On the latest episode of Pivot, Recode’s Kara Swisher was joined by a guest co-host, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. They talked about the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the upcoming HBO documentary about Michael Jackson Leaving Neverland, Jussie Smollett’s alleged hoax — and also why Dowd is increasingly disturbed by Silicon Valley’s power.
“These are a group of people who think they are gods creating people and universes and things, and possibly killer robots,” she said. “You know, in some ways a lot of them are like little boys ... they talk about rockets to Mars and fast cars, you know, all these amazing things, but in other ways they’re our overlords. Although, as Barry Diller says, really, AI is the overlord, not these guys. They’re the midwives to the overlord.”
But she’s not the only one looking at the tech sector with a wary eye. Referring to Amazon’s recent retreat from a planned “headquarters” in New York City, Dowd said tech leaders like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are now being held up to harsher scrutiny by the public.
“Bezos could behave one way before, but now he sort of represents all the arrogance and ruthlessness that people have now come to associate with Bezos and Zuckerberg and people like that,” she said.
Below, we’ve shared a full transcript of Kara’s conversation with Maureen.
Kara Swisher: Hi everyone, this is Pivot from the Vox Media Podcast Network. I’m Kara Swisher. Scott’s out this week in some country, I don’t know where he is, but my friend and journalist Maureen Dowd from the New York Times is stepping in to the mic today. She’s from Washington. We’re broadcasting from Washington.
Maureen, welcome to Pivot.
Maureen Dowd: Thank you, Kara.
Thank you for doing this. Now you got a general sense of what ... You’re supposed to be Scott, but please be like a thousand times less obnoxious. That would be great.
Well, my only rule in life is do whatever Kara tells me, so...
Okay, that’s a great rule. I think everyone should do that rule. Anyway, we’re going to talk about a bunch of news stuff and things like that. Just so people, people do know who you are, but explain who Maureen Dowd is. She is a famous columnist.
I have a column at the Times, and I also have a feature in the Style section where I interview people, sometimes from Silicon Valley.
You’ve done a great ... your Peter Thiel interview was so epic.
I did Thiel, and Barry Diller, and Susan Fowler, and the 23andMe ...
Anne Wojcicki. And talked to her mother, who is a piece of work.
Esther Wojcicki. She is. She has a new book coming out.
Yeah, how to raise children.
Oh, she’ll be on the podcast.
She’s got some amazing children.
She’s great. Jaron Lanier.
Yeah, Jaron Lanier. Yes, with his book about social media. You like tech, or you’re very interested in it, right?
Yeah. I’m fascinated with it in a sort of a Mary Shelley way.
That these are a group of people who think they are creating, you know, they are gods creating people and universes and things, and possibly killer robots. You know, in some ways a lot of them are like little boys. You picture them meeting in that Palo Alto apartment where Sergey Brin, or is it just Larry Page and Elon?
I don’t know. It’s all of them, all together.
Yeah, and they talk about rockets to Mars and fast cars, you know, all these amazing things, but in other ways they’re our overlords. Although, as Barry Diller says, really AI is the overlord, not these guys. They’re the midwives to the overlord.
Yeah. When you go see them, how do they compare to Washington people? Because you sort of are steeped in this, right?
Well, that is exactly why I love talking to scientists and engineers, because you ask them a question and they give you an answer and tell you the truth. In Washington, that’s the opposite, obviously. More intensely so now in the Trump era. It’s often hard to get a straight answer out of a politician.
You like meeting with them, or seeing them.
Yeah. They think so differently, and they answer questions so differently. When you’re in Silicon Valley, you realize people in Washington think the universe revolves around them, but they’re deluded.
Right, and who does the universe revolve around?
Well, I think at the moment it revolves around Silicon Valley.
Still. And do you think that Washington’s going to get them again this time, with regulation, is that like a big ...?
I don’t know. Just in the past couple years the tenor of how we think about Silicon Valley has grown so dark. Sheryl Sandberg and the others have admitted that they don’t know how to keep control of their monsters, but you know, Congress is barely able to speak the language, so I don’t know. That obviously will change with people like AOC, who is completely fluent in social media.
Yes, she is. She is, absolutely. What is the state of Washington right now? Then we’ll get to the big story breakdowns. What is the state? You’ve been pretty tough on the Trump administration. It’s sort of moving in on Mueller now. How do you feel right now, two, three years in?
I would say the state is frenzied.
