PALIN TO TALK TO CNN…. After having endured grueling interviews from hard-hitting journalists like Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, and Bill Kristol, Sarah Palin has decided she’s now willing to chat with CNN for the first time.

And who’s getting the interview? I thought they might go with an A-lister like Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper. Or maybe some softballs from Larry King. Perhaps some no-nonsense from Campbell Brown. Or maybe go with one of the correspondents following the campaign from the beginning, such as John King or Candy Crowley.

I didn’t think Drew Griffin would get the gig.

CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin will sit down for a wide-ranging interview with Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin in Reno, Nev., today. The 15-minute, one-on-one interview will air in all three hours of The Situation Room and will cover a variety of topics.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair to pre-judge the interview. Drew Griffin may do a great job and conduct an important interview. We’ll see soon enough.

But it is fair to wonder why he was tapped for the first Palin interview on the network. It was Griffin, for example, who went to Alaska and dismissed the significance of the Troopergate scandal before investigators concluded that Palin had violated state ethics and abused the powers of her office. As Griffin told CNN viewers, the controversy was unlikely to “bring down the newest star on the political scene.”

Griffin has also taken a leading role in reporting on the manufactured ACORN “issue,” often with disappointing results.

What’s more, according to his bio, Griffin works out of the Atlanta bureau, and doesn’t normally cover politics or campaigns.

With this in mind, how is it, exactly, that when it came time for Palin’s first interview on CNN, the “best political team on television” gave the gig to someone who isn’t even part of CNN’s “best political team on television”?

If the McCain/Palin campaign dictated to CNN who the interviewer had to be, I trust the network would disclose something like that.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.