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Diversity! Tolerance! Free speech!
September 16, 2004 9:31 PM   Subscribe

Score one for tolerance and diversity. Three-year-old Sophia Parlock cries while seated on the shoulders of her father, Phil Parlock, after having their Bush-Cheney sign torn up by Kerry-Edwards supporters on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va. Do the smirking people in this photo really feel proud for terrorizing a three-year-old girl?
posted by DWRoelands (58 comments total)

 
So, let's leave it at one delegate kicking a demonstrator at the convention, one little girl crying because her daddy's dictator isn't having the easiest time assuming complete power.
Sounds equal.

That said, tearing up signs of opposition candidates accomplishes nothing. I've had signs torn up constantly (actually, mostly, they're just stolen, once they tore