"Following the mass shooting at Virginia Tech 12 years ago, professor and poet Nikki Giovanni delivered a stirring address that included a simple truth.
'No one deserves a tragedy.'
It is a mantra that bears repeating in Virginia Beach and across a commonwealth that on Friday witnessed yet another senseless act of violence," writes The Virginian-Pilot Editorial Board.
Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer is struck by how quickly the fire that severely damaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in France has ignited "dueling narratives" regarding the future of the country and the European continent.
Bloomberg opinion columnist Ramesh Ponnuru calls presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's take on Christianity "healthfelt," but says it's "partisan nonsense" and warns against adherents of any party interpreting the Bible as having any partisan leaning at all.
Harvard law professor Noah Feldman says Trump's tweet calling for an FCC investigation into 'Saturday Night Live' after he caught a rerun he didn't like is "legally absurd." Feldman discusses the two legal principles derived from federal regulation of broadcasting — the fairness doctrine and the equal-time rule, only one of which still applies in the modern era of media — and the nature of truth in broadcasting.
Leonid Bershidsky points out the disproportionate media coverage of Islamist terrorism, which is on the wane, while outlets tend to only cover violence perpetrated by far-right white supremacists under certain circumstances — even though those attacks have increased by around 500 percent since 2014.
"We are becoming a nation that not only is rejecting its traditions and institutions but is credulous about things that make no sense," writes Ann McFeatters. "Shame on those who tout fake news and push ridiculous conspiracy theories to make money and scare people. Also, Democrats do not eat babies."
Christine Flowers, lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, points to cases where false allegations such as the attack actor Jussie Smolett is accused of fabricating have made it harder for real victims to prove their credibility. "When we are faced with even one case of lying, it makes it even harder for victims to prove themselves," she writes. "I don't know if Jussie Smollett made up his story or not. But I do know that the consequences of false accusations are severe, and often tragic.
"For some of us, reparations, a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail, is a new and uncomfortable issue. It raises this question: What does the U.S. owe for the years it benefited from the enslavement of people from Africa and then, through a variety of government-sanctioned practices, subjugated them to the lowest level of a veritable caste system?" writes E.R. Shipp of The Baltimore Sun. "Others of us sigh, roll our eyes and say, 'Here we go again. How far will we get this time?'"