Politics, Moderate



Congressman cries freedom and then plays censor

His name may be a nod to the Founding Father and fourth president, but Rep. Madison Cawthorn is no James Madison.

In only his second week in office, the freshman Republican congressman from North Carolina waded into constitutional quicksand, backing a bid to strong-arm social media companies into relaxing their rules after Twitter and Facebook ...Read more

A solution for budget-busting hospital bills

If you're scheduling a surgery or screening this year, break out the calculator along with your calendar.

Under a federal rule that took effect on New Year's Day, all U.S. hospitals are required to publish online price lists containing average costs for 300 common procedures, and patients can now obtain cost-sharing estimates from their health ...Read more

Tide is turning against bias-response teams

When an off-color joke or clumsy come-on is reported, the speech police swoop into action, threatening targets of their open-ended investigations with punishment or reeducation. Complaints are often anonymous, and no perceived slight is too small to trigger a formal review.

This dystopian drama plays out on college campuses with bias-response ...Read more

Social media can 'defriend' direct sellers

Facebook and Twitter courted controversy by flagging and fact-checking voter fraud claims on their platforms, but when it comes to socially responsible moderation, video-sharing app TikTok is leading the pack.

A recent update to TikTok's terms of service bans promotion of scams and fraud, and it includes multilevel marketing pitches alongside ...Read more

Cuomo salutes Confederate-flag censors

More than 155 years after the guns fell silent and the troops trudged home, New York is fighting the first Civil War battle on its own turf.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that purports to ban "symbols of hate" including the Confederate battle flag from being sold or displayed at state and county fairs and in government buildings. But even the...Read more

Artists Seek More Control, Less Fine Print

If breaking into the entertainment industry requires a Faustian bargain, Taylor Swift and Dave Chappelle are winning back their souls.

The pop star cried foul when music management honcho Scooter Braun bought Big Machine Label Group in 2019, acquiring the master recordings to her first six studio albums. Braun sold those masters to Shamrock ...Read more

Rewards for masks might save lives

When it comes to making pandemic precautions stick, some people seem to prefer a violent shove to a gentle nudge.

The day North Carolina added teeth to its mask mandate, infectious disease physician Joshua Barocas and public health professor Gregg Gonsalves urged a paradigm shift in public health policy. Writing for Slate.com, they recommended ...Read more

Prescriptions aren't making patients safer

Illnesses are ignored, and chronic conditions go untreated as the coronavirus crisis conspires to keep Americans away from their family doctors.

More than a third of primary care physicians had furloughed office staff by June 1, according to a survey cited in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Another survey showed 97% of ...Read more

Parler falls short on free-speech promises

In four days, a once-obscure social network that's been around since 2018 saw its user base swell by 4.5 million people, claimed the top spot on smartphone app download charts and trolled Twitter, the platform it hopes to supplant, by becoming a trending topic on the platform.

Bristling over fact checks and warning labels applied to voter-fraud...Read more

Marijuana bans going up in smoke

As tallies trickled in from battleground states, one outcome was clear after election night: America is going to pot.

Voters in New Jersey, Arizona and Montana approved ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana for adult use. Mississippi residents gave medical cannabis the thumbs-up, and in South Dakota, propositions for both medicinal and ...Read more

States can't defend ballot-selfie bans

If you share a snapshot from the voting booth, elections officials might scour your social media pages and offer you a choice: censorship or a criminal charge.

That's what happened to T. Greg Doucette, who cast his ballot Oct. 15 during early voting at the N.C. Central University School of Law. North Carolina is among 15 states that ban photos ...Read more

Scary laws won't make Halloween safer

The prospect of police scouring suburban streets to enforce trick-or-treating bans gives a whole new meaning to the term "witch hunt."

From New England to the California coast, cities have Halloween customs in the crosshairs as coronavirus cases surge and public health officials warn that door-to-door candy collection increases infection risks....Read more



Gary Varvel Taylor Jones Mike Smith Steve Kelley Drew Sheneman Nate Beeler