⏰ Happy Saturday from Austin, where South by Southwest means Hulu ads on the MetroRail trains, plugs for upcoming Hollywood movies on the pedicabs, and an HBO tease on the hotel keys.
This week, President Trump ripped the steering wheel out of John Kelly’s hands and played chief of staff and communications director, all wrapped into one:
Want to know what it’s like to work for this president? A senior administration official, who likes Trump but can't keep up, tells Jonathan Swan:
Be smart: The restraints on Trump are fully removed. Imagine if Trump did publicly what he said privately during the first year-plus. He didn’t, in part because Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, General Mattis, Dina Powell, Rob Porter and others conspired to box him in and occasionally talk him off the ledge. No more.
How it's playing:
Cable headlines during the 5 p.m. ET hour yesterday:
At the South by Southwest festival today, I'm moderating a panel on "Reforming the Vote" (9:30 a.m. CT, Hilton Austin Downtown). Jon Cohen of SurveyMonkey, a great Axios partner, tees up the conversation with this exclusive data:
Gary Hershorn / Getty Images
A seagull appears to soar above lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center at sunset yesterday, as seen from Hoboken, N.J.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios
The backlash against Big Tech is testing pro-business tendencies of Republicans, including the chairs of the commerce committees in the House and Senate, and giving conservative activists a new cause, Axios' David McCabe writes:
"Lloyd Blankfein is preparing to step down as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s chief executive as soon as the end of the year, capping a more than 12-year run that has made him one of the longest-serving bosses on Wall Street," the Wall Street Journal reports on A1 (subscription):
After the Journal's scoop posted, Blankfein tweeted: “It's the @WSJ's announcement...not mine. I feel like Huck Finn listening to his own eulogy."
N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Benjamin Branfman, lawyer for "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli, arguing yesterday for a shorter sentence, before his client received seven years in prison for fraud (and a forfeiture of $7 million of a $27 million net worth):
Here's a great lead by AP's Bill Barrow: "Bernie Sanders is back in the Senate minority. Hillary Clinton is selling books and playing with grandchildren. And the Democratic Party is still navigating the fallout from their bitter 2016 presidential nominating fight."
HBO and ad agency Giant Spoon have SXSW's break-out exhibition — a massive replica of Sweetwater, the town featured in HBO's blockbuster hit Westworld, built 15 miles outside Austin, Axios' Sara Fischer writes:
SXSW attendees could be seen wearing cowboy hats they received on the tour:
The bottom line: #Westworld was trending on Twitter in Austin leading up to the event.
Asked about cost, HBO calls it "an investment worth the price":
Thanks for reading. We'll have live updates all weekend on Axios.com ...