.
But I think that they have moved to a spot-- I mean, you're just seeing it with a lot of-- it is all men. It's not women. There's no women involved in this-- doing freelance international relations, and canoodling with Putin. That's nice to see from people who literally failed at basic high school history.
So I find it really disturbing that they're inserting themselves in-- I call Elon Musk Madam Secretary, and he didn't like that. He's not as hot as Téa Leoni, but that's OK. I mean, she'd do a better job.
It's just ridiculous. They're now inserting themselves in social policy because they're rich and because they know better. And it's ridiculous.
Like, it's not that they shouldn't say what they want. But like, the guy in the bar on the corner has as much intelligence as they do about these things. And so they think because they're good at one thing, they can transfer it to other things, and actually impact things because they actually have power. So it's exhausting for me to watch that.
They're also never wrong, in case you're interested.
KATIE STANTON: It is exhausting. And you brought up Elon, so unfortunately, I guess we have to go there. So it looks like he's going to get away with it, and he will be taking over Twitter. And you have--
KARA SWISHER: Well, it's not get away with it. He's overpaying by a factor of $30 billion. So I think we can all feel good about that. But he's overpaying an--
I mean, what's really interesting is it's, like, a profoundly bad deal. And everyone's like--
KATIE STANTON: Terrible deal.
KARA SWISHER: --go, Elon. I'm like, I don't know. I can do math. This company is worth $12 billion, maybe on a good day. Doesn't make any money. It was a shitty stock. It's a terrible business.
And go, go, dude. And you're sort of like, OK. Like, it's the covering up of incompetence by other dudes. And if you saw those texts, it was something else to watch.
KATIE STANTON: They were crazy.
KARA SWISHER: They were like, hey, hey, dude. A billion? Sure, why not? Like, what?
KATIE STANTON: Make it two.
KARA SWISHER: Make it two. Like, it was crazy-- only to be in his presence, which is fine. He's a really interesting and challenging person to deal with. But he's-- it's just crazy to me that they can do such shitty deals and be lauded for it by the other dudes on their dudefest or whatever.
KATIE STANTON: And did you--
KARA SWISHER: Sorry. Ooh.
KATIE STANTON: --and did you notice there were no other women on those text threads? Like, does Elon have any female friends-- like, any female advisors, any female executives?
KARA SWISHER: No, Gwynne Shotwell at SpaceX, I think.
KATIE STANTON: But she was-- I mean, like, in this Twitter fiasco, I guess.
KARA SWISHER: Yeah, I think-- who knows what was revealed? I don't know. But I mean, it's definitely, like, a brofest of idiocy. Like, hey you want two? If I get to meet him, I give you one-- without any due diligence.
And it comes out-- what I have been saying for years is, intelligence has its limitations, but stupidity is infinite. Like, you know what I mean? And so when you read them, you're like-- everyone's like, Kara, can you believe it?
I'm like, I've been telling you this. They make decisions based on no business. They just sort of are with each other. And they're like, hey, dude, what do you think, dude? Yeah, dude-- the whole thing.
And you look at-- and then, and then he goes and tweets a stone-cold anti-Semite like Kanye West. And we have to stop pretending. This is ridiculous at this point.
And I'm sorry he's-- we all go, oh, he's mentally ill. He still doesn't-- we don't have to listen to him. And people don't have to keep interviewing him.
I won't do an interview with him. I refuse. There's no winning in that. He gets to spew anti-Semitic nonsense, misogynistic nonsense.
And then he-- like, you have to say, no. And then-- there's no plus in that. And he's clearly got mental problems. So I mean, I'm not a doctor, but come on. He's really--
But everyone lets him do it. And so-- you know, and then Elon tweeted, hey, my friend, welcome back to Twitter.
KATIE STANTON: Welcome back, right.
KARA SWISHER: And hey, I talked to him. I talked to him, and dude, and I had a talk. And I'm like, what did you say? Please stop acting like Hitler.
Like, what do you say to a friend? Like, not cool, dude. Like, I could just see that conversation. It makes me crazy. Makes me crazy. Dude, stop saying you're going to kill Jewish people, OK? Not cool. Like, that's the level of conversation, instead of saying, you horrible chode, I'm not going to affiliate with you anymore. I'm not bringing you back on Twitter. So whatever.
KATIE STANTON: So if slash when Elon takes over Twitter, will you still use Twitter?
KARA SWISHER: Well, I don't know. I don't know. I have-- I love it. I do use it a lot. And I enjoy it for news. I love the news stuff.
I can't stand all the toxic cesspool of it. Unusually, I don't get that attacked on Twitter, not until now, I guess. But I don't know.
