Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

CBS's "60 Minutes" Revisits Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (And BoomTown Takes Back "Toddler CEO" Title)

This Sunday, the CBS television news magazine “60 Minutes” returns to Facebook after several years to check in on co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In the first interview by correspondent Lesley Stahl in early 2008, Zuckerberg’s social networking empire was much smaller, beset by a series of management snafus and mired in yet another privacy controversy.

Plus, he was more than a lot more awkward. His “was-that-a-question?” response to an obvious question by Stahl was a near classic in geek communications.

Fast-forward to today: Zuckerberg rules an incredibly powerful tech company worth gazillions more (good), has developed into a very polished leader (good) and even had a big Hollywood movie called “The Social Network” made about him (not so good).

Presumably, Stahl will cover all that in her new chat with him, which includes a visit to Facebook’s new Palo Alto, Calif. HQ.

Stahl also interviewed me again and pistol-whipped me–okay, she just asked–until I took back my snarkiest remark from the first one, in which I called Zuckerberg a “toddler CEO.”

My new take, now sporting smart-lady glasses and much grayer hair: The toddler has turned out to be a prodigy!

In other words, the worm has officially turned.

Stahl also wanted to know about the rivalry with Google, the fallout of the movie, my epic de-hoodie-ing of Zuckerberg at D8 conference and what-up with the Winklevii (whom, I believe, I called “hambones.”)

Here is a small taste of the new piece, which airs at 7 pm this Sunday, followed by the entire one from 2008 and the blog post I did about it:

For those who missed it, here is the entire video of the piece CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired on Facebook last night, helmed by veteran correspondent Lesley Stahl.

It is not exactly the big wet kiss I was expecting the hot social networking company would get, but it was also definitely not an ouch-that-hurts piece that could have been done.

For those who don’t know the tale, it hits all the high (and low) points of the Facebook saga, with a button-pushing efficiency that television does so well. Thus, a synopsis:

Web Wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg, who seems genetically unable to smile (unlike, say, his deeply charming sister). Harvard. Ratty hoodies and flip-flops. Mark makes a Facebook profile for Lesley (how much do we love that she blocked her boss Les Moonves?).

Next stop: Silicon Valley! Dropping out and venture funding. Toddler CEO (that one was coined by BoomTown). Crazy HQ with kooky-looking employees, one of whom you know was forced to ride a unicycle through the office by Lesley.

Big growth. Is Mark Google’s Larry and Sergey rolled into one? Inexplicably, ZERO mention of its bigger rival, MySpace, even once. Worth $15 billion?–an insane number Lesley does not question nearly enough.

Oops, Privacy! Oops, Beacon! BoomTown tsks-tsks that stalkerish advertising idiocy and is asked about Mark’s qualifications as CEO (although no one cares what BoomTown thinks). Mark retorts: Hey, we need to make money. Lesley, so give the Wunderkind a break!


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Journalistic integrity boils down to the individual, and if someone’s willing to be corrupted, it’s probably not just the possibility of a job in the industry that’s a problem.

— Elizabeth Spiers, talking to the Content Strategist about tech reporters who go on to work in tech, sometimes for the companies they cover