Ever since she "insulted her way into the mail room" at the Washington Post, telling an editor there she could do better than another reporter "with my eyes closed," Kara Swisher's career has been a lesson in strategic combat.
Bespectacled, nerdy, courageous and often hilarious with her blunt truth-telling, Swisher has done as much as any journalist to expose tech's "bro culture," the subject of her talk at TechfestNW next month.
She has punctured Silicon Valley's "juvenile" white male "tantrums" and made Mark Zuckerberg sweat. Literally. Her 2010 interview with Zuckerberg and fellow Recode founder Walt Mossberg is legend.
For years, she's called out the social media giant for eluding its role in "protecting our democracy." Facebook's proved a shifty target, she says.
Early this year, she took her swagger and remarkable access to the tech elite to TV—she is now hosting a series on MSNBC that looks at how tech is impacting our lives.
Few have covered the issue of sexual harassment and inclusivity (or lack of) in the world of tech as honestly, or aggressively as Swisher, whose podcasts reveal a penetrating interviewing style.
"Believe me, sexism is rampant in Silicon Valley," Swisher said in 2016. "sexual harassment is rampant in Silicon Valley in a lot of places you wouldn't imagine it is. . . ."
As to what is holding up reform?
"Because they're fucking lazy. I don't know how else to put it. "
But, she added, "Unfortunately for [tech companies] right now, the most powerful tech reporters happen to be women at this point."