Searching for the sinister
Of course, they can't just say a few random cranks said something unkind, because then there's no collective purpose. There has to be sinister intent to make these cultural conflicts politically useful. There must be a powerful, shadowy conspiracy of evil, an organized Other that can be rallied against.
And of course, The Other is always right-wing in orientation. During the flap over the Cheerios ad that got MSNBC in trouble for its institutionalized bigotry, I found myself thinking of the original story - a pile of nasty comments left on YouTube - and wondering why anyone would assume they all came from white racists who had a problem with the black husband depicted in the commercial.
Tangentially, I wonder how anyone can be surprised that the beverage that brought us the "teach the world to sing" campaign back in the day would produce this one. It's not a shocking new direction for Coke, whether you like the ad (I thought it was cute, but it wasn't my favorite of the evening) or not.