AT&T owns CNN — for now. But one day Netflix and Apple could be in a bidding war for the CNN anchor Jake Tapper. That’s Kara Swisher’s take, anyway. It could be the next step in the streaming wars, and a natural evolution for an increasingly personality-driven cable news business that is under pressure to compete with the 24/7 engagement — and enragement — of social media.

In this conversation, Swisher and Tapper discuss the potential spinoff of CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, from AT&T, what the post-Trump slump of cable news ratings means for the future of broadcast journalism and how Tapper intends to cover Kevin McCarthy and other Republican leaders who are doubling down on Donald Trump’s big lie.

They also discuss Tapper’s new novel, a political thriller called “The Devil May Dance” — though the author is quick to clarify that the real world, especially in these past four years, has been stranger than fiction.

This episode contains strong language.

Is Jake Tapper for Sale? 1
Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Greg Kahn for The New York Times

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected]. Transcripts of each episode are available midday.

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Daphne Chen, and edited by Nayeema Raza and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Michelle Harris; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez. Special thanks to Shannon Busta, Kristin Lin and Liriel Higa.