The majority of international news media sites have invited open comments from readers for a long time now. The traditional "Letter to the editor" has, I assume degenerated to bona fide email responses intended for publication in print versions.
The free comment available in web media has opened up a whole new world for Mr Angry of Tonbridge Wells. Although most are moderated, there certainly seems to be a lunatic fringe out there who now give vent to their innermost thoughts and feelings, with no more than an email address and a cryptic username.
I was following a science story and the expert comments on the nature of the universe were absolutely fascinating. It still ended in a highly intellectual flame war between two professed academics.
Has the world now been reduced to a huge forum inhabited by middle aged bed ridden men and mass murderers? Will the next series of CSI have a media subversion specialist on call 24hrs a day?
We could all sit outside on banana lounges discussing the best way to rebuild a 4WD transmission and agree, through shared stories of conquests supporting our assertions, that there is no basis to the proposition that those least assured of their persuasions are the first to condemn others for theirs.