Robert Knight

Well, don’t say she hasn’t been warned.

Sarah Palin cannot make even one mistake in Thursday’s debate or she will be cooked.

George Stephanopoulos said so Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America:

Picking up on what Kevin Madden said in David Wright’s piece: Number one for Sarah Palin, she cannot make a mistake. A major mistake particularly on foreign policy would be absolutely fatal to her candidacy.

Good Morning America, like NBC’s Today Show and CBS’ The Early Show, played clips of Tina Fey doing her mocking impersonation of Palin on Saturday Night Live. When did comic impersonations become news?

And what about Palin’s opponent, Joe Biden? What if he makes a gaffe, as he is wont to do? Last week, Biden said in a speech that, “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television” to calm the nation. The stock market crashed in 1929, before TV and before Roosevelt was president.

No problem. The liberal media have Joe’s back and won’t make a big deal of it. Palin made no notable errors last week, yet she was still the one to be savaged. It’s a pity Saturday Night Live can’t remove their ideological blinders. What a great skit Biden might have inspired! Imagine Bill Murray coming back to portray Biden: “It’s just like when George Washington climbed up on a tank to rally the troops at Gettysburg…”

Back to reality. During Thursday’s debate, the press will be listening so hard for a Palin version of “macaca” that they probably won’t even hear what Joe has to say.

“Macaca” was the word that helped sink the re-election campaign of Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen in 2006. He had used the word, which means “monkey” in some African nations, jokingly to describe a Democratic operative tracking his campaign events. Allen said his mother used to call him that when he messed up, the equivalent of “rascal.” No matter. The media decided that because the Democratic staffer was of Indian ancestry, macaca was an openly racist term, just the thing a sitting U.S. Senator would say in a racially diverse state like Virginia. The Washington Post in particular beat up Allen with macaca for the next month, using the term dozens of times. Allen never recovered and Jim Webb narrowly won his Senate seat.

Here’s the rule of thumb:. When a liberal misspeaks, it’s a slip of the tongue. We all make mistakes. If you are a conservative, however, you commit an unforgiveable sin that must be revisited a thousand times until you are out of Purgatory – or office, whichever comes first.

On Friday, Barack Obama made two mistakes that the media would have used to crucify McCain had he made similar errors.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.