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April 21, 2017

If you thought Stephen Colbert was done celebrating Bill O'Reilly's departure from Fox News, maybe you forgot the amount of time Colbert spent immersing himself in a character based on O'Reilly. But with time comes a bit of sobriety, so on Thursday's Late Show, Colbert engaged in a little happy dancing but also pleaded for his life. "It's hard to believe he's leaving," Colbert said of O'Reilly. "I mean, as the sign outside Fox News says, 'Nobody Moves This Man.' Nobody! Except for the janitor who scraped him down this morning."

"But remember, Bill still has his books, he still has his rage, and his Fox News payout worth a reported $25 million," Colbert said, looking on O'Reilly's bright side momentarily. "If you do the math, that is twice as much as they paid his accusers— Oh my god, you know what that means? Bill O'Reilly sexually harassed himself." As Colbert looked ahead to a life without The O'Reilly Factor, he wondered what O'Reilly was going to do.

To figure that out, Colbert turned to O'Reilly's 1998 novel, Those Who Trespass, which he actually dedicated to the women in his life — "or as they're affectionately known, the plaintiffs," Colbert joked. The book features a brash TV journalist, Shannon Michaels, who was fired from his network news job. When Michaels had his job taken away from him, Colbert read, he found solace in "planning and carrying out the executions of those people who had humiliated him." Seriously, if you were Colbert, you might be a little nervous reading that, too. Watch below. Peter Weber

4:11 p.m. ET
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

For $1,000, you can buy a five-night cruise to the Bahamas, a new laptop, or a king-size mattress. Or, you know, you could buy Samsung's Galaxy Note 8. Shortly after debuting the new phone Wednesday, Samsung revealed that people are going to have to shell out a hefty $930 to get it.

Crazy as that price may sound, it's not wildly out of the range of what phones are costing nowadays. The upcoming iPhone 8 is estimated to cost more than $1,000. The Samsung Note 7, infamous for sometimes spontaneously combusting, cost more than $800 before it was discontinued.

The Verge noted that Samsung hasn't been selling its new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus for full price "all that often," thanks to frequent deals. The phone also boasts some pretty high-tech features, like a massive infinity screen, dual mega-pixel cameras, and an S Pen Stylus that can translate complete sentences.

Still, watching $930 hit the ground when you inevitably drop your phone couldn't feel good. Becca Stanek

3:43 p.m. ET

Reuters had a bit of trouble writing a tweet on Wednesday about ESPN pulling announcer Robert Lee from covering a Virginia college football game because his name sounds too similar to the Confederate general's.

In their multiple attempts, Reuters both claimed that Lee — who is Asian-American — is a look-alike or supernatural twin of General Robert E. Lee, or had been directly named after him (he wasn't):

Writing, of course, is not easy, especially as ESPN's decision to pull Lee from the broadcast has been mocked as an overreaction to a non-controversy. "We're watching Reuters headline writers in real-time trying to figure out what was wrong with Lee broadcasting the game," joked one Twitter user.

In the end, Reuters offered a helpful clarification for anyone they might have confused. Jeva Lange

3:16 p.m. ET
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

An estimated 25 million viewers tune in every Sunday for the latest episode in Game of Thrones' seventh season, but George R. R. Martin isn't among them. The author of Game of Thrones admitted in a recent interview with Metro U.K. that he has stopped watching the show.

Martin blamed his busy schedule of writing, travel, and speaking engagements for the lapse in his viewing, but Inverse pointed out he's been doing those things during the show's previous seasons and he's still tuned in. Admittedly, he is pushing to get the last book in the series, The Winds of Winter, out by next year, but he also said he is "in no rush to hit a particular deadline."

Up until the fifth season, Martin was still writing an episode per season, a commitment that would seemingly necessitate, well, watching the show. "The book series and TV adaptation go their separate ways," Martin said in his recent interview with Metro U.K. "On the screen characters are killed right and left. About twenty of them have died already, which are quite alive to me and will appear in a new book."

Perhaps Martin, like some other Game of Thrones fans, isn't pleased with this season's shaky logistics? Becca Stanek

2:54 p.m. ET

President Trump delivered a subdued teleprompter speech on Wednesday at the American Legion's national convention in Reno, Nevada, causing some people to marvel at the president's ability to change gears after his off-the-script rally on Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona. "I have whiplash," said CNN's Brooke Baldwin. "It's which president will show up today?"

In Reno, Trump applauded "incredible progress" on reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs and called for a "new unity," telling Americans that "we are one people with one home and one great flag."

"This is the spirit we need to overcome our challenges, to pursue our common destiny, and to achieve a brighter future for our people," Trump went on. "We will win."

Watch below, and read more about Trump's wild Phoenix rally here at The Week. Jeva Lange

1:46 p.m. ET

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson likely broke a federal law Tuesday night when he was introduced by his government title before President Trump's rally in Phoenix, Arizona, The Washington Post reports.

The rally was, technically speaking, part of Trump's 2020 bid. Carson ran into trouble because of an odd little rule in the 1939 Hatch Act, "a measure meant to preserve the impartiality of public servants," the Post's Philip Bump writes.

Among the prohibitions included in the Hatch Act is one prohibiting Cabinet secretaries from leveraging their positions for a political cause. That means that the head of, say, the Department of Housing and Urban Development can't appear at a campaign rally in a way that implies he's doing so in an official capacity. Say, by being introduced with his official title. [The Washington Post]

"[Carson] should have told them in advance that they cannot use his title," said the senior director of the Campaign Legal Center, Larry Noble. “Once hearing the introduction, he should have made clear he was speaking in his personal capacity and not as secretary."

Read more about how Carson possibly broke the law at The Washington Post. Jeva Lange

1:02 p.m. ET
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

A Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday revealed that 45 percent of President Trump's supporters believe that white people encounter "the most discrimination in America." Meanwhile, 17 percent of Trump voters said that Native Americans face the most discrimination, 16 percent said that African Americans do, and 5 percent said that Latinos do.

The poll also found that a majority of Trump voters — 54 percent — believe that Christians face the most discrimination of any religious groups in the U.S. Twenty-two percent said that Muslims do, while 12 percent said that Jews do.

Public Policy Polling suggested that the "mindset among many Trump voters that it's whites and Christians getting trampled on in America ... makes it unlikely they would abandon Trump over his 'both sides' rhetoric," referring to the president's tack of blaming "both sides" for the violence at the Aug. 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In fact, Trump doubled down on his remarks at a Phoenix rally Tuesday night, accusing the "dishonest" media of downplaying the actions of anti-fascists.

The poll surveyed 887 registered voters from Aug. 18-21. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. Becca Stanek

12:57 p.m. ET

Taylor Swift announced her sixth studio album, Reputation, in a series of Instagram posts on Wednesday. The album will be out Nov. 10.

Swift also released the artwork for her new record:

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

The first single from the album will be released Thursday night, Swift added.

Reputation is the follow-up to Swift's 2014 album 1989, which sold nearly 1.3 million copies within its first week. Jeva Lange

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