gerson correct but incomplete
Michael Gerson notes correctly the problem of hatred being spewed freely on the Internet. He notes that the democratic Germany of the 1920s was subverted and eventually taken over by the Nazis, who were particularly adept at exploiting that day's new technology, radio.
But Gerson is incomplete. First, he doesn't note that radio remains a potent tool to promulgate propaganda and hate thought thru talk radio, which also helps set or at least reinforce the agenda on cable TV and the internet.
And he fails to note that in the US of 2009, as in Germany in the late 1920s/early 1930s, that it is right-wingers who are spewing forth the vast majority of hatred and bigotry. (It's true. You didn't see any armed nuts outside Bush's speeches.)
Oliphant's recent editorial cartoon names names - Fox News. They aren't alone, but are a major contributor. So is most of the Republican Party. Some for failing to repudiate the hatred being promulgated. And worse yet, some for encouraging it.