The first line of defense seems to be attack.. You know, along the lines of briefly acknowledging that these racist comments may have been "over the line" but then immediately leading to a lengthy diatribe about leftists who supposedly remained silent as Sarah Palin's children were viciously attacked by other leftists. That's the drill and we can't expect anything more original from those quarters.
But some times the defense is more revealing than it may intend. I just saw an official spokesperson for Free Republic appearing on MSNBC. Predictably, he started out by claiming that the posted comments weren't as bad as has been represented (google it; I think you'll find it difficult to exaggerate just how vile these people are). Then, defending the web site's "system," the spokesperson stated that this is a moderated site.
In other words, one or more of the volunteer moderators at the site had eyeballed these racist rants before they went live, and had thought they were just fine.
Ain't it great to live in a postracial society?!