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Kara Swisher: Our Careless Oligarchs

October 4, 2022
Notes
Transcript

Those billionaires who text Elon Musk don’t care what they break, Musk is tweeting about Ukraine because he loves attention, Peter Thiel doesn’t care that he’s a hypocrite, and Christian Walker needs a hug. Kara Swisher joins Charlie Sykes today.

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This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:08

    Good morning, and welcome to the Bulwark Podcast. I’m Charlie Sykes. I know this is gonna be a good podcast because I’m already through my fourth page of notes. I keep, you know, making the notes of what I wanna talk to our guest about and then I tear it up because I think we’re not gonna get to that. There is just so much that I want to talk with you about Cara Swisher.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:28

    Thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Thanks
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:30

    for helping me, Charlie. For
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:31

    those of you not familiar, Kara Swisher, has a new podcast on with Kara Swisher. She is the co host of the pivot podcast and editor at large of New York Magazine. Former host of the Sway and Rico decode podcast. And she’s described as Silicon Valley’s most feared and well liked journalist. Well, first of all, you don’t usually see those words in the
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:55

    same context. It
  • Speaker 3
    0:00:56

    was just a
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:57

    headline. It was just a headline. They’re just trying to make some I don’t know if I’m not well liked or feared. I well, maybe I’m a little feared, I suppose.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:03

    Well, okay. That that’s an interesting question because you you are a legendary interviewer. And I I caught you down in Austin at the Texas Tribune Festival interviewing Hillary Clinton. And afterward, you were asked about your approach to interviewing And you said something along the lines of that kind of the key was that you don’t care whether you ever interview them again.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:24

    Right. Yes. That is correct. That is correct.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:26

    Okay. So is that liberating? Is that, like, okay, I’m just gonna ask you what I want. I’m gonna just go at it. Yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:34

    That’s exactly it. It’s not to be mean to them. It’s not like I feel like beating up with them because a lot of people I’ve had rounded and round after, like, Elon Musk keep coming back for more. Like, they keep wanting to talk and stuff like that. And so it’s not so much that I think a lot of reporters look, I was a beat reporter.
  • Speaker 2
    0:01:49

    I get it. There’s an an level of push you can give to the people you’re covering. Right? It’s a little and that’s my problem with, you know, it’s it’s called access journalism, but it really is just beat reporting. And you have to maintain a long relationship where you get frozen out.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:02

    Now, sometimes when I’ve gotten over the years, it seemed to me that every time I got frozen out, I did better work. Like with Yahoo, for example, they wouldn’t talk to me for a while. But ultimately, people inside if you’re doing great reporting will work with you, you know, not not necessarily the top people, but you don’t necessarily need access to do a good job. That’s my that was my whole thing. And so my when I’m doing when I said that, it’s like, gonna ask what I wanna ask and they don’t wanna talk to me next time that’s their business, but I’m not gonna change what
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:30

    I wanna ask because of that. Well, that’s that’s a big issue and that’s a real challenge. This whole question of access journalism. Anybody who’s been a beat reporter understands that push and pull that in order to get your scoops, in order to get the stories, the insight that you you need to cultivate sources, you you need to have people who return your phone calls, which means that there is the suspicion that some reporters might pull their punches.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:55

    Yeah. Sure.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:55

    And and that and that’s become very, very controversial.
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:59

    Well, it’s it’s it’s, you know, it’s the parsing of words again. It’s access journalism versus beat reporting. There’s just you have to have a relationship. Now, sometimes you just don’t have to. You know, you actually don’t see if you’re covering the White House, you kinda do because you can’t get it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:11

    Right, you can’t physically get in and they can keep you out. But I think in a lot of cases, you don’t need to be quite as if you’re a good, you have to be a good reporter. First of all, if you’re not, you’re screwed. You do have to do sort of the the game that people play. But I don’t I I think the word access is sort of this sort of dirty word, like, act as if they’re gonna trade something.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:31

    Wait. I don’t think most reporters do that. Now look, Sean Hannity’s text aside to president Trump. That’s I don’t know when even that is. That’s it’s not even access.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:38

    It’s that and he’s not a journalist.
  • Speaker 1
    0:03:40

    Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:42

    Right. Right. Yeah. Or no. He just wants to be in power.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:45

    That’s very different. And that’s just a whole different news. That’s not a new fresh thing. A lot of journalists used to do that. You know, Kennedy had a number of journalists around them that were giving them advice and stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:54

    So it’s not a fresh new idea. I think the issue is that I think about is, I’m gonna ask what I’m gonna ask, and if they don’t like me, well, too bad. There’s just and that that’ll be my problem. And I I always find a way to get in. I feel like I’m, like, water.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:07

    Like, I’ll I’ll eventually get in. Right. And rock your polar boards.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:11

    So when when do you when do you come down on the Maggie Haberman Wars? I tweeted out a cop I got a copy of her book which is — Yeah. — which is out today. And I said, hey, in in the mail and — Mhmm. — I would say that two thirds to three quarters of the response were people I’m never gonna buy that book because she sold out.
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:26

    She wasn’t tough enough on Trump with Yeah. I am very puzzled by this. Where do you come down on this since we’re talking about quote unquote access journalism?
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:34

    I’m about to interview with Maggie, actually, for the podcast. Today. Of course. And I know her for a long time, and I consider her a friend. So I’m gonna say that at the top obviously.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:43

    But, you know, a couple of things with her is she’s a beat reporter and she’s covering the person everyone has a feeling about. Right? Whether you love her, because the people on the right hand are too. Like, she’s too mean to him. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:55

    And he writes all these weird texts and emails about her, you know, you know, these twig tweets and now it’s whatever truths about her. And so in her case, I don’t think you win whatsoever when you’re covering the most controversial portion on the planet, really. You know, I can’t think of someone more controversial.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:12

    So
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:12

    everyone thinks you’re either being too tough on them or being too acquiescent. I think I think for some people, they’re reactive speaking to him is a problem. Right? And then what do you do? And I I was listening to some of the clips of the interviews, and I thought she did actually a good job when she when he was talking about the TV thing, for example.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:30

    Now someone could listen to that and say, why doesn’t she challenge him? And it’s like, it’s an interview where you’re just trying to draw him out. She’s not trying to And she goes, okay. She doesn’t agree with him. She’s like, okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:40

