Just to clarify: deeply personal insults, vulgarities, curses, etc., as Erik mentioned, is not a part of what I had in mind. For that I agree moderators have a role. Everything else, I would rather be the judge of it.
There are at least two models for internet forums: one practiced by Mike Johnston and his The Online Photographer blog, and the other by LuLa. Mike prescreens every post to make sure it adheres to his standards, and LuLa does not. Both approaches have their pluses and minuses, but I enjoy reading both equally. The trick is to manage your expectations: you (rhetorical you) can't come to an open forum like LuLa, enjoy its pluses (entertainment being one of them), but then complain when its minuses bite you. And vice versa.
I think Fred at all play an important role in this forum. Whether he is an agent provocateur or not, has an agenda or not, is much less relevant to me. What I value is the dissent he brings, for whatever reason. And without dissent, we would not have a healthy debate. And if you (again, rhetorical you) think you figured him out and know his agenda, then skip, ignore, move on, or... engage with a counter argument.