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Recode Decode with Kara Swisher


One of tech's most prominent journalists, Kara Swisher is known for her insightful reporting and straight-shooting style. Listen in as she hosts hard-hitting interviews about the week in tech with influential business leaders and outspoken personalities from media, politics and more.

One of tech's most prominent journalists, Kara Swisher is known for her insightful reporting and straight-shooting style. Listen in as she hosts hard-hitting interviews about the week in tech with influential business leaders and outspoken personalities from media, politics and more.
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One of tech's most prominent journalists, Kara Swisher is known for her insightful reporting and straight-shooting style. Listen in as she hosts hard-hitting interviews about the week in tech with influential business leaders and outspoken personalities from media, politics and more.






Alexis Ohanian: All parents, including dads, should have six months of paid family leave

Reddit co-founder and Initialized Capital managing partner Alexis Ohanian talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how he became a "dadvocate" for paid paternity leave. Ohanian explains how the medical complications faced by his wife, tennis star Serena Williams, woke him up to the problem, and how time off for fathers can help mothers, as well as female coworkers. He also discusses the problem with how working men glorify their self-destructive schedules online, which he calls "hustle porn";...


Stroke survivor Ted Baxter on recovery and how the stroke changed his life "for the better"

Writer and health advocate Ted Baxter talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his book, Relentless: How a Massive Stroke Changed My Life for the Better. Baxter, a former managing director at the hedge fund Citadel, had the stroke when he was only 41, and recounts how doctors initially misdiagnosed his symptoms; he also discusses the recovery process, which accelerated after he accepted that he couldn't return to his investing job, and shares advice for people who have recently experienced a...


After a deadly shooting, how is Airbnb going to keep its guests safer?

Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the recent mass shooting at an Airbnb in Orinda, Calif., how the company is changing its policies to keep guests safer, and what Chesky wishes he had done differently when Airbnb was smaller. They also discuss Airbnb's first brush with notoriety in 2011 and how Chesky "bungled" his response at the time, the importance of meeting with people who hate you, and why Silicon Valley execs should confront the human cost...


Don't blame Mark Zuckerberg for inequality — blame the government for not setting the rules, MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle says.

MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about her new podcast Modern Ruhles, the Trump voters who get overlooked by the media, and why Wall Streeters afraid of Elizabeth Warren should "look in the goddamn mirror." Ruhle also discusses her unusual path to working in the media, by way of Credit Suisse; the importance of the question "Are you better off in 2020 than you were in 2016?"; and the soul-searching at NBC News in the aftermath of Ronan Farrow's book Catch and...


The fallout of the Google walkout, one year later

In this special episode of Recode Decode, Kara Swisher checks in with some of the organizers of the Google walkout, who came on her show in November 2018 after leading a 20,000-worker protest. Later in the show, Kara's executive producer Erica Anderson (herself one of the organizers who has since left Google) talks with some of the people who were inspired by the 2018 walkouts to continue fighting for the workers of Google and other tech companies. Featuring: Stephanie Parker (@sparker2),...


Edward Snowden on surveillance capitalism, the threats facing democracy, and why he doesn't want you to trust him

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about why he leaked highly classified information in 2013, why that doesn't make him a "traitor," and his new book, Permanent Record. Snowden also talks about how his youthful love of the US government and the early internet turned into skepticism; how his life has changed since going to Moscow; and why he believes Facebook is as untrustworthy as the NSA. Plus: Why people who say they have "nothing to hide" are missing the...


Andreessen Horowitz founder Ben Horowitz on what startups can learn from samurai

Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the state of venture capital, diversity in tech, and his new book, What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture. Horowitz also discusses the impact of SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund on Silicon Valley, why he wouldn't invest in a social or mobile startup today, and what former CEO Travis Kalanick got right — and very wrong — with Uber’s culture. Plus: Why "break" was the exact right word...


Bill Kristol on how conservatives lied to themselves about Trump, how to secure the 2020 election, and the "nightmare scenario" for 2024

Conservative analyst Bill Kristol talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about the impeachment effort against President Trump, how politics has entered a "crisis of truth" in the era of Fox News and social media, and the steps that should be taken pre-emptively to ensure that the 2020 elections are free and fair. Kristol also predicts that Trump could be "impeached by Thanksgiving," and explains why he doesn't think "Trumpism" goes away even if its namesake does, outlining one scenario for future...


Former Trump adviser Gary Cohn on mobile cybersecurity, why tech giants should be regulated as "data companies," and overvalued private companies

Gary Cohn, the former Director of the National Economic Council and former chief economic adviser to President Trump, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about what he's done since leaving the Trump administration, including a "significant" investment and advisory position he's taken up in a mobile security company called Hoyos Integrity. Cohn explains how Hoyos is developing a more secure phone for people who deal in confidential information, such as government workers; how it's trying to...