The latest is that the Mueller report might be coming out next week, so everyone is completely frenzied. It could be that the Mueller report is very disappointing to liberals who have so much invested in it. It might not be everything they’re hoping and dreaming. They might not be able to impeach Trump.
Right. What is the feelings around, this many years into the Trump administration, which seems to be one thing after the next, essentially.
Well, you know, it seems ridiculous to use the words Trump and Dickens in the same sentence.
Well, we were at Mary Shelley, so go right ahead.
Trump has an unbelievable talent for cliffhangers. In our section, in the Times Review section, they try and chart whether there is Trump fatigue. I just have absolute faith in Donald Trump that if Trump fatigue starts to set in, he will do something so self-destructive and crazy that he will grab back our attention. I’m sure today in the White House he is absolutely fuming because Michael Cohen postponed his testimony long enough that it’s going to be on the same day that he’s in Vietnam, trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Cohen is going to be talking about porn models.
Playboy models and porn stars.
Right. Got to keep those apart. What is a porn model, Maureen?
I don’t know.
It’s a job.
That’s a good question.
We don’t judge here at Pivot, just so you know.
No. There will be a split screen, which will ...
Drive him crazy.
That is the essence of what drives him crazy, yeah.
All right. Let’s get to some of the stories. This week, speaking of crazy things in Washington, you know the cable networks have all sort of made us all feel awful all the time. CNN hired Sarah Isgur, she’s a former Trump aide, she worked for Jeff Sessions, as the new political editor to help run its 2020 election coverage. She was a spokesman and senior counsel at the Justice Department for Jeff Sessions. Previously she served as deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina for her terribly failed presidential bid. She doesn’t have any journalism experience that we can understand of. What do you think about this? What do you imagine they’re trying to do there?
Well, I think she sold herself to CNN and MSNBC as someone who could help, who had deep knowledge with the Mueller report. It’s already paid off, because CNN broke the story about how the Mueller report might be coming next week. In general, I don’t believe in hiring people who have made a living trashing you.
Which she did. She called it the Clinton News Network.
Right, and I also don’t believe in hiring political operatives as journalists.
Yeah, so why does that happen? I mean, it’s like all over cable.
Well you know, this woman aside, we’re in an era when the very people who sold Sarah Palin and the Iraq war are liberal heroes on MSNBC.
She’s the least of it.
Yeah, they all are. We’re all cheering them now because they’re not awful.
Right. The liberals were so shocked when Steve Schmidt took $2 million or whatever to go work for Howard Schultz, as though he was some pure liberal just because he hates Trump.
Yeah, that’s what a friend of mine was saying. You were never nice to ...
Everyone’s washing themselves in the blood of Trump.
Yeah. Right. What does that do? What does that do to cable? How do you look at that when they do this? Does it matter? Or is it just a circus, just a ridiculous circus?
Oh, that she ...
Yeah, that she’s going to run political coverage or something.
Well, I’m sure they’ll spin it like “we all missed, in 2016, the Trump …”
I didn’t, and probably you didn’t, because we have family members who were voting.
Yes we do. We do. You and I know. Yup.
We know, but maybe their attitude will be, “Well, we have to have more diversity of outlook.” In an era when all these journalists are getting laid off, why are we hiring political operatives who trash journalists?
Yes indeed. That is the thing, and I think they might be trying to sort of thwart Trump’s calling them fake news, but I think he’ll continue to do so because it’s part of the circus, right?
Here’s one interesting tidbit. I was talking to Steve Bannon, and he said that ...
“I was just talking to Steve.” What were you, like at the coffee shop? Oh, you might be.
Well, you probably know this, but he was saying that Fox is not Trump’s favorite network, that CNN is. You know.
He loves him some Don Lemon.
Well, because yeah.
Secretly, yeah, because he has to pay more attention. He takes it more seriously, in a way, because it’s not a slam dunk.
It’s the same thing with the New York Times.
Right. Oh, he’s completely ...
Now, your publishers had a really amazing statement.
Yes. I would say that’s a win, although I guess it’s kind of ...
Yeah, we’ll get to that, but he loves the New York Times, right?
Yes. He’s obsessed with the New York Times, the same way Bush Senior was because his father was, you know, he grew up with a father reading it, and Trump did too. You know, he called us after he got elected. We were the first call.
He came over and he said we were the crown jewel.
You were at that meeting?
