Some blogs may want their comments to be wide-open forums where anything goes. I don't.
Some blogs may want only sycophants and supporters to comment. Others ban comments altogether. Some bloggers have reputations for deleting critical comments, even those that are polite. I welcome criticism, but it must be thoughtful and respectful.
Many bloggers don't bother to read comments. I think Bryan reads comments less often than I do, and I believe that he is less obsessed than I am with tone issues.
My blog is my classroom. I want the tone of comments to reflect that. You would not come to class to throw insults and sarcastic put-downs at the professor. Occasionally, the professor may use a tone that would be considered inappropriate in a comment. That may or may not be wise. But the blog is my classroom.
I have asked the editor to take a more aggressive approach to deleting mean-spirited comments.
Ironically, the stimulus for doing this is not the obnoxious comments that have been posted, but the good ones. In fact, Megan McArdle recently linked here solely to quote a comment.
I think that we will have more flowers if we do more weeding.