    And then she pushes again. She’s like, so you didn’t watch TV because she wants to get on the record that he’s lying. Right? That’s what she’s doing there. And And so I I was watching the response.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:49

    I’m like, do you know what she’s doing? She’s not actually agreeing with them. And so I think one of the problems that Maggie has is she’s she’s literally covering the most hated and reviled and also beloved depending on where you’re sitting person. And there’s no winning in that case. Secondly, I don’t think that I see a lot of that commentary around the men that cover him exactly the same way.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:11

    I just don’t. You know what I mean? She’s become some sort of something, a lightning rod for
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:16

    Yeah. Very much, though.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:17

    But, gosh, you know, Bob, what word? Bob, where did you get a pushback for keeping stuff? The third thing is, they’ve been very clear the editors decide she brings them news things and they decide and but she still gets the blame. And so I think it’s I think it’s super complex. I wouldn’t know quite how to cover that beat in a way that’s correct.
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:35

    And so, you know, she’s done enormous amounts of very devastating reporting, but she doesn’t get credit for that. But whenever she does something, like, maybe looks like, you know, you can I can see who the sources are. Most people can guess. Like, there’s so every now and then, you’re like, oh, look, Jared, talk to work. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:06:50

    Like, you could just tell. Or Ivanka. Like, I think everyone in Washington practices that, so I’m not really clear why we’re jumping on her particularly in general. For it except that she’s the most prominent person.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:03

    I I that that’s what I was gonna say. She’s just simply because she is the most prominent. So in your new podcast. Last week, you talked with Chris Cuomo. So what was that one?
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:12

    I don’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:12

    know. I’m gonna be just as tough on on Maggie on the She said it wasn’t Chris Cuomo. So I’m gonna press her for it. But I do understand what she’s doing because I was a beat reporter. So I understand the dynamics of that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:23

    Oh, Chris will talk about him.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:24

    So is Chris Coleman ever gonna come back on your podcast?
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:27

    Yes. I don’t know. I think he will. I think he will. I think it kind of like he he was I think he was relieved to be, like, pressed like that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:34

    Like, oh, finally, someone just says it out loud. Like, this is a shitty ethical thing I did. To my face. To my face. And I think a lot of people that one thing that does bother me, he did have a very good point is everyone loved it until they hated it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:47

    And so, you know, I bet he didn’t get much pushback within CNN — Yeah. — to what he was doing. Like, right? And so his one thing that I thought was super weak was if I knew there’d be a grudge, and I kept saying, well, what about the thing itself? Not that the reaction.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:01

    So you do it no matter what, and if you didn’t get pushback, you’d think it was a great thing. You know, I he didn’t have a point of view on whether what he did was wrong or not, the actual thing versus the reaction. So that was interest I don’t
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:14

    think the Cuomo’s do that sort of thing. Okay. So
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:17

    he did not have any regrets. Let me just say you could hear it in his voice. He he wanted to say, you know, I I I called the code red. You remember that? I called the code red cara.
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:29

    I did it there. Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:30

    You you you’d love to hear him and Andrew sit around and talk about, you know, how unfair the world is to them. Okay. So I want I wanna talk about Elon Musk can we talk about Elon Musk and Twitter? Elon Musk. Text messages what they show.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:43

    Elon Musk, international man of diplomacy with his suggestions about Ukraine. I I wanna talk about Peter Thiel. Yeah. You know, Thiel. Peter Thiel and his activism in the midterm election, but we have to start with this story.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:56

    We have to start with Deep. The Hershel Walker story, which he sort of always knew we were going to get to this moment where Sure. Hershel Walker comes into this race with so much baggage in Mitch McConnell and the other Republicans say, we we we can deal with that. Well, we’re going to find out whether Nothing matters. I think nothing matters, chapter eight hundred and seventy nine.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:17

    This daily beast report suggesting that he paid for one of his girlfriends, abortions. They have the receipts. He is denying it vigorously. He is saying he’s going to sue the daily beast for defamation. But the real problem seems to be his son, Christian Walker, who is something of a social media TikTok star.
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:40

    How would you describe the Christian Walker? I mean, he’s he’s kinda big on social media. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:44

    Is he or is he just
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:45

    like Is he? Just asking. I I don’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:47

    know if he’s big. I I think he’s he’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:09:49

    He’s going to be, you know. He’s
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:51

    he makes a spectacle of himself. I don’t think he’s particularly he he basically yells liberals. That’s his thing. I’ve followed him a while. You know, as I told you earlier, the gays have been fully aware of Christian Walker, you know, what he was doing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:03

    He’s just he’s just one of these screamers. There’s lots of them, you know, here’s my point of view. He’s he’s somewhat entertaining, I guess, if you go in for that kind of stuff. He does this sort of yelling into the camera thing about what he’s usually liberals. It’s usually and it’s often, you know, it’s sort of like, hello, psychology in real time, like
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:20

    Well, let’s let’s get a taste of this because yet yesterday there was a lot of focus on his tweets where He says, I don’t care about somebody who had a bad past and takes accountability, but how dare you lie and act as though you’re some moral Christian upright man. You’ve lived the life of distraught and there’s a lot of all caps here, of destroying other people’s lives, how dare you. And he says every family member of Churchill Walker asked him not to run for office because we all knew some of this past every single one, he decided to give us the middle finger, air out all of his dirty laundry in public while simultaneously lying about it, And this morning, the hits just keep coming. He posted this to TikTok. Here’s it it we we just slightly edited it down, but I think you’ll get a flavor of Christian Walker on TikTok this morning.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:06

    I stayed silent as the crossities committed against my mom were downplayed. I stayed silent when it came out that my father hurts to walk around all these random kids across the country, none of whom he raised And you know my favorite issue to talk about is father absent. Surprise because it affected me. That’s why I talk about it all the time because it affected me. Family values people.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:27

    He has four kids, four different women, wasn’t in the house raising one of them. He was out having sex with other women. Do you care about family values? I was silent lie, after lie after lie, the abortion card dropped yesterday. It’s literally his handwriting in the car.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:42

    They say they have receipts, whatever. He gets on Twitter, he lies about it. Okay. I’m done. Done.
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:48

    Everything has been a lie. And so for the right to say, I’m being suspicious for saying, hey, I’m I’m done with the watch. When you all have been calling me saying, is this true about your dad. Gosh, we’re not gonna win Georgia this candidate. That’s been you.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:02