We were the crown jewel of journalism. He was just loving on us. He’s obsessed with Maggie Haberman, and I think he is a ...
And you too, I think, right?
Well, you know, he stopped speaking to me when my book came out and I was promoting it. It was funny, I was on the Smerconish show promoting my book, and I guess I said something negative about him, and he began tweeting that I was a wacky, neurotic dope. The funny thing is I was thinking, “Who’s up at 9:00 AM on a Saturday morning watching CNN?” Then it was him, he was the only one.
Okay. A wacky, neurotic dope.
Do you have a special nickname?
He hasn’t given me a nickname.
Do you wish you had one?
Well, according to Chris Christie, if he doesn’t give you a nickname, like he hasn’t given Nancy one, that means he respects you underneath it all.
He trashes you, but there’s some lingering ...
What would be your nickname?
[George] W. [Bush] called me Cobra.
Yeah, but no, Trump hasn’t given me one.
No. You used to know him pretty well, right? You talked to him not infrequently.
Yeah. I talked to him for 30 years.
I talked to him in 1987 when Mikhail Gorbachev came to America for the first time. He was meeting with New York businessmen, and I called Trump before he met with him. He said, “We have to be really careful. We have to be really skeptical about the Soviet Union. We can’t get rolled by them.”
Then I called him after the meeting and it’s like, “I love them. They’re amazing. They asked me to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.” The Russians were onto him so fast. It was one compliment and they had him.
Yeah, that’s it. Do you think you’d get him back if you compliment him?
Yeah. Jared told me that. Jared Kushner said if I put out two nice tweets and a nice column, or one nice tweet and two nice columns or something, he might talk to me again.
Oh my goodness. My goodness.
The other thing that you wrote about recently, I’m going to move from Trump to another one of Trump’s enemies, I guess — Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, but more importantly he is the CEO and founder of Amazon. You wrote about the demise of HQ2, and AOC and Bernie Sanders pushing them out. You had a great take on that, talk about that.
I think that we can’t look at any news story without seeing the backdrop of what’s happened, the darkening of our view of Silicon Valley, and also the fallout of no one getting punished in the financial crisis. These major things that happened in the country infect everything, elections, stories. Bezos could behave one way before, but now he sort of represents all the arrogance and ruthlessness that people have now come to associate with Bezos and Zuckerberg and people like that.
That’s why that one moment where he stood up to the National Enquirer was his one ... Well, also how he’s handled the Post are sort of heroic moments, but in general he’s part of the problem in Silicon Valley. Just his attitude.
Were you surprised that he pulled out of there? What do you think it represents?
No. Because they are still of the mindset that New York was lucky to have them rather than they were lucky to have New York.
Right. And were you surprised New York pushed back so hard?
Well, it wasn’t all of New York.
Right. It was some of New York.
I have de Blasio and Cuomo on my losers lists.
Oh, that’s true. We’ll get to that in a second, but where does it go? Do you think it’s going to have a backlash, not bringing them there?
I think that somebody had to push back. Well, part of it also was his ... The cluelessness of Amazon about the union situation in New York.
And everything else. And other things. Not fixing anything. Just coming in.
Right. I mean, I think it would have been really good for Jeff Bezos on the heels of his positive publicity about the National Enquirer if, instead of just … pulling out, he had met with our ...
Yeah, right. He had met with our Queen AOC and tried to offer some emoluments to make it work or giving back some of the money.
He can’t do it.
Yeah. He can’t do it.
What do you think of how she got this? She was one of the many people who pushed against it, but she always is the most high profile.
All the guys in my office roll their eyes when her name comes up, but I have a real soft spot for her because I have watched ...
She was a bartender when Amazon talked about going there, which was first announced this thing, which is really interesting.
I love her trajectory, but also I’ve just watched for decades while Democrats ... Democrats were too scared to even call themselves “liberals.” They’ve always been, in the language of S&M, they’ve always been the submissives. They have.
So I love her whole fierce don’t-screw-with-me attitude. I just love it. I think if she can learn her way around Washington and get things, and not be on airplanes and cows.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I’ve interviewed her. I just think she’s great. She’s not perfect, but she has the fight. Even Hillary Clinton, if Hillary Clinton had a little of that fight in the debate with Trump when he was lurking around behind her. If she had turned around and said, “Get the hell out of my frame.”
I asked her about that in an interview, and she said she should have said something.
Yes. It’s that ...
She felt like she’d get attacked if she said, “You creepy person.”
