It happens that the TD Comment Policy covers this almost exactly:
"Sometimes it is difficult to separate the person from the subject being discussed. Maybe someone's opinion is truly stupid or laughable; it's still better to say "I disagree because..." rather than "that's stupid/laughable because...". Trying to maintain that "I said the idea was idiotic, not that you are idiotic" is too fine a distinction to maintain in a thread with multiple posters and hundreds of readers. Words like "silly" and "ridiculous" are going to catch a moderator's eye, likewise a response consisting only of "lol". Explain why an idea is mistaken, don't just lazily attach an adjective, epithet or emoticon to the idea."
I appreciate TD largely because usually both banter and debate are civil.
But what about Riverbrian? He's a moderator and he is both silly and ridiculous.