    You have no idea what I’ve been through in my life. You have no idea what me and my mom have survived. We could have ended this on day one. We haven’t. I haven’t told any stories.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:13

    I’m just saying don’t lie. Don’t lie on my mom. Don’t lie on me. Don’t lie on the lives you’ve destroyed and act like you’re some moral family, ma’am. You all just care about that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:22

    Conservatives. And then for people on the left to act as though I’m responsible for all of the things that he has done. I’ve talked about while I’ve talked about these because they’ve been close to me, because they matter to me, because I went through it, That’s why I’ve talked about it. So when you say, well, talk about your debit, I am. I’m saying this behavior is atrocious.
  • Speaker 3
    0:12:43

    Don’t come for me. You don’t have to like my wallet. You don’t have to like me. You don’t have to I’m just saying I’m done with the lies. Oh,
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:49

    well,
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:51

    that young man needs a hug as I as mother-in-law, that young man needs a big, big hug for an extended period of time. Obviously, he does talk about father issues if he follow him. Mhmm. You know, and of course, it’s not even veiled. I mean, it’s a constant.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:04

    And you know who exactly who was talking, but he seems I wouldn’t say obsessed with it. He’s he he talks about absent fathers. Almost every other couple of screamfast he does. And that’s what that’s his tone. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:15

    You know, he has a lot of feels and in your face that kind of stuff. And, you know, unfortunately, in a lot of ways, is that these social media tools provide us with the the inside of families, like, right there. And and and the people who want who aren’t being heard by their parents in this case, Hershel Walker, this is the way he’s talking to him in a lot of weird ways. And, you know, he’s also very he wants to be a celebrity. There’s that element of that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:41

    He’s still in Los Angeles and he lives in Florida now because he went on about a harangued about Californian poop on the streets for a while there. To, you know, tip — Mhmm. — whatever. Okay. Fine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:50

    Then you should move. But it it it’s really I don’t know how damaging it is because they’ll say he’s he’s allowed. He’s gay. But although he says he’s not gay, but he says he sleeps with men. I I don’t even understand what’s going on.
  • Speaker 2
    0:14:02

    So they’ll try to minimize that he’s crazy. I suspect, you know, sort of like a Mary Trump kind of thing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:07

    So this I guess this is the question of whether this makes a a difference. It obviously, the national republican party is all in on Hershel Walker. They doubled down again this morning saying they’re going to aggressively fund him. Mhmm. Eric Ericsson who I think was never Hershel and then, of course, is is now, well, maybe Hershel or yes, Ra Ra Ra Hershel is having some buyers remorse, and he tweeted last night.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:31

    I’ve largely thought that Walker could pull this off despite his baggage. I’ll see what sort of response he mounts. But given the text messages tonight with Georgia Republicans, Georgia geo peers, are praying for doctor Oz to win. Walker hasn’t mounted a good response to any attack, and this is brutal, probably a k o. And then he then he followed up on that saying one notable thing here, and I think this is very revealing.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:52

    It’s not the Daily Beast story that’s gotten Georgia Republican type into the spare mode. It’s not the fact that he paid for an abortion. Mhmm. It’s Hershel Walker’s son’s Twitter thread. Yep.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:03

    It’s certain. As the admission against interest for Walker and it’s all downhill from there. So I I guess, you know, the the conventional take this morning is everybody’s going, well, it’s gonna be accessed Hollywood all over again. People are gonna be all upset about it, but then they’re gonna take a deep breath, they’re stuck with him, and they’ll rally around. What do you think?
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:21

    Sure. Yes. Of course. By the way, they knew this from the start. So let’s not pretend, like, oh my goodness.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:26

    You’re kidding. This guy is a liar. Like, I’m sorry. I mean, there are liars and everyone lies, but boy, this guy is sort of the the Olympic champion of it. And And so I think he’s just they knew that this was the case.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:39

    I’m sure they knew there was an abortion. I’m sure they knew they I’m sure there’s worse, even worse, and they just don’t care. They wanna win this seat. And cynically, because, sort of, they had other better candidates, right, to to go up against Robin Warner. But they decided not to because they’re in the throes of Donald Trump and and, you know, it’s sort of a ride or die kind of thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:15:57

    And in this case, possibly die. Right? Like, in this kind of thing. And so they they’re so cynical. If they if they if if they win with this, they’re just as fine as, you know, and if they lose, they can just blame him in all this bag.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:09

    Yeah. No. I think I think that’s a thing. And, of course, it’s ironic that Mitch McConnell, you know, who’s complained about bad candidate quality. It was actually one of the guys that enrolled over and said, okay.
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:20

    Why not Hirschler Well, I guess we have the idea to all of that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:16:23

    Well, you know, rolled over is like the party motto. Right?
  • Speaker 1
    0:16:29

    Let’s talk about Elon Musk, one of your favorite guys, and I must admit that I am obsessed. So I guess the The really in-depth question that I have for you on his deep thoughts on Russia and Ukraine, Karen, is what the fuck? What what what is going I mean, he was he’s he’s weighing in on Twitter with his own Elon Musk peace plan you know, read redo elections. Crimea formally part of Russia, Ukraine’s gonna remain neutral. Water Supply, the Crimea is assured whatever they may.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:00

    So — Yeah. — you know, the the the this four part plan did get a pretty explicit fuck off from Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:07

    Yeah. He did. But I you know what? Okay. Okay.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:11

    He just he he also mounts off on, like, he puts his palms up. I just think a lot of people got everything you says out of his mouth. Maybe it’s like just some guy sitting in a bar doing this. So it just happens to be Elon Musk, the richest man in the world or maybe not not the richest today. What do you care what he thinks about the Ukraine?
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:27

    I don’t know what it was something gonna happen. It’s suddenly it’s suddenly the secretary’s day gonna go, ah, finally, a plan. Thank goodness, Elon Musk weighed in. I mean, I think he’s very much, you know, styles himself after stark industries that
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:40

    Iron
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:41

    man. Iron man. I think he just does it. And so he just does it one I think he’s doing as a distraction because he he the man loves attention. Let’s be clear.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:49

    He loves attention. He loves to know his shit post thing. He loves causing controversy. It’s one of his pleasures. It’s one, you know, it’s what the his release fails.
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:57

