I was distracted by inanities while reading The Economist. A typical example is illustrated below.
While that exchange provides a window to a particular species of Internet creature, I've seen those beasts, and they don't interest me.
Burninate the comments with AdBlock.
Step 1: Install AdBlock
There's at least one version for every major web browser. And while they're promoted for their ability to block advertisements, they can block most any content you'd prefer. Install the appropriate blocker.
Step 2: Configure the Ad Blocker
Use the 'Block an ad on this page' function of the Ad Blocker to identify and block comments, and references to comments on this page. Or just cut and paste the following into your manual filter list.
www.economist.com##SECTION[id="comments-area"] www.economist.com##A[class="view-comments"] www.economist.com##DIV[class="ec-comments-links-box clearfix"] www.economist.com##A[class="comment-icon"] www.economist.com##SPAN[class="comment-icon"]
Step 3: Enjoy the Silence
This technique works on essentially every news site. If you're comfortable with HTML, the AdBlock filter syntax is straightforward, and reasonably well documented.
There are corners of the Internet where the comments are as good as the content, but for the rest of the Internet, there's AdBlock.