"What the Constitution Means to Me" creator Heidi Schreck / "Right to Be Forgotten" creators Sharyn Rothstein and Seema Sueko

Recode's Kara Swisher talks to the creators of two new plays that intersect with tech issues: Heidi Schreck, the former star and playwright of What the Constitution Means to Me, and the writer and director of Right to Be Forgotten — Sharyn Rothstein and Seema Sueko. Schreck took the name of her play from a series of debate competitions she competed in as a teenager, but has developed a more complicated appreciation for the Constitution as an adult, and discusses how its flaws connect to her...


"Catch and Kill" author Ronan Farrow on how predators like Harvey Weinstein covered their tracks

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about his new book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, which details the extreme lengths men like Harvey Weinstein have gone to escape accountability for sexual abuse. He discusses why other journalists before him couldn’t nail the Weinstein story, and how the powerful Hollywood producer tapped into a network of shady allies in his attempt to suppress it — including some of...


Can A.I. teach you to write better?

If you like Recode Decode, we think you'll also like our newest podcast, Reset. Here's today's episode. Students across the country are graded by artificial intelligence. But does an algorithm really know how to write? About Reset Arielle Duhaime-Ross explores why–and how–tech is changing everything. If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe to Reset for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app to get new episodes every week. Learn more...


Ken Burns on "Country Music," digital documentaries, and why "there's no them, there's only us"

Filmmaker Ken Burns talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his latest documentary series "Country Music," in which he explores the history of the genre, its place in the larger American musical landscape, and the powerful universality of "three chords and the truth." Burns says that unlike rock and jazz, country music is largely a story about powerful women, and also unpacks the ways in which it reflects the intermingling ethnic diversity of the US. He also discusses his online video...


The inside story of the Cambridge Analytica scandal

Cambridge Analytica’s former business development director Brittany Kaiser talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about her new book TARGETED: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again. Kaiser talks about how she first observed the dangers of social media while working on Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, why she mistakenly believed Cambridge Analytica was using technology as a force for good, and what happened...


Rosetta Stone President Matt Hulett on how to learn new languages and not forget them

Matt Hulett, the president of education company Rosetta Stone, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about the company’s pivot away from language-learning CDs and into a more advanced and “approachable” mobile app. He also talks about his “promiscuous” background in the tech industry; Rosetta Stone’s literacy catch-up program for children, Lexia Learning; and the bigger picture of how language education is changing around the world. Plus: What’s the best way to make learning stick, and will Elon...


Disrupting real estate with OpenDoor CEO Eric Wu / Evite CEO Victor Cho on turning around a Web 1.0 company

Recode's Kara Swisher interviews two CEOs in this double-feature episode of Recode Decode: First, she speaks with OpenDoor CEO Eric Wu about how technology is encroaching on the real estate industry, why housing is ripe for disruption, and how OpenDoor is bracing for the next recession. Later in the show, Swisher talks to Evite CEO Victor Cho about how the 21-year-old company is exploring new revenue models, avoiding the "MySpace slide," and what Cho learned from Eastman Kodak's failed...


"Antisocial" author Andrew Marantz on how the far right hijacked the internet

Andrew Marantz, a staff writer at the New Yorker, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno‑Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. He discusses the danger of designing social media platforms around emotional engagement, how people like Mike Cernovich and Milo Yiannopoulos exploited people's belief in a broad political "consensus," and technology's role in advancing hate and extremism online. Marantz also explains what he...


Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina: Trump is doing lasting damage to the Republican Party

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of HP who ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about campaigning against Donald Trump, her friendship with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and the over-concentration of power among a handful of CEOs in the tech industry. Fiorina also talks about her experience as one of the few female tech CEOs of the 1990s, the “lasting damage” President Trump has done to the Republican Party, and why she's impressed by Speaker...


FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub on political paralysis, election security, and Trump's "voter fraud" fantasies

Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about how the FEC works, how it tries to defend elections from foreign influence, and why the Commission is currently immobilized by a lack of "quorum" — in other words, it doesn't have enough members to launch or conclude any investigations. Weintraub talks about pending legislation to make advertising and campaign contributions more transparent, and explains how the FEC's current paralysis may undermine the...


Obama's cybersecurity chief Michael Daniel: Facebook is an “intelligence officer’s wet dream”

Barack Obama's former cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel, now the CEO of the nonprofit Cyber Threat Alliance, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about the state of US cybersecurity heading into the 2020 elections. Daniel says the proposed solutions to election hacking may just cause new problems: "If you can track your vote," he says, "I can track your vote." Featuring: Michael Daniel (@CyAlliancePrez), president and CEO, Cyber Threat Alliance Hosts: Kara Swisher (@karaswisher), Recode...