I don't trust them to do a good job with security. I just don't. I didn't trust them before. And now, I'm nervous with cutting all the people they're cutting.
Now, they may have too many employees. That may be true. I think you would agree with me they probably did.
But I worry about security and things I'm saying. I'm definitely downloading all my data and waiting and seeing. We'll see. It's just like-- you know, I'm wearing Jordans, not Yeezys for right now, for example.
I just don't want to use it. If they start to get, like, crazy, I'm not going to use it as a product, just like anything else.
KATIE STANTON: So if we have Elon running Twitter, and Zuck running Facebook, and TikTok basically reporting in to the Chinese Communist Party--
KARA SWISHER: Yeah.
KATIE STANTON: --what is the future of American online democracy and conversations?
KARA SWISHER: Well, if you think that's democracy, sure. I think it's just a loud, screamy screamfest. I don't think that's democracy. I think democracy is on the ground.
I think what happens is we get in these spaces, and we think, this is what's actually happening. And instead, it's people screaming at each other. And I don't think-- I think there's a whole group of people who are exhausted in the middle, and to the left and right, who are just like, this is not reality. And so it's sort of like that Yeats poem-- the noisier have taken over. And everyone else is quiet about what's happening.
And so in this particular situation, people with an ability to be screamy, like a Marjorie Taylor Greene, another winner, gets to be more important than they are. And then it translates into actual importance because it-- it weaponizes and it amplifies their hate. And therefore, there's power. There is power in that. We've had-- history has shown us that many, many times.
KATIE STANTON: Gotcha. Maybe switching subjects a little bit, who is the most underrated and who is the most overrated CEO in Silicon Valley?
KARA SWISHER: I think what they've done at Netflix is really impressive. I think they've really changed. And they've run into problems. But I do think they've constantly been changing.
And I think they really-- they lapped everyone in Hollywood for years. Now, they're facing challenges now. But that certainly-- it shows a level of commitment.
The ones I like are adults. This is how I think about it. Like, Reed Hastings, I have lots of problems, we've had lots of arguments, but he's an adult. And you can have a real conversation with him.
Tim Cook is another one, I think. Look, everyone's like, oh, he's not going to be Steve Jobs. I'm like, well, he made the company 10 times bigger. It's a trillion dollar, multitrillion dollar company. The growth has been astonishing.
And everyone's like, oh, he's not like Jobs. I'm like, no, he's kind of better financially. Like, I'm sorry to tell-- and I liked dealing with Steve Jobs a lot.
And of course now, it's kind of interesting, he's-- remember he was the bad boy? And the worst thing he did was park in a handicapped zone. And now the rest of them are just, like, vomiting over everything. He looks good now in comparison to these guys, and actually was very prescient on privacy and some other issues.
There's a range of different people that I think are thoughtful. Brian Chesky, I just did an interview with him. Tons of problems at Airbnb around housing, et cetera, but is willing to talk about it, and is professional, and doesn't get hurt if you don't agree with him.
Some of the Twitters-- I like Dick Costolo, even though he-- that company's such a fucked up mess. I don't know--
KATIE STANTON: Can you explain-- can you explain the sexual tension between you and Dick--
KARA SWISHER: Dick Costolo and I, yes. There's no sexual tension whatsoever. [LAUGHS] Ooh, gross. But anyway-- moving on, there's a lot. There's a lot of startups.
I just did at "Code"-- this was my last "Code." And I did a bunch of-- I'm always heartened by young entrepreneurs.
And so we did a whole day on climate change tech. I started with an interview with John Doerr, who has just given all this money, and a bunch of others. But then we had all these entrepreneurs.
And there was a woman from Israel who was doing energy on piers, which was really interesting. There was a 60-year-old guy who was doing hydrogen fuel. There was a kid from Japan who was doing vertical farming with strawberries, which was cool-- this idea of what we do with these buildings. Like, think about bringing urban farming. It's kind of fascinating, with very little water, and a great way to do it. And by the way, their strawberries are delicious. They're expensive now, but they don't have to be.
We had this guy who's replacing-- he's amazing, this guy-- who's replacing all the furnaces-- I think it's in Newark-- but in certain cities with the electric heat pumps. Amazing. So these people, I like a lot because they're doing some really fascinating entrepreneurship.
And so I tend to-- I'm focusing a lot on those people now. Because I'm sort of tired of the overbred poodles that I honestly have to deal with. They just-- some of them do well. Brian Chesky is same guy, always was, despite his-- and he's single, ladies, which he talked about, actually, during--
But he talked about loneliness. He was honest about his-- the struggle of being licked up and down all day when you-- and you are a real person. He happens to have a very lovely family.
