Apr 12, 2017

The cloud over Bill O'Reilly

Jeff Christensen / AP

Amid an advertiser backlash prompted by accusations of harassment, Bill O'Reilly announced on last night's show that he's taking a vacation. A Fox News spokesperson confirmed to Axios AM that "O'Reilly is on a pre-planned vacation and he will return on April 24th."

CNN's Dylan Byers says that per "O'Reilly spokesperson Mark Fabiani," the vacation is a family trip that was planned in October, including airline and hotel reservations.

Dana Perino is scheduled to fill in for O'Reilly tonight, we're told.

Gabe Sherman in New York mag: "Two highly-placed Fox News sources say 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch would like O'Reilly to be permanently taken off the air, while his father Rupert and older brother Lachlan are more inclined to keep him."

This news from Monday's Times looks worrisome for Reilly: "21st Century Fox has enlisted the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to investigate at least one accusation of sexual harassment against the Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. ... Wendy Walsh, a former guest on Mr. O'Reilly's show, ... called 21st Century Fox's anonymous hotline last week, prompting the investigation."

Why it matters: "Paul Weiss is the same law firm that conducted an internal investigation into Roger Ailes."

Go deeper

Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj to headline White House Correspondents' Dinner

Kenan Thompson on "SNL" in 2018. Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images

Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured "Saturday Night Live" cast member, will host the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 25.

And Hasan Minhaj — host of Netflix’s "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj," and the entertainer at the 2017 dinner — will return as featured entertainer.

"Billions": Season 2020

Mike Bloomberg speaks at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., on Saturday. Photo: James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Money alone can’t buy a presidential election, but it surely gets you VIP access.

Why it matters: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is duking it out with Billionaire Donald Trump, often on Billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Twitter and in ads on Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, all chronicled in Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post. 

Biometrics invade banking and retail

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Banks have been quietly rolling out biometrics to identify customers — verifying them by their fingerprint, voice or eye scan — and retailers like Amazon are getting into the game.

Why it matters: These companies are amassing giant databases of our most personal information — including our gait, how we hold our cellphones, our typing patterns — that raise knotty questions about data security and privacy.