These things are being talked about. They aren't important, but they're being talked about. So that justifies ABC talking about them? Reverend Wright, lapel pins, electability of your opponent. Who said what when and why? And who is madder/sorrier/unhappier?
The problem with these issues quote-unquote is that asking the question is doing Republican dirty work. There is no answer for these questions. They are all gotcha-style questions. Candidates look bad. Anybody going to ask John McCain the Republican equivalent of these questions? Probably not.
This time, the blogosphere is up in arms about the idiocy of the emcees, George Stephanopolis and Charlie Gibson. Maybe the next debate will be better, but only if the next news organization listens to the commentaries.
Picture presidential debates 20 years from now:
Isn't Paris Hilton still great?
Why should the United States Government pay for Britney Spears' mental health care?
Shouldn't you be kicked off the island?
Senator, why do you hate America?
Governor, why is your state so small?
Mrs. Vice President: Why does your cookie recipe make such bad tasting cookies?
Senator, why do you refuse to visit flag factories?
It can still get worse from here.