I find Tim Higgins' Just Blowing Smoke... Civil Political Discourse to be very interesting reading. While I believe mi amigo, Tim, has made some very poignant comments in regards to the subject of discourse in American political commentaries, discussions, and dialogs, I also believe the same may be true of most interpersonal communications in America.
And true enough, the mass media seems to have become the regular and acceptable forum in which to incite and inflame. The traditional mass media has taken root in sensationalizing people and trivializing issues in almost every part of our lives for one very simple reason; it sells readership, viewership, and listenership. People love to gossip and badmouth others and they love hearing others do the same --- that is, if they are in agreement; otherwise, it is terrible of the other guy to say or write all those nasty things.
With my line of thought in that regards, I now see that local and national television programs have taken to using facebook and twitter into their programming in such a way as to encourage the audience to make comments that are then read on the air. Hey, it works; so many people want their minute of fame on television and they get it with irresponsible broadcast entertainment masquerading as journalism news and current events.
Would it not be ideal for all of us to be able to express ourselves in a well presented manner to others without the fear of being lambasted, harassed, harangued, ridiculed, or whatever? Dream on!
Now for some real discourse, taking my lead from television news programs, all I can say is: "Coming up, breaking news, obviously, right?"