I've noted a substantial drop in show HN posts, which I love, over the past weeks and an increase in bullshit media sensationalism :"twitter says : drop dead".
Reasons? I say a rise in celebrity users and those seeking to impress them and a lack of recent presence from Pg. He needs to whip that front page back to what it's all about - hackers and startups.
You're not the only one. I have, in the past, tried to say things like "hey now, we can do better than this" to people being negative in a malicious way. Maybe we should all be more persistent in nudging people toward civility?
I think the way to remove the low-value posts would be to ban all the self-promoting bloggers; daringfireball, 37signals, 42floors, asmartbear... we don't seem to get these problematic stories either from "proper" news sites (even techcrunch et al) or from bloggers unrelated to YC who don't post here regularly. Of course, that would be a dramatic change to the character of HN, and I suspect pg himself would end up on the wrong side of such an exclude list.