Well, that’s why she was always hamstrung. She was always sort of over-thinking and over-correcting.
You’re not her favorite, as I recall.
You’ve been tough on her.
Well, this is another thing that bugs me about Democrats, they just want you to censor and not talk about the flaws of Democrats and only talk about the flaws of Republicans, but you can kind of see what they’re doing wrong, and everyone else can see. So it would be better if they could just read the column and make a correction.
Make a correction.
So last question in this area, so there seems to be a presidential candidate every hour, a different one. How do you think about the various rollouts of all of them?
Yeah. At some point an adviser to Obama told me that Obama had already talked to 46 people, and that was five months ago.
Well, I’m running for president, Maureen.
Well, I would vote for you.
Yeah. Who do you think has done a good job in the rollouts?
I think Amy Klobuchar seems very appealing, but I think this throwing things at staffers is very problematical, more so because she does seem so appealing. It’s kind of like, “Where is that coming from?”
Right, right, right. Nobody likes a lady who throws things.
Yeah. And I love the whole Kamala Harris and Willie Brown. Willie Brown keeps writing columns about how they had this affair and he helped her get jobs, but so what. He helped Nancy Pelosi. That’s a funny ...
Women running have a whole level of ...
A whole different thing.
Different thing. So how did you like ... Who else? Was it Elizabeth Warren? Who was it this weekend, or was it Bernie Sanders?
Well, Bernie Sanders, yeah.
That’s right. Bernie Sanders.
I think I’m one of the ones who thinks Bernie Sanders and Biden had their best shot last time. I could be wrong, but I just feel like at some point you have to move on and have some fresh leadership.
That sounds like a Maureen Dowd column, I think.
I need one.
You need one. When do you have to have it by?
Tomorrow night at 7:30.
We’re here with Maureen Dowd. Welcome to the wins and fails segment of Pivot, where we get to call out all the people who are messing things up and highlight a couple people doing it right. So we’re going to do a bunch of wins and fails.
I am going to start. I’m going to do a fail. My favorite person, Tucker “Tucky” Carlson, that’s my name for him, has a leaked tape — not that kind, that would be horrible — calling Rutger Bregman, who is the historian who was on the stage at Davos who called out billionaires and suggested we should be talking about tax avoidance, a “moron,” even though it looked like Rutger Bregman was very smart. He also called him a bunch of other things. And the line that I think Rutger Bregman had that was really amazing was calling Tucker Carlson, Tucky, a millionaire who works for billionaires, and sort of just does their bidding and doesn’t talk about these issues about the wealthy being too wealthy.
This is a big move, this idea of the wealth. It’s going to hit Silicon Valley people. All kinds of people, the wealthy being too wealthy and taxing them. AOC has one, Elizabeth Warren. I just talked to her advisers on that. How do you look at that?
Again, I look at it in the larger context of the Obama administration not punishing any of the bankers.
That’s a fair point.
I think everything is stemming from this anger that that was not resolved properly.
Right, right. Do you think it has legs? Because there’s so many of these proposals.
Yeah, I do, because now isn’t it a majority of Democrats who think it’s okay, the 70 percent tax?
Lots of people, lots more people than you think. This is what Rutger Bregman was saying. More people than you think.
Well, they brought this on themselves by being pigs.
I always say, they’re so poor all they have is money. All right. Your fail?
My fail. Let’s see. I wrote down a lot of them. I gave you the split-screen one.
And also I think Cuomo and de Blasio were a fail because they couldn’t present ... They couldn’t either negotiate this thing or present this thing in a way that could ... or save this thing.
In a way that could make it work.
Because in some ways it would have been nice to have all those innovators in New York if it had been properly done. And oh, I told you I think Trump has a fail when he talks about the press and goes up against AG Sulzberger as “enemy of the people” because every time he does that our digital subscriptions jump.
Which is good.
And obviously Jussie Smollett is a fail.
Talk about that.
Because if you’re going to stage a homophobic and racist attack, I guess you shouldn’t do it with extras from your own show.
But also it might be a fail for the media. The police were just having a press conference chastising the media because we’re all so eager to believe the anti-Trump plot lines, and we have to be careful also in Covington [Catholic].
Do you remember a long time ... This is the teen who ... they’re suing the Washington Post over this. I’m not sure why they picked the Washington Post particularly over anybody else, but this idea of jumping to conclusions. Yes, I was at fault myself.
