ABC News Democratic debate April 16, 2008 (Charlie Gibson, George Stephanopoulous)
Tonight's ABC News Democratic debate starring Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulous with appearances by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was apparently fairly bad to very bad, depending on one's partisan inclination (transcript link). It was very bad to Obama supporters, who were dismayed by the debate focusing on "trivialities" such as Bittergate, Tuzla, Reverend Wright, and William Ayers. The HuffPost whines here and here. It also featured an apparently bad performance by Barack Obama (link). As Ever Excitable Andy says:
Yes, the Clintons have shredded him. But that's what they know how to do. It's also what the GOP knows how to do.
Oddly enough, I don't recall any of those whining about the lack of a real discussion of policy in previous debates; in fact, there's been nothing of the sort. Every single previous debate has featured lightweight questions which have generally led to simply a recitation of talking points, almost all of which were available on the candidates' websites or in their previous speeches. I suspect that if all the "trivial" questions had been directed at Clinton the same hacks whining now would be lifting Charlie and George onto their shoulders.
And, of course, not only were there no questions about immigration - both candidates' most vulnerable issue - but there wasn't even a single mention of the topic.
An extra "liberal"/Stalinist bonus! Two comments here  are worth noting because they're so very bad and so very indicative of how much trouble we're in because people can't be bothered to go out and show the MSM what a real question looks like:
Why would there be a need to ask about policy when they agree on most everything?
It's obvious to me but apparently not to many "liberals" that their policies have huge gaping holes, so despite them agreeing for the most part that still leaves hours that could be filled with an in-depth discussion of those problems and how the candidates' would mitigate them.
My suggestion: The DNC should choose its own moderator and produce the debate in house.
Unfortunately, that's hardly an original idea.
EXTRA "LIBERAL" UPDATE: Stephanopoulous appears to have gotten the Ayers topic due to Sean Hannity, causing DailyKos to go into full, frothing boycott Disney mode (link). It's a perfectly valid line of discussion, yet one that would not be allowed under the Reign of Kos.
I think the bottom line is that many of his supporters are now coming to grips with how flawed Obama is and are trying the last ditch (or first ditch for many) tack of trying to shut down debate.
 washingtonmonthly. com/archives/individual/2008_04/013543.php