KATIE STANTON: That's awesome. What about the women in Silicon Valley? You mentioned a few of them in terms of those that are pursuing really worthy challenges of climate and health. We have an amazing founder here, Sarah, who is doing great things with cervical health.
KARA SWISHER: Uh-huh.
KATIE STANTON: Any other women that have stood out to you over the years that you've been profiling--
KARA SWISHER: You, Aileen Lee, I thought were doing really interesting things around investment, despite your investment in Clubhouse-- whatever.
KATIE STANTON: This should be on Clubhouse, by the way.
KARA SWISHER: I used to call her. I'm like, why are you hanging out with those assholes? How's that going, by the way?
KATIE STANTON: Going great. I love Clubhouse.
KARA SWISHER: OK, fine, whatever. So you know, I think some of the better people are the investors, the women investors. There aren't very many CEOs. There just aren't.
Lisa Su is really impressive. At various times, Meg Whitman has been impressive-- not all the time. But she certainly has been one of the more prominent ones. There's just not that many. There's just not that many.
You talked about Sukhinder. Mary Meeker's done some really interesting stuff. But it's really few. In tech, at least, it's-- the numbers are just-- gotten worse.
So it's not-- like, they don't get funded. They don't get funded. They don't get a chance. I'm trying to think of-- you can't really think of people.
I guess Google has Susan Wojcicki, is interesting as someone-- There's a bunch of Google executives who have been very, very prominent over the years. But in general, go through them all-- Microsoft and-- there aren't-- they aren't there.
KATIE STANTON: There aren't enough.
KARA SWISHER: You know, and I actually, when I was at Twitter, when I was covering Twitter, the thing that I wrote was the really great-- the greatest lead of my life, was-- I was talking about the board, which I think you can get board members from anywhere. You can get lots of diverse board members and really interesting points of view on a board.
And they had 10 white men, the same white men. And so the lead was--
KATIE STANTON: Three or four Peters?
KARA SWISHER: Yes, I said--
KATIE STANTON: Sorry--
KARA SWISHER: --on this board of Twitter, there are three Peters and a Dick. And-- and it was really great because I was the editor of the site, and then I was the writer. And I was like, good job, Kara. Like, nobody to stop me. I was like, nice-- no one, no one.
My staff was like, what? I'm like, Kara's brilliant. And Dick Costolo, my sexual partner, apparently-- my sexual crush-- not at all, not even slightly.
KATIE STANTON: Just a little bit.
KARA SWISHER: Oh, my god, I'd break him in half. So-- he called me up and he goes, first of all, that was really funny, because it was. But then I want to say-- I want to say, we have standards.
And I said, oh? That's my favorite part, is when they say we have standards. I was like, how come you never use the word standards when it comes to your incompetent board, who has driven this company into a wall at least 15 times? It's getting ridiculous.
And when it's women of color-- women and people of color, it's that we have standards? I was like, you have a bunch of idiotic white men wrecking this business. And nobody gets held to account.
Same thing when I was talking about-- with this Twitter thing, hey, dude, here's a billion. It's a shitty investment. And I hope they lose all their money. And they will. They will lose it, but they don't care. They don't--
I don't hope. No, I'm sure they will. I don't even hope. I don't have to hope.
KATIE STANTON: Well, I mean, kind of related, you see this pattern over and over again. And we know why it is, but it still boggles your mind that you see these men who fail--
KARA SWISHER: Mm-hmm.
KATIE STANTON: --and then they're able to then secure another hundreds of millions of dollars for a second or third, and a woman gets canceled.
KARA SWISHER: I don't even mind that. It's fine. Like, if you want to make another bet on someone, that's fine. That's fine. It's just that others don't get that opportunity--
KATIE STANTON: Exactly.
KARA SWISHER: --to be a fuckup.
KATIE STANTON: If you're a woman or a person of color, you don't get that second chance.
KARA SWISHER: And part of Silicon Valley is, like, OK, you messed up. Like, you can look at lots of stuff-- General Magic was a disaster. It was a money pit. But it became the iPhone eventually, all the people affiliated with it.
And so I don't like to-- I'm writing my memoir of Silicon Valley right now, which is super funny. And I'm never going to be able to go back there, but totally worth it. But one of the things-- you don't want to be-- one of the things I had on it was, you don't want to be the person at Kitty Hawk-- it takes off, and you go, [SCOFFS] it only went nine feet. Hmm!
Like, you don't want to be that person because it flew, right? You want to understand the complexity and difficulty of doing innovative things. But at the same time, you want to give-- my favorite Amendment is the 14th Amendment, which we should be paying a lot more attention to, by the way, around abortion and everything else.
