Rory also addresses the "Obama Girl" and "Guliani Girl" stuff--and that they aren't the best representations of The People and the issues that The People want the candidates to discuss (to put it mildly.)
But, they do indeed add to the whole "bread and circuses" thing....
From Rory's blog post:
In the end, after all the fear of unfiltered, unmediated questions delivered directly from the electorate to the candidates, it turned out that the fear was misplaced. It was CNN and the candidates themselves who let us down. The questions from ‘ordinary citizens’ were great, the answers from the ordinary candidates not so great —- largely because they were not nearly as direct, thoughtful, honest or embracing. Instead, the bizarre nexus of Big Politics and Big Media once again displayed a simultaneous fascination with and fear of the Internet, the ‘New Media’ it has brought crashing down on their carefully wrought old media plans — and especially the audience formerly known as the electorate.