Mary Elizabeth Williams (and most of Salon) is famous for showing enormous disrespect in her columns to groups of people she dislikes. Then she faints at the comments she receives.
Anil Dash may be a great guy, but he too frequently shows enormous disrespect to people, than he tells us a good community needs heavy handed moderation.
My own experience is that in the best online communities, very light moderation is what is needed. What is fundamentally important is that the blogger interacts, respectfully, with the commentariat in the comments.
GOOD communities are interactive conversations with dissenting, but respectful opinions. In those communities, group norms keep abuse to a minimum, and violators are often chastised and dealt with by members of the community who would otherwise agree with the violator.
BAD communities form when people are spoken down to, and then abused. And that explains the Salon experience.