and come on...they push a fighter off the deck of the carrier IN SPACE, and it falls DOWN!
You can just about excuse that (though let's face it this galloping turkey of a movie deserves no excuses - it just plain sucked) given that they obviously had artificial gravity, so who's to say the field doesn't continue past the end of the flight deck a bit (It would allow you to clear the deck in this manner. If the wreck didn't fall off the end, pushing it off the edge would be a Really Bad Thing, as it would merely be moving away from the carrier with whatever minimal momentum you could impart to it, and directly in the line of the fighters taking off and landing)..?
Why you'd do that grud only knows. I mean, why operate your flight deck in a gravity field and an atmosphere if you don't have to. Less energy needs be expended to "take off" for starters, plus you can stack the fighters anyway you want.
If you look at Crusade and the Excalibur, her hanger deck is clearly operated in this manner, and they also get it mostly right in the new Battlestar Galactica. The actual landing area of the hanger pods has no atmosphere and seems to be operating in a Zero or low G environment.