I think another part of the problem is that it's become increasingly difficult for many people to detect a tongue-in-cheek or sarcastic essay/comment. Detecting them involves comparing what is being claimed to what is reasonable. In your mind you have to ask yourself, "Is this person serious?" In the past it was easy to answer the question by saying to yourself, "No, this is just way too unreasonable. It must have been meant sarcastically." But during recent years people have taken so many outrageous positions and made such ludicrous claims that now many commenters tend to take what is said at face value.