While the other candidates have been subjected to nearly two years of scrutiny, Palin has been fiercely sheltered by the McCain camp. Since the end of the convention, they've kept Palin glued to McCain's side on the campaign trail - propping up his dwindling crowd appeal and shielding her from impromptu questions that fall outside of her carefully scripted lines.
I can only assume the McCain camp selected Gibson based on the ridiculous performance during the Democratic debate in Philadelphia (between Obama and Clinton) earlier this year. Widely panned for his performance, Gibson (and co-host George Stephanopolus) spent nearly an hour asking inane questions that had nothing to do with the tough issues facing the country. Perhaps the McCain camp is hoping for the same lucky break with Palin. Maybe Gibson will limit is hardball questions to the Iditarod race, moose hunting, salmon fishing and other folksy topics. With the interview taking place on comfy home turf for Palin, it seems likely they'll continue to try to control the message as they've done for the last two years.
As far as the details of the interview, ABC.com advertises that it will start Thursday on Gibson's World News tonight show but offers no further specifics. Come on Charlie, rediscover your journalistic integrity and ask the tough questions -- you may be her first and last interview for all we know.