The truth is, no one can really learn much about the candidates or their ideas when the format has such rigid time limits on answers and predictable questions from mainstream news anchors. The moderators are constrained from asking tough follow-up questions, and the audience is forced to sit like zombies in a funeral parlor. Even with the so-called "town hall meeting" format, there is no genuine back-and-forth dialogue between candidates and citizens. Nor are there any direct candidate-to-candidate exchanges. Third-party candidates have been summarily excluded, so there are no disruptive questions that might expose the limited vision of the two major parties. (Ralph Nader was famously excluded from the 2000 presidential debates because his citizen support was deemed too insignificant to make a difference in the election.)
On a related note, on the black hand side, I'm trying to understand (not really but this is a rhetotical exercise) why apparently it is "unfair" for Republicans (or Democrats) to bring up Ayers who did in fact attempt an act of domestic terrorism, and is apparently "fond" of Obama, but it is 'fair" to bring up Farrakhan who has not, ever, attempt any act of violence against anyone or any institution? Yeah, we know the answer to that one.