But I was thinking while I was watching this press conference, I guess the reason he did it is because he wanted a bigger salary. So it would have been better if he just read Lean In and took Sheryl Sandberg’s advice. The way to get a bigger salary is to smile at your boss during salary negotiations.
He’s not going to get any salary now. He’s going to be out of salaries. He’s definitely a fail. It’s depressing because issues around people of color and gay people are very severe in this country, for real. So to use that, and then add on to a Trump thing was just ... I can’t even think of someone who would think of doing something like that. You might joke about it ...
That show, Empire, is based on King Lear, and there are a lot of comparisons these days with Trump and King Lear. Howling at the moon in the storm.
This is so literate, Maureen. We’ve got Shelly, Dickens. You’re bringing ... We’re bringing Shakespeare in.
I think a win was these documentaries about R. Kelly and Michael Jackson.
Oh right. And the new Alex Gibney one about Theranos.
Exactly, that’s coming out. That’s in a couple of weeks.
That’s on HBO.
It’s on HBO.
There’s several of them. What do you think of these? They’re all sort of telling the tales of what occurred. The one on Jackson, I think is called Leaving Neverland. How do you look at these?
It’s interesting because my friend Maureen Oreck did some groundbreaking stories on Michael Jackson.
She did. At Vanity Fair.
Vanity Fair 20 years ago. And she would tell me at the time about the vicious reaction of Michael Jackson fans, and she’d say it would be worse the next day because the ones from Europe weighed in, you were really in trouble, and I just thought when I wrote about it last weekend ...
Tell them what you said, which I thought was great.
Well, I just was writing about the documentary and these two kids, one was 7 and one was 8 or 9 when he began abusing them. They’re now in their 40s, and when they had sons of their own and their sons are reaching that age, they have intense trauma symptoms, and they just felt like they couldn’t hide the secret anymore, even though they had backed him in testimony.
They had ...
Helped get him off.
I remember when that happened.
But because ... This was the interesting thing to me: They were in love with him. He made them fall in love with him, and also their mothers.
Yeah. The mother part was just ...
And the mothers are so scary because they are still in awe of him. They talk about how they got the limos and the credit cards and the cars and the houses and Neverland, and one mother talks about the champagne and the wine and the wine cellar at Neverland and how great it was. You’re just cringing because one mother is very proud of herself because Michael Jackson said, “just leave your son here for a year” — because he would have one child companion for a year and then he’d move on to another — and the mother said, “No, I’m not going to leave him. I’ll share him with you.” That was her idea of standing up to Michael Jackson.
Which is amazing. It’s an astonishing thing that this went on.
It’s astonishing, and it’s sort of a saga about how celebrity warps judgment, and from OJ to Bill Cosby to anything. People who are famous can get away with things.
Do you think that’s true anymore? This R. Kelly thing came out, although he’s still operating. He’s still not jailed.
Yeah. I think that continues to be true. Michael Jackson was a level of star that we rarely see anymore. Hollywood doesn’t have that many stars anymore, so it was much more intense, but yes, I think celebrity continues to warp.
To warp people.
Do you imagine all this #MeToo thing will have resonance? The Times was one of the papers that really pushed. Ronan Farrow was someone else who did that.
Yes. I think that it definitely put a lot of creeps on notice, but I don’t think anything will change in Hollywood until we have more than 1 percent of women directors on the top 100 grossing films.
Which you’ve written about.
And cinematographers. I mean, as long as those statistics remain the same, it’s very much like Saudi Arabia or the Catholic church. If you have a society that systematically excludes the hearts and brains of women, you’re going to have a sick, warped society.
Right. The Catholic Church this week. All this stuff.
Yeah. Silicon Valley, too.
Yeah. Oh, well, hello. Yeah. Exactly. You do have a warped thing.
When you think about those cultures, where is the change point from your perspective? Where do you imagine it shifting? Because Washington was like that and now it’s much more ... There’s many more women in ... Now we have Nancy Pelosi.
It took a long time, though.
It took a crazy-long time. I don’t know, I think Pelosi’s an interesting sort of emblematic figure, because when we see her wielding power in that fierce, effective way, and that’s what I was saying about AOC, I think that’s what’s really going to change the dynamic.
Although, women do that every day in the home, right? They often ...
So it needs a public thing.
Yeah, just to see little girls growing up seeing ...
It needs the coat, it needs the glasses ...
Women successfully wielding power more is what I think will change things.
