Should respectable news sources allow comments on news stories?

The more I read of these comments, the more I think the answer should be no. I'm not really against comments on opinion pieces, it seems reasonable that if an opinion writer posts his thoughts, the news outlet should provide a way for readers to comment back with their own opinions. I'm not sure the same needs exist for "real news" stories. I was just reading an article about Lady Gaga hosting a rally in Maine to get the military's don't-ask-don't-tell policy repealed (by showing support and hopefully convincing Maine's two Republican senators to vote in favor of the repeal). It seemed like a normal enough article... and then I scrolled down to read the comments and came across this treasure:
Marijuana causes people to become liberal and more often than not also leads to homosexuality. I suspect that Lady G has smoked her share of the illicit drug. Now she wants to use her fame to corrupt our youth and lead them into a lifestyle of drugs and homosexuality. The ignorence[sic] of these people is just overwhelming.

I'm not clear on how comments like this benefit the greater community and more than anything, they make me sick to my stomach that we have people like this in the country. I mean, I know we have people like t his, but when I have to see it it makes me sick. It's fine if people want to post their opinions, but I'm not sure it's necessary right there on the same page as the article. Or, on the site at all. If people really want to respond, they can get a blog and link back to the article and post all the hate, vitriol or supporting comments they want.

And then there are the truly insightful posts such as:
Gaga's junk: B==========D

Everybody else in here's junk: B===D

So much jealousy in here!

And then there are the people confused by the Constitution who think they have a right to free speech on a privately owned website.