Because that's really-- it's not about privacy, it's about the 14th Amendment, which is equal rights under the law. And I, as a gay person, that's the one-- I carry it around with me. Because it's really important to think about what that means.
And so maybe-- if you moved it to the next thing, it's equal fuck-ups under the law-- under the investment. But like, there's not an equality of that. You can't screw up and also succeed equally. If you succeed--
Like, I was just thinking, this new "Black Panther" is coming out. I'm so excited. But I remember at the time, they were all like, well, that's an unusual thing.
I'm like, it's a fucking good movie. What is your problem? Why is this unusual? It's because you don't make these things, and you don't know the audience.
The audience loves a story, likes a great, wonderful story. And obviously, Chadwick Boseman was an astonishing actor. But it's always-- everything is always qualified when it comes to anyone but. And that drives me crazy. And so that's what's really motivated me a lot.
And I got very angry, I think-- and the book actually opens with this, which was when they all went to Trump Tower after the attacks on immigrants. And I actually broke that story. And it was a scoop. I was like--
But they did it so secretively. They, like, skulked up to Trump Tower. And I got in touch with all of them.
And I was like, what are you doing? You're not making a statement about immigration. You're not making a statement about hate speech. He's insulted Mexicans. He's insulted people of-- lots of different people. Can you not say something before you're the most richest and most powerful people in the country?
They didn't say a word. And they went up there and had a haha bro session with him. And I was-- the only person was Chris Sacca, who was like, this is bullshit. And I talked to all of them. And they're like, we'll-- don't worry, Kara. We'll take care of it.
I'm like, no, you won't. You want a tax break. Like, you won't-- if you're not willing to speak up as the most powerful people in the world just to suck up to someone to get your tax breaks, you know, go fuck yourself. Like, that's what I-- and that's what I said in the piece. So anyway-- anyway, it opens with that.
So my whole premise was, oh, it was capitalism after all. Oh, thank you. Stop pretending you're trying to change the world. It's just capitalism. And it's a particularly ugly kind-- and I love cap-- trust me, I've run so many businesses. I love capitalism.
But I also want them to have some, at least-- we had our "Pivot" conference. I stopped doing the "Code" conference. And we had it in Florida.
And we were going to do this amazing thing this year with a whole festival. I really like some of the public officials there, both Republican and Democrat. I've been dealing with them.
And then they passed the Don't Say Gay thing, and trying to pretend that it's not exactly what it is, which is terrible. And so we pulled it out, right? I pulled it out of there.
I'm like, I'm not giving these people-- even, you know, $5, $6 million, I'm not-- or $10 million, I think that was the budget. But I'm not giving them any of my money. I'm not spending any money here. This is ridiculous.
And so the PR person for Governor DeSantis started writing me, tweeting at me, because she's such a horrible chode. But she-- she called me a groomer. And I was like, I never--
KATIE STANTON: She called you a what?
KARA SWISHER: A groomer. Like, oh, give me a fucking break, you-- you know? And I was like, I have four children. I'm not taking parenting tips from you, lady. Like, I don't need your-- anything on why I'm doing it. I'm just not going to spend the money here.
And so they went back and forth with me. And it was crazy. And I finally said, you know what? I'm a capitalist. And I'm taking my money out of your socialist-- I call them socialist because it drove them crazy.
But like, you're trying to say what I should do. And I don't want to give you my money. And you're trying to make me. Stop being communists.
And of course, they lost their mind. We're not communists! I was like, you sound like communists. You want the government to overreach. It sounds like government overreach, and veering in on communism.
And of course, the-- you know, fuck them. Fuck them. That's what my book should be called-- "Fuck Them," right?
KATIE STANTON: So you going to move the conference to Colorado?
KARA SWISHER: I talked to Jared Polis. He's great. Maybe-- we're talking to-- immediately, Governor Newsom, Governor Polis, Governor Hochul got in touch, which we will. They want economic benefits. So we'll see. I don't know. We'll see.
KATIE STANTON: So we have an election in a couple of weeks.
KARA SWISHER: Mm-hmm.
KATIE STANTON: How are we going to do?
KARA SWISHER: Badly, I think. I'm doing a podcast right after this with a bunch of Republican pollsters. I think-- I don't know. I don't know. You never know, right? You don't know what people are going to do. But the polling's not good. The polling's not good, at least in the House. We'll see about the Senate.