On the flip side, you have Elizabeth Holmes from Theranos. She doesn’t represent all women, but it certainly is disappointing.
There’s this amazing new story in Vanity Fair by Nick Bilton talking about how, even when she was going down, she didn’t think she was going down. So, she got some Siberian Husky named Balto as a symbolic gesture about the Siberian Huskies, who in 1925 brought the antitoxin in Alaska for diphtheria.
Right, he did.
You’re thinking, “Oh, my god. This lady is so bananas.”
Yeah, she showed up at an event. She shows up at events. I see her.
And she has another startup?
Yeah. I see her at events, I do.
What kind of startup could she have?
I don’t know. I just move quickly, faster.
Yeah, but you were on to her.
Well, no, I wasn’t. I just didn’t cover her.
You knew something was weird.
Luckily, Recode doesn’t cover health care.
Like, didn’t have a reporter. But I just found it ... I never put her onstage. I didn’t. It was a weird feeling. I had a big argument with Bob Iger about it because he was like, “You should put more women onstage like that.” And I was like, “I don’t know, it’s something ...”
That’s the one part of the new documentary, two things I would have liked to see more of. I would like to see the explanation of her strange, deep voice that she put on.
I think it’s not real.
And I would like to see more about how she kind of ensorceled all these older guys.
Yeah. What’s with that? Weird.
Even Jim Mattis. That was a disappointment.
I know, all of them, all of them. It was amazing.
And even [George] Shultz.
Well, Shultz and the grandson, that to me was ...
Well, he was so smitten with her that he couldn’t see his grandson was telling the truth.
Yep, yep. It was a really ... it was a strange story and I don’t where it’s going to go. She’s still under, possibly under indictment and things. It could get worse for her, which is really interesting.
But you know, in Silicon Valley, a lot of the people like, look, Travis Kalanick has his thing. Everybody gets to come back, despite all kinds of problems. In some cases, it’s just a regular fail like what happened with Apple and Steve Jobs, and sometimes it’s like, “Wow, you’re back.”
”Here you are again. How did you ... We thought you stayed down.” You know what I mean? But they don’t stay down.
That’s your motto, right?
Yeah, stay down! Right? I told Maureen that.
I’m using that.
Yeah, stay down. When you are you going to stop? Stay down. I think it’s a good motto.
All right, so now we’re going to finish up in talking about predictions, Maureen. Scott, a few [years] ago, he famously predicted that Amazon was going to buy Whole Foods, pushing into the health care space, I predicted that Amazon would get out, we thought that we know so much, would get out of New York ... escape from New York.
Do you have any predictions?
I’ve got three.
How many do you have time for?
You can have as many as you want.
Okay. Speaking of Pelosi, my prediction is that she’s marshaling her forces. Congress will reverse Trump’s declaration, but he’ll veto it.
And they can’t override it.
I think that the Democrats will probably pick Milwaukee as their convention site.
Because Wisconsin will never be forgotten again.
Miami’s fun, but Wisconsin ...
Miami is fun.
Will never be forgotten.
Finally, Jared Kushner is about to announce his Middle East Peace Plan.
And Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman will be at the center of it.
The Trump administration is still going to try and revive him, even though he’s a psycho.
Yep, Mr … I call him Mohammed Bone Saw.
And there’s also a scandal brewing with Jared and Tom Barrett.
Like what? What scandal?
And Flynn about giving nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia.
Yeah, yeah. What do you think of Jared? We mentioned him earlier and honestly, what did Kelly say? That he’s playing at government?
Well, that’s the King Lear part.
You know, the mad king surrounded by all these duplicitous, scheming relatives.
Which makes Jared okay. What do you really think? That’s disturbing that he’s coming up with a Mid-East plan.
That’s like a child playing at government, it really is.
Well, yeah, I did hear him when I ... talking about bringing “deliverables” to Saudi Arabia and a chill went down my spine because that means weapons that can be used to kill children in Yemen.
Right. Right, yeah. Yeah.
So, I don’t know if ...
They don’t understand the implications of it.
They’re the ones that should be ...
Do you think Ivanka will ever run? That’s what I keep hearing when I’m here at parties.
I think she would have liked to at one point. And I think that maybe she thinks about it, but I just think it’s going to be hard for Ivanka and Jared after they get out of this administration, if they go back to New York.
I would think they would be sort of pariahs in the elite.
Oh, come on, those people. They’d eat their children.
