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Journalist and author Kara Swisher promoted her book "Burn Book" through the Authors@Wharton speaker series at the Penn Museum on March 14.

Kara Swisher — who has been described as "Silicon Valley's Most Feared and Well-Liked Journalist" — discussed her most recent book, her career in journalism, and condemned College and Wharton grad Elon Musk in an interview with The Daily Pennsylvanian. 

Swisher spoke with the DP on March 13 after participating in an Authors@Wharton event with Wharton Professor Adam Grant. The event was the latest on her nationwide book tour for her new book "Burn Book: A Tech Love Story," which was published in February 2024. 

In an interview with the DP, Swisher shared her feelings on 1997 College and Wharton graduate Elon Musk, who called her an “asshole” in a 2022 email.  In "Burn Book," she called him the “most disappointing man in tech.” 

“During COVID he started to get very obstreperous,” she told the DP. “Maybe he was always like this but I think he's definitely become more radicalized. He has been exposed to really heinous elements of the world.

Swisher said she believes there is no redemption for Musk.

“I was actually talking about this with two people who know him well and we were all like, no, he's gone too far,” she said.

Before her career in journalism, Swisher had planned to work in the military but was unable to because she is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. 

“I tried to be in the reserves. I was too old by the time they got rid of all the ridiculous laws about gay people,” she said.

She eventually enrolled at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service where she began her journalism career as a student reporter and columnist. 

“[Journalism] kept me at Georgetown … I was going to leave and go somewhere else and because I didn't like it and the Catholic priest element of it. I'm Catholic, but I just didn't like that vibe of the campus. And I liked it because I was working on the student newspaper.”

While in college, she worked at The Washington Post and eventually moved to the Wall Street Journal where she worked with her mentor, Technology Journalist Walt Mossberg. Swisher and Mossberg founded All Things Digital, a publication focused on technology and startup company news, in 2007. It later became technology news website Re/code.

“Walt was both kind and generous in terms of giving me a chance, " Swisher said. “I wasn't nobody, but I wasn't somebody. And so it was really astonishing that he spent so much time. He saw promise in me obviously, and there was no idea that we were going to start a business together when we met.”

All Things Digital was the start of Swisher’s entrepreneurial journey. Since then, she has not been afraid to leave major news outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times for more favorable deals. 

“I don't want mama telling me what to do. I don't need that. I don't like big institutions or having to ask for approval,” she told the DP. 

Swisher has been outspoken on politics. In "Burn Book," Swisher discusses the role that former president 1968 Wharton grad Donald Trump played in pushing Silicon Valley “off the rails,” according to an opinion column adapted from the book and published in the Washington Post in February

When asked whether she would interview Trump, Swisher said she would only do so because he is running for President. There are others, however, she would not interview ever, including former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-G.A.).

 “I think they're just liars. And they're just performative liars, and it's just a waste of time,” Swisher said

“I think there is a quiet group of people who are sick of this,” she said. “It’s a shame that this entire party is going along with this nonsense, but they are so they deserve to lose, they will lose.”

Swisher currently hosts two podcasts: "Pivot" with NYU Professor Scott Galloway, and "On," both of which air two episodes a week. Additionally, she recently signed a contract with CNN as a regular contributor on The Chris Wallace Show. 

“That’s what my life's about: interesting conversations. It's interesting conversations and my kids,” Swisher said.