I just did a great interview with John Fetterman and actually got into a [INAUDIBLE] with another reporter who-- he did just fine. I had a stroke. I don't know if people know this, but I had a stroke and had similar auditory processing issues initially-- not now, obviously. And he was fine. He was very-- people don't understand the difference between sensory issues and cognitive issues when people have a stroke. Just because you-- I mixed up words all the time.
And this one reporter was like, well, when he wasn't using closed captioning, he couldn't have a conversation. I was like, he told you that. When you have a stroke, you can't do auditory-- it was so ridiculous. It was insane.
But of course, Dr. Oz is-- who should be investigated for the stuff he's doing by-- censured by medical authorities. Because like, can you imagine having a doctor-- like, having had a stroke, I was kind of furious. But he was fine-- if he wasn't cognitively fine, I would have said so. But he was.
So we'll see what happens there. But that's working. Unfortunately, it's working, unfortunately. And the same thing in-- I think they'll probably win Arizona. We'll see, but it's getting closer. Peter Thiel just shovels the money in for TV.
We'll see about Ohio. It's sort of neck and neck.
KATIE STANTON: Yeah, it's way too close.
KARA SWISHER: So the Senate is really-- that has to hold. I think the House is kind of done. And then Kevin McCarthy comes in-- that guy. That guy. He's kind of dumb. Like, I don't know if you know that, but in Washington-- I'm living in Washington right now. And everyone's like, you know he's dumb? I'm like, really? It wasn't obvious to me. Like, obviously. But he's actually apparently not very smart.
KATIE STANTON: What about San Francisco, your beloved San Francisco?
KARA SWISHER: I love San Francisco.
KATIE STANTON: There's still a big gap in terms of early voting. And the city is in distress. Like, how is the most-- this very sophisticated city with a lot of progressives, like, leading it-- like, how is it such a mess? And how is there still not, like, a good activist campaign to heal this wonderful city?
KARA SWISHER: Well, it's a wonderful city. But let me just say if you actually use statistics Jacksonville, Florida, has more crime than San Francisco. It's just a question of, like-- the homeless problem is very severe. It's very severe here in Los Angeles, for example.
It's-- the weather is better. I don't know what to tell you. That's why. But there's also issues around-- we have to stop using it as a cudgel.
Because these poor people are on fentanyl. And that came from opiates, which came from the Sacklers, with OxyContin. There's a very-- I did a great interview with Patrick Radden Keefe who wrote that book, which was amazing, "Empire of Pain." If you want to be furious-- I literally was like, let me find a Sackler to beat them, like, after. I was so angry after reading this book, and the kind of manipulation they did of our government.
There's a reason why these people are on the streets. And instead of hating it, you have to understand, like, it's really hard. And it's almost an intractable problem.
You either have to be unusually cruel in saying, nobody on the streets. Or you have to figure out a way to move people to better places. But unfortunately, we're exhausted. We're exhausted as a country. We're also-- as a world, from pandemic, from the social media, which has made us all sort of hate each other and treat each other like nonhumans.
And so we have to really get back to the basics, which is, OK, here's a problem, how are we going to solve it, and acknowledge that it may not be solved. You know, I walked all through San Francisco. I love San Francisco.
And most of the city is fine. There's a lot of petty crime. They've got to figure out how to deal with that.
And I think some of the elected officials, especially the progressives, are pretending like, well, if it's not murder, don't worry about it. But that's not the way to live in any place, right? You have to care about every citizen. And so-- don't complain about your car being broken into. And you're like, well, yeah, you can.
And so we have to stop being quite so immediately hair trigger. I don't know quite how you do that. Because Twitter and the rest makes it hard not to be.
And so I would hope people start to really think hard, after this screamy period, about the importance of community, and analog, and calming the fuck down. Like, that's the whole thing. Everyone needs to calm the fuck down. And I think that might do it.
The last thing I'll say is, I do have four kids. And I had-- I have two very young kids. And I was arguing with one of these right wing people-- I don't know why I do it, I shouldn't-- online.
And they're like, you know, liberals don't believe in the future. This is someone who didn't have children, right, telling me liberals don't. I'm like, I have four children. I believe in the future much more than you do.
I wouldn't have had kids if I don't believe in the future. And so have to be thinking-- like, that's the kind of messaging you have to get through, is if you are here, and you have kids, you really want to make it better for them. We can't stop. We can't, like, become so like this. Because it's going to lead to bad things. It really is, 100%.
KATIE STANTON: OK.
KARA SWISHER: On that note--
KATIE STANTON: On that note, let's wrap it up. Thank you so much, Kara.
KARA SWISHER: By the way, the new season of "Cobra Kai" is great if you want to enjoy yourself.
KATIE STANTON: Give it up for Kara Swisher.
KARA SWISHER: Thank you.