You think so?
Yes, I do, Maureen.
I don’t have as much faith in humanity as you. I live in Silicon Valley, you know what I mean?
Well, you’re right. You’re right. Kara’s always right.
No, it’s true. Come on. Are you kidding? Wouldn’t it be great to have Ivanka versus Chelsea? Wouldn’t that be an interesting ...
I don’t know, Barry Diller seemed kind of disillusioned.
About Jared and Ivanka.
Yes, they did. In fact, this my prediction. I think Netflix will be the first streaming service to win the Oscar for best picture with Roma, which I loved and I ...
Well, they’ve got Harvey Weinstein’s old Oscar wranglers, so that would help.
Yes, exactly. Oscar wranglers. Anyway, I interviewed Barry Diller this week, speaking of which, and he said that Hollywood was over, “irrelevant.”
Ah, yeah. He told me that too, and he admires Reed Hastings more than anyone.
He did, he talked about Netflix quite a bit.
Yeah, and he just thinks that they’ve blasted Hollywood into another universe.
And what do you think? Do you think that Roma will win?
I never disagree with Barry Diller ... or you.
Yeah, yeah. I think it will. Have you seen it?
Roma? No, I don’t know.
You have to see it. Is it too long for you? Too black and white?
I used to be ... I grew up being so in love with movies and Hollywood, but they’ve been putting out such lame product for a long time, I’m not as obsessed.
Oh, really? This one, you’ll like. I think you’ll like it.
What’s the last great movie you saw, Maureen?
Mm, Shakespeare In Love?
Oh, what? Maureen, that was like, I was like a teenager then. Come on. Come on.
I don’t know. I don’t know.
You didn’t like Black Panther?
Oh, I did like Black Panther.
In love with the movie ...
I’m just not that much of a comic book person.
Right, but there hasn’t been a movie ... Go see Roma. You will like Roma.
I swear to God. It was a very good movie.
It was beautiful. You’re not going to see it, are you?
You know, I love Rachel Weisz, so I’m rooting for her.
Oh, for The Favourite?
She’s saying that, you know, all these lesbians are coming up to her and thanking her for doing these two great portrayals of lesbian relationships.
She did. She’s been a real lesbian this year.
I love her.
I love Regina King too, but I’m rooting for Rachael because she’s so cool. And she gave me the scoop about her baby, the little 007.
So, I love her for that too.
I love Bond. Do you know how much I love Bond?
I love Bond.
Do you ever notice that I put a tweet out this week that Steven Miller looks like a Bond villain.
It got really retweeted. It was amazing, it was astonishing.
Does he rise to that level, though?
Like every villain ... But then everybody sent pictures of all the Bond villains.
It’s more like Robert Shaw in ... yeah. I don’t know if Steven Miller ... Steven Miller is like the guy who fetches cigarettes for the Bond villain.
Oh, really? Oh, true, oh, true. Well, anyway, they sent pictures, and he looked like every Bond villain, which was really amazing.
All right, Maureen. Thank you so much for doing this.
Thank you, Kara.
I know that you think you’re not witty and funny, but you really are.
I would only do this for you.
I was like up all night studying.
Yeah. I have a hoarse voice.
Are you going to do my ... so Twitter Live is not something I’m going to get you to do, is it ever?
I really want you to do that. You’d be an enormous star on Twitter. Do you understand that?
But you told me I couldn’t wear make-up.
You can’t wear make-up ...
But I promised my sister I would never leave the house without mascara again.
This is one of the Trump people? This is ...
Well, yeah. Well, no. There’s a picture that’s used from Stephanopoulos’s book party where I don’t have on mascara and every time it’s in the paper she calls me and she goes, “Do not ever.” So, it’s going to be you versus my sister.
Oh, man. I would like that.
Yeah, you might win, though.
No mascara on my Twitter Live, Maureen, how about just the back of your head and you can just talk?
Maybe. All right, we’re going to do it. I just have this feeling you’d be an enormous Twitter star. Anyway, you’re ... I really appreciate you doing this. Thank you so much for taking ... and you’re much more interesting than Scott. But that’s a very low bar.
I love Scott, too.
He is great. He’s terrific.
Yeah, he’s great.
All right, it’s time to get out of here. Thank you so much for coming on Maureen, again.
I’ll be back next week. Scott will still be out, but let’s face it, I’m better without him. No, I’m not. I miss Scott.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.