    And so he just whatever he wants to weigh in on, whether it’s you know, Biden’s mean to me or, you know, what or I’m gonna be a right winger that lasted for a New York minute. Like, okay. Sure. You think it matters. It doesn’t matter what he thinks of Ukraine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:11

    There’s no way he’s gonna influence anything. And he’s just running his mail. What?
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:15

    Mean, the guy is the richest man in the world. And he he he may and then, like, tomorrow, he may own Twitter. Yeah. Okay. So that maybe that matter.
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:22

    Yeah. And
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:23

    No. Twitter’s a very small business, shitty business. Right? In both the left and the right media over index, the power of it, it doesn’t it it it it worked for Donald Trump for sure. It was a very powerful medium.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:34

    But in general, I don’t think there’s gonna be any any precautions. Look, he’s caught in a d in two weeks or less than two weeks. He’s gotta go to court and he’s gonna lose a battle. Probably most people feel. I I think he’s gonna lose.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:47

    And
  • Speaker 1
    0:18:47

    so They’ll make him by Twitter.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:49

    Well, they’ll something. I don’t know if they’ll make him by Twitter. He’s either gonna have to, you know, not buy it and hand over some dough, the difference between what he offered for it and what it’s worth right now, or he’s gonna have to buy it, or he’s gonna have to keep in court. It’s not gonna work. He’s not he’s gonna lose.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:05

    No matter what. I wanna
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:06

    stick with with what makes this guy tick. He’s the richest man in the world. He has all of these amazing companies. And so why is he not content with building Teslas and sending large rocket penises into space? Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:20

    Not a problem. What’s your facehos? What is your facehos? What is the penis rockets?
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:24

    They’re all penis rockets.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:25

    Yes. True. So where but the one who I actually looks like a penis because Jeff Bezos is the most addictive of that. Yes. Jeff
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:33

    Bezos do that because he was trying to compare himself with I mean, what what is going on with these guys?
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:38

    Well,
  • Speaker 3
    0:19:38

    that’s about all the story. It’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:40

    like does every billionaire have to become a twelve year old boy again? It’s like, you go, I have a gazillion dollars. I wanna be a twelve year old boy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:47

    Hey, you said have to become? Do you think they’re not that? Like, they’ve already they don’t have to become. They better. You know, here’s the deal.
  • Speaker 2
    0:19:54

    He he really is interested in rocket a lot of a lot of people are, you know, not just boys but girls. And so is Jeff. Jeff has always been interested in space since I’ve known him. And so he’s got the money. And so what’s he gonna do?
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:06

    Buy a sports team. How boring. Right? Or or Pierre Omidyar who started eBay at one time. He’s like, do I have to buy a sports team now?
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:14

    I hate sports. So we bought a hotel chain. Right? And so what do you do with all that money? You can give it away like Bill Gates is trying to do or or you could do buy a yacht?
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:23

    How many yachts can you buy? How many planes can you buy? These people have wealth that’s obscene. It’s an obscene amount of wealth. And so I think one, they do have a rivalry.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:32

    A hundred percent I had Elon on stage two years ago, I guess. Where all he did is make penis rocket jokes the whole time against Jeff Bezos, which is when he it amuses him. And in the case of
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:41

    Oh, it addresses me too. So
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:43

    Yes. It
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:43

    pleases him. I guess, this is me being a twelve year old boy.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:46

    But I think Elon really does behind all of this. You know, in a lot of ways, he reminds me a little bit of Kanye West. You can’t ignore Kanye’s brilliance in terms of music and everything else. If you if you step away from all the crazy stuff he says, He’s quite the artist. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:01

    He is
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:01

    But he is quite a
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:03

    He’s he’s mentally challenged, I think. Yeah. It’s it’s nicer by putting it. But Yeah. Then he does.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:08

    He has definite issues. You could I’m not a doctor, but you could see he’s struggling with mental illness. So I think Elon has this part of him that I love, which is the visionary part. I think what he’s done around SpaceX is really astonishing landing up a rocket on a platform and they position
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:23

    their
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:23

    way. That is that is astonishing. Tesla, Donache. It would be
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:27

    enough for most. Yes,
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:28

    but it’s not. He’s a restless, I would say speaking of daddy issues. There’s very clear daddy issues there. Walter Isaacson, I know he’s working on a has been spending a lot of time with him working on his a book about him and has been with him. And I think there is going to be a big daddy issue section would be my guess.
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:44

    His father, as you saw, he also was having many children at a late age, very tumultuous childhood. Brilliant. And so restless. Also a bit of asperger, I mean, you could see it there if you spend time with him. I don’t know if he’s diagnosed, he’s talked about mental illness.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:00

    Also, we talked about being bipolar. I don’t know if he’s been diagnosed. He himself has said that. And so, I think he’s just a restless person, and some of it manifests in wonderful things. And when he’s in a cycle, many people close to him told me this when he’s in a cycle of manikeness.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:15

    He gets like this. This is what he does. And so I don’t know. I I don’t really care what he thinks the Ukraine. I think it’s a distraction from Twitter.
  • Speaker 2
    0:22:22

    What’s what’s about to happen to him, which is gonna have to hand over billions of dollars. Well,
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:26

    let’s let’s let’s talk about this case in in Delaware because last week, they had to release hundreds of pages of these text messages and emails to and from us. And, you know, Charlie Warzel wrote about this in the Atlantic. He said that what’s so illuminating is how unimpressive, unimaginative, and sickophantic, the powerful men in Musk’s contact appear to be He quotes one social media executive who tells him, everyone looks so fucking dumb. There’s no strategic thought or now it’s just emotional and done without any real care. So what was your take?
  • Speaker 1
    0:22:54

    I mean, you deal with these guys all the time to sort of sell this varnish behind the behind the — Yeah. — and that’s like, no.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:00

    At what I said is welcome to my fucking world. Like, this is what they’re like. I’ve seen this. I know what they’re like. They make decisions emotionally.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:07

    They make them without thinking, without due diligence. I’ve talked about this over and over about Facebook. They’re like, why did they do that? I said, do you think they thought about it? You think they are behind the scenes with their brilliance.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:16

    They give it. They don’t think about it. They don’t. They’re they are careless people, you know, from the Great Gas. Be like Tom and Daisy, they’re careless.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:23

    They don’t care what they break. And so I don’t mean they’re always malevolent, not always. They just are careless. Many years ago, when I was covering Facebook, they showed me face live for the first time. And I said, well, what happens if a bully gets it or someone who’s a killer who wants to shoot people and broadcast it live?
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:39

    And They’re like, you’re a bummer, Kara, and I’m like, oh my god. You didn’t think of it. Right? You didn’t think of it. Did you?
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:45

    And so I think in a lot of ways, you know, Elon is the same way. This, you know, that and the people around him. First of all, he’s the world’s richest man, so a lot of people wanna be get on his boat or plane or train or whatever. Secondly, they can benefit from him. One of the things I’ve talked to him about, he he didn’t like something I said, and I said, I don’t work for you.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:02

    Said, I don’t get money from you. The most I get is an interview, and that’s pretty much it. That’s and I I’m very clear that I want that. And and I so I said, so in a lot of ways, I’m your best friend. Because I’m not I’m telling you the truth about stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:15

    And we often get into beeps about that because of it. Over time, we’ve had periods where we don’t speak to each other. And so I think these people have to lick him up and down all day. They have to tell him he’s right. And actually, what I was really struck by, and again, this is the Elon I do know, he was quite, like, please stop doing that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:32

    No thing. He was very controlled in those texts, very much so, and very reasonable. And that’s the Elana I like better. You you could see that. He doesn’t come off looking bad.
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:43

    All these sick offense too.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:44

    One of the things that kind of shook me was, you know, any residual faith you have in, you know, capitalism or the wisdom of these, you know, business executives, you know, you constantly hear this drumbeat. You know, if we we need more business men in government or people who would run government like business. And then you look at Larry Ellis, and the CEO of Oracle, big big deal, who’s, you know, you know, expressing interest in being part of a Twitter deal until Musk asks them, so roughly what dollar size? And this is the text from from the CEO of Oracle, a billion or whatever. You recommend it would be lots of fun.
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:15

    And then Musk responds whatever works for you. I’d recommend maybe two billion or more, and then Ellison responds. Well, since you think I should come in for at least two billion, I’m in for two billion. So okay. That was You guys lost money just being thrown around by text messages and, like, does not appear there was a lot of due diligence?
  • Speaker 1
    0:25:32

    No. None. Between the two? And then you get
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:35

    the Say none. What’s less than none? Less than none? No. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:38

    Well, look, look, if you and I were like, can you give me a hundred bucks? Yeah. Sure. Whatever. I guess, you know, whatever.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:44

    I’m starting a bar. Oh, here’s a thousand bucks. Like, you know what I mean? That’s what it’s like with these people, and they don’t do it. Sam Bankman, Fried, I was sort of surprised because he’s somewhat of a thoughtful person.
  • Speaker 2
    0:25:53

    He’s a he has a crypto exchange. FTX. And he was like, he’ll fly out there, and then he’ll give you five billion. I mean, that’s what they’re like. That’s what they’re like.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:02

    That’s how they’d make decisions on the fly. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. They make dozens of them, and one of them always works. Right? So it doesn’t really matter if the other eleven suck.
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:12

    I mean, that’s really how they think about
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:14

    it. So since we are in this era in which we have mean, I I I do feel at some point that we live in a society where we have this handful of billionaires who just have this outsized impact And, of course, we can’t call them oligarchs because that’s that’s that is only in
  • Speaker 2
    0:26:34

    Russia, but Let’s start. Yeah. So
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:36

    let let let’s start with let’s talk about Peter Teal. Yeah. So CNBC the other day reported that the deal has told his deep pocketed political network that he’s done helping J. D. Vance, who he thinks is gonna win in Ohio.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:48

    I mean, he’s raising money for Blake Masters. He’s he’s all over the place. He’s got his fingers in this year’s midterms and a rather extraordinary way. So — Mhmm. — you know the guy.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:00

    What’s making him tick? And where do you think this goes? Because we’re at this moment where We think of the eighteen nineties where, you know, guides would sit back and, you know, smoke their cigars inside who is gonna sit in the United States and, well, now we have the Silicon Valley guys who go, yeah, I’d like this doobie j d Vance to be United States senator, and I can make that happen and and may just make it happen and then he goes well I can make Blake Masters a senator in Arizona. So — Mhmm. — what’s Peter Teal up to?
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:27

    Well, I
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:27

    get
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:28

    He, of course, he’s been interested in politics since he’s been in call. I mean, this guy has been very or entity. He also doesn’t like government. He sort of wants to burn it all down. I I used to talk to him.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:38

    He doesn’t talk to me more because I did just that. I’d asked him exactly questions and he’s way too smart to answer them at this point. There’s no winning for him talking to me, for example. But in the time I did spend with him. There’s a great video of he and I arguing for fifteen minutes on the Internet about a wide variety of things.
  • Speaker 2
    0:27:55

    And he didn’t like it. You know, he didn’t like it. And he’s again, he’s quite brilliant in in the many ways.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:00

    I love it. Thin skin.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:02

    A very thin skin. And and that’s okay. It’s not thin skin. He’s just smart. He’s like, what do I need this bullshit?
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:07

    What I need to talk to this lesbian for. And, you know, that’s how he makes calculations. Others are more like, maybe I’ll need her later, maybe she could hurt me. He thinks he, I can’t. And so fine, whatever.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:17

    But in in his case, I think he’s been very political from the beginning. He’s been very conservative. He also is gay. There was a big case about that as you recall. I think he wants to be politically relevant.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:28

    And so and he has the means and money to do so, whether it’s suing Gawker out of existence, which he did. Or doing this. And so he wants to put people into government that will minimize government. He’s like the ultimate. He doesn’t just like conservatives or like less government.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:42

    Right? He hates government. He doesn’t want any government. He thinks capitalism is the way to go for everything. And if you read his books, you should read there’s they’re quite fascinating, and he’s quite brilliant.
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:53

    And so you read them and you’re like, oh, that’s the problem. Just read his books. He says what he wants to do. Like, he does it over and over again. And so it’s not surprising that he finds candidates and applies money to them just like he wouldn’t investment.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:05

    And some of them work out, like, he had a lot of bad investments, and then he had Facebook, so hardly mattered. Right? And so, Masters looks like a pretty bad investment. Vance is a pretty bad investment. Probably, we’ll see if that’ll work.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:17

    But he certainly should be winning a lot more. I mean, I would say it’s a failure because he’s not killing it. Right? He’s not he’s not dominating. Largely because a lot of the stupid things that come out of his mouth.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:27

    By the way, I met him many years ago when he this was not the person I met. He’s changed rather dress
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:32

    As did he before times, J. D. Vance.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:34

    Yeah. I talked to Steve Case about that recently, and it’s coming out in a podcast. But who he worked for Steve Case, and let me just tell you, I don’t know who that person is, the person who’s whatever people evolved into whatever they wanna evolve into. And so I think I think he’s being very smart. He’s like, I’m gonna put my money behind certain people and see what works.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:51

    And then after that, he has a lot of influence. If he gets them into place, they certainly owe him, right, on some
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:57

    point. Yeah.
  • Speaker 2
    0:29:58

    And so, you know, he wants to get the people with the mentality that he has, which is that get the government out of the way. And by any means necessary, including election denial.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:07

    But is that is that really what J. D. Vance is running on? I you know, I I’m hearing all of these national conservatives who are saying we ought to use the power of government to reward our friends punish our enemies — Well,
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:18

    they’re gonna do that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:19

    — break down the wall between church and state, which is weird to have — Yeah. — coming from candidates supported by Peter Teal. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:26

    Yes. But he’s he he doesn’t care. You you imagine that he has That’s the white noise. Wait. Wait.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:32

    Oh, that’s HIPAA credit goal. You think they take think for a minute? No. The goal is to have power. That really is the goal.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:37

    And so by any means necessary is how these people think. And they’re they think that way in business too. Like, look, Facebook isn’t really bathing itself in glory over how it’s managed its business. Is it? You know, he doesn’t care.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:49

    He doesn’t care. I did. That’s where we we me and a lot of the Facebook people. I’m like, don’t you care the impact? And they don’t.
  • Speaker 2
    0:30:56

    They don’t care. They absolutely he did for sure. And he and he thinks it’s overblown. He’ll say that. I’ve seen I’ve seen him talk about that and and then it’ll sort itself out in capitalism will sort itself out.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:07

    And I don’t think he cares about collateral
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:09

    damage. So if you’re sitting in a room with a Facebook people or or folks like this and you say this is really bad, this is strawing the fabric of our culture and democracy. What do they look at you? Like like, you’re the
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:19

    Oh, please. Kara, you’re being dramatic. Come on. It’ll work itself out. Well, I’m like, yeah, I guess it will to your advantage.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:27

    And, you know, I I look, at least Peter Teal, and I do think he’s quite brilliant. Is honest about what he says. He says it out loud. He doesn’t say that’s not what he wants. And a lot of them sort of, like, you’ll hear it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:39

    Like, we’re trying to change the world. Whenever I hear that, I’m like, oh, no. No, please don’t. We’re trying to make the world better. You know, Facebook was full of those bromides that are just, you know, endless bullshit, but you know, they want to grow at all costs.
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:51

    And and you start to you have to really study these people like Mark Zuckerberg. Do you know who is I mean, it’s well known, but do you know who his hero is? To the historical hero —
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:00

    Yes. —
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:00

    Augusta Caesar. Augusta Caesar. Now, I’m a very good student of history. I know Augusta Caesar did bring on Pac’s Romana. But it came at an enormous cost.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:09

    And Mark would prefer to focus on packs from mona versus all the dead people. So
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:14

    Yeah. And and and the end of the republic, etcetera.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:17

    That is Correct. So,
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:18

    you know, Peter Till may be honest, but he’s also willing to lie to advance his agenda in terms of the election denial. Right? So but again, that’s just a a means to an end. That’s just whatever whatever it takes. So What does it
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:29

    take? Like, you know, is that so different from Liav Water talking about Willie Horton and putting that out? They knew he
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:35

    was a he was a he but he was a professional hatchet man.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:38

    That’s correct. Yes. So why do why do you imagine these are any different? They they will who cares is what I think they’re operating like? Once we get to power, that’s all that matters.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:46

    And I think they don’t care. That that’s the problem with the laugh. They’re like, can you believe it? Often often often with the laugh. Which drives me nuts.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:54

    It’s like, can you believe they’re doing that? I’m like, yeah, I can believe it. Like, it’s same thing with Trump. Can you believe he stole these documents? Yes.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:01

    I believe it. Like, But you’ve been paying attention. Correct. And so
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:06

    Have you been sit
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:06

    there. And that’s a real problem on the left. Like, all this righteous indignation, stop it. They’re like this. Like, guess what?
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:12

    You these people This is how they are. Stop being shocked and surprised by a a grab for power and start actually shutting back. I I don’t even understand why anyone surprised that Trump does
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:23

    Well, you mentioned something in in passing that I think was is is a big story, but perhaps underappreciated, particularly in the with the question of where does Peter Tiel go in the future. One of his great accomplishments was to drive Gawker out of business by financing this massive lawsuit. And you know that, you know, I mean, on the right, there is this sort of you know, every once in a while, there’s the, you know, justice Thomas has suggested that we repeal protections against the LIBOR law. Right? You know, New York versus Sullivan and everything.
  • Speaker 1
    0:33:53

    So clearly, in his mind, the I can use my power to destroy media outlets or critics out there that I don’t like or that
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:03

    I think
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:04

    have hurt me.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:05

    Yeah. Someone was recently like, why didn’t you do sub stack and make a lemon And you think I’m going on in the Savannah with those people? They’ll just stick me. You kidding. I’m staying back here in the trigies.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:14

    You know, that’s what I think. They’re like, they couldn’t do that to you. I’m like, oh, no. They could, like, ruin me financially if I get anywhere where I’m exposed like that. I was like and they’re like, are you scared?
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:23

    I’m like, I’m not scared of them. I just understand the environment we live in. Look, the issue I had with that, he didn’t have a problem with Gawker or whatever. And lots of people sue, and Trump just sued CNN today, whatever. Whenever that’s gonna go nowhere fast.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:36

    But still, it’s nuisance. It’s a nuisance for Santa. It’s costly. It’s then they have the money, I guess. But still, most people don’t.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:42

    And so one of the things that I think about is, like, in that lawsuit, I
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:46

    don’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:47

    mind that he sued him, but I mind that he did it secretly. Right? Like, if he so matters, if he so matters, if he’s like Peter Teal,
  • Speaker 1
    0:34:53

    a financings, and he’s isn’t
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:54

    wrong what they did, then come out into the light and say what you’re doing. That’s my issue. With that, the secretiveness of it, that he was the thunder of it. And later, he only came out of the dark when he won. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:05

    If he had lost, you’d never know it was him. And they also didn’t have to do all of it. Like, they took down the whole company. And so that’s how they think. Like, you know, Sportsters.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:14

    Do you think that they’ll come after you someday? I
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:17

    don’t know. No. Probably not. I’m not gonna be anywhere where they’re gonna be able
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:20

    to. Well, see, the reason I bring this up is because, you know, I I can imagine five years from now having this conversation, people going, like, can you actually believe that they’re trying to put all these media outlets out of business that they’re, you know,
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:31

    paying us They’re paying
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:32

    they’re picking off the low hanging fruit that anybody that says anything. Correct. And and the reality is anybody in the media knows that you don’t have to win a lawsuit like this. To do a lot of damage. You just file the lawsuit.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:45

    You can bleed them dry if you’re not the New York Times or the Washington Post or Sydney. You can bleed you know, smaller outfits or individuals if you were out in the submanib lead you dry just on the legal bills. And and I I think they’ve been signaling for some time that that’s going to that’s coming. And yet, I think it’s gonna come as a shock when people realize, hey, when Donald Trump sues, how much is he asking for from CNN? Like, four hundred and fifty billion dollars or something like that?
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:12

    Yeah. He’s incompetent. He’s incompetent. Like, here’s if you directionally, this is where it’s going. He happens to be confident.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:18

    Right? Same thing with the stealing of the documents or whatever he does. It’s always like, oh, well, that’s the direction, but, boy, is he an idiot? Ways. Same thing like the TikTok stuff was really interesting directionally.
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:31

    That’s the way it’s going executionally. He’s always executionally incompetent. And so But you I pay a lot of attention to the direction, you know,
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:39

    of what people are doing. So on Peter Teal, I think the most interesting story about Teal is the new conservative dating app. Called the right stuff. It only allows for heterosexual dating, which, I don’t know, did you find that interesting? I just I
  • Speaker 2
    0:36:55

    You know, again, left goes into a Tuesday. I don’t care. Go for it boys. Let’s enjoy yourselves. I hope you have many children.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:01

    That’s right. But
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:02

    it’s invite only at the moment. And there’s actresses in in an ad for the cider bemoaning the state of modern masculinity. And Yeah. And apparently, they’re looking for alfa nails who want children. What and apparently, you you have to answer like a little survey like, what did you think about January six?
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:19

    Then I mean
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:20

    What what is the why
  • Speaker 1
    0:37:21

    is he doing this? Like
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:23

    Because he’s just tweaking liberals and whatever. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t he doesn’t care. It’s a it’s a it’s a comma. It’s like a it’s a nothing burger for them.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:31

    And so they’re just doing it for attention. They’re doing it to just drive people crazy. Maybe it’s a business. Who knows? Like, none of these none of these right wing social media sites.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:41

    It’s done particularly well. Right? In fact, you know, true social rimes itself into a wall every five minutes from a financial point of view. But, you know, if they scream loud enough, it’ll — Good. — track attention.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:51

    I don’t care. There’s Jay Day. You know, you ever see the Jay Day. Those are my favorite. Oh, they had a really good ad.
  • Speaker 2
    0:37:56

    About finding people. So whatever, there’s a farmer’s one, there’s a cowboys one, I think.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:01

    It’s the wonder of modern technology.
  • Speaker 3
    0:38:03

    Okay. Here’s
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:04

    something that I find a little bit puzzle. Maybe it just did need to have to disaggregate it all. So we’re talking about text influence on the midterms and, you know, the outsized influence they have. And yet, right now, one of the hot button issues on the right is going after big tech. The — Yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:38:21

    — the loadings for big tech and Republicans who claim that we get back into power and we’re coming for you. So how is this playing out in Silicon Valley? How does Silicon Valley? See the political landscape and the possibility of seeing a significant ideological blowback.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:39

    I think they’re coming for their money, for donations. That’s what they’re coming for. You know, I’ve been told Kevin McCarthy’s meeting with all of them saying if you get back in power, we’ll be able to you know, most of the stuff that’s in regulatory is from Amy Klobuchar and others. Including with Chuck Grassley, that antitrust bill. But it’s been mostly bipartisan, but the right has a real obsession with the censorship issue.
  • Speaker 2
    0:38:59

    So they’re just in its good the base, I guess, and they keep banging on that drum that they’re my favorite part is Josh Holly saying that he’s been censored when he never shuts up. Yeah. That’s always
  • Speaker 1
    0:39:08

    a lot of that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:09

    Wow. You never shut up. How is it that you’ve been censored? Do you have plenty of places to talk? It’s called the web.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:14

    The web you can go on anytime. It’s this free thing that the government invented. All they’re interested in is this is a power center they don’t control, so they’ll seek to control it, but they don’t mind it being there. I’ll tell you that. They don’t mind it being there at all.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:25

    And they’re rich people, so pay money. That kind of thing, so we’d be paid off for not attacking you. I think it’s mostly an election thing. And in some cases, Some people do really think, and I agree in that regard. Look, I thought Trump should be thrown off Twitter.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:39

    I wrote about it a long time ago. But I don’t love that two people made the decision to throw them off Facebook and Twitter. I don’t love that. That’s really problematic. And so I would I I don’t quite know how to figure it out.
  • Speaker 2
    0:39:51

    I just think it’s very much a problem of concentration of power. And that’s any Democrat Republican should be concerned with the concentration of power among a very few group of people and a very small very small group of companies, and that should be the concern. Of course, it’s not. It’s a creamy political issue. You know, every time Ted Cruz opens his mouth, one of the more incompetent politicians in modern life.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:13

    And it’s just says things just to be, you know, just to see the reaction. He doesn’t care about actually figuring out how to reign in power and legislate these powerful companies in a correct way because they are the most powerful companies in history. There is no legislation governing them. There’s no privacy bills. There’s no antitrust bills.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:30

    That there’s no agency. Everyone has an agency, the FAA, the FCC, the you know what I mean? Not tech. Mhmm. Think about that.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:38

    Think about that. And then the FTC is underwhelm, under resourced, and so is total, the SEC, all of them. The SEC, the DC. And even if you don’t like big government, they’re outgunned by these people in terms of lawyers and lobbyists and everything else. And so I think what’s really important to think about is what’s good for everyone, what’s there’s no good for big companies to consolidate.
  • Speaker 2
    0:40:59

    Even if you like them, I like Apple, I use all their products, but they have control over apps. In their ecosystem. I like Amazon. I use it, but boy, are they dominating online commerce? And what does that mean for people who wanna be on that platform?
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:13

    Should they be able to sell? These are all, like, non partisan issues. These are about power. But
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:18

    you would think No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:19

    I think I think they’re not gonna go after anybody. They’re gonna I think they’re gonna run their mouse and do nothing. Now Trump did make moves around TikTok. I just interviewed the COO of TikTok. Directionally correct.
  • Speaker 2
    0:41:32

    You know, but it can be fixed. How can we do it so that Chinese government doesn’t have control over it? That’s an easy. It’s not easy, but it’s not it’s within the realm of non partisan good idea, but instead they had to make it into a political issue.
  • Speaker 1
    0:41:45

    So speaking of face book. You’ve talked and written a lot about Cheryl Sandberg. Yeah. The meta chief operating officer, author of Lean In She’s stepping down at Facebook, and she’s gearing up to testify in this big Cambridge Analytica trial. So Give me a sense of just give me a post mortem look at that at that Cheryl Sandberg and and her role that she plays.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:09

    Well, I have asked her to talk to me. I have talked to her on a number of occasions. Right now, she’s in a period of not wanting to talk to Kara. I know her very, very well. I have a lot of Gardener in many ways.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:19

    I think she’s one of the top business people around in in the country, not just in Silicon Valley. At the same time, I think she was compromised and went along with a lot of stuff and was responsible for a lot of stuff at Facebook that really was problematic and denied it. Right? Denied it. Just denied that there was any kind of thing.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:36

    So I think she’s gonna have a very difficult time. I years ago when her husband died, and let me just say her husband was a friend of mine. Mhmm. He died suddenly of a metabolism, I think, in his heart. In any case.
  • Speaker 2
    0:42:47

    Wonderful entrepreneur, wonderful guy. I think if if he had lived, she would have left Facebook and probably would right now be secretary of state, you know, or treasury secretary or something like that. Very competent. Like, she worked for Larry Summers. If you recall, she’s just got a really really sharp.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:04

    She would have been very good at it. And instead, she stuck around at Facebook because Mark was lovely to her after her husband died, and she tarnished her reputation. Now, the question is, can she revive it? Lots of people do. Bill Gates, you know, he well, now he’s reparnished again because of the obscene stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:20

    But but he in general, he was sort of Darth Vader and then he became the great philanthropist. You can you can return and shift your your thing. So I think what you’ll probably do is She was gonna run for office even though she denies it. I think she very much wanted to run for office. I think she probably could not run for office now at this moment, largely because of the Facebook stuff.
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:40

    And she’s a woman because because women get to get blamed for a lot longer than men do, men get forgiven a lot easier than women in politics. And so I think she probably won’t run. I think what she should do is do an enormous amount of philanthropy — Mhmm. — and not try to get attention. Right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:43:54

    Like, Mackenzie, she needs to Mackenzie’s got it, you know, that kind of thing. When you just give money, you just do good, you build a base of good acts, and then she can, I think, probably return to public life. If she does a hand wavy look at me kind of thing, I think it’s a big mistake. I I would save this to her face. I think she’s just gotta give money, give time — Mhmm.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:14

    — make efforts around issues that are important to her, like planned parenthood and other things she’s already been involved with.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:19

    So, Kara Swisher, I’ve gone through about half the things I wanted to talk to you about. I’ll have you back on. Thank you so much for coming on the bulwark
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:26

    pond. No problem. This has been a great interview. What a thoughtful and sentiment interview. I always like talking substitutable.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:31

    Well, thank you. Kara is the host of the new podcast which you definitely should check out on with Kara Swisher and cohost of the Pivot pod Cass also an editor at large of New York Magazine. And and the new on with Cara Swiss who comes out twice a week?
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:43

    Yes. Twice a week. Yeah. We have some really good ones coming up. We’ve had some great ones.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:47

    But we we have a lot coming up that are great.
  • Speaker 1
    0:44:49

    Am I absolutely insane for doing this every day? No. I mean, would would you advise some young person hate Don’t do it every day. Do it like — No.
  • Speaker 2
    0:44:59

    — do it every day. Do it twice a day and twice no. Every day and twice on Sunday. Frequency is really important building relationships with your audience. I think it’s fine.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:06

    I do it. Well, let me ask you a question. Do you like doing it?
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:09

    I do. I do like doing it because as you understand, this is a great opportunity to to talk to
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:14

    interested in smart
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:14

    people every single day. And I do think
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:16

    Unless you’re an asshole and then that’s a problem. But let me just
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:19

    Well, that’s been a problem for me for years. So
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:21

    If you like what you’re doing, You should do it every day. If you don’t, like Steve Jobs had a great quote when he was thought he was sick and he came back and did this amazing speech at Stanford. If many days pass, you don’t like what you’re doing, you gotta stop doing it. But at the opposite, if you love what you do, keep doing it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:35

    Kara, great talking with you. Thank you. The Bowler podcast is produced by Katie Cooper with audio production by Jonathan Siri. I’m Charlie Sykes. Thank you for to meet today’s Boardwalk podcast, and we’ll be back tomorrow.
  • Speaker 1
    0:45:47

    We’ll do this all over again. Yep.
  • Speaker 2
    0:45:55

    You’re worried about the economy. Inflation is high. Your paycheck doesn’t cover as much as it used to, and we live under the threat of a looming recession. And sure, you’re doing okay, but you could be doing better. The
  • Speaker 1
    0:46:05

    afford anything podcast explains the economy and the market detailing how to make wise choices on the way you spend and invest.
  • Speaker 2
    0:46:12

    Afford anything, talks about how to avoid common pitfalls, how to refine your mental models, and how to think about how to think. Make smarter choices and build a better life. Afford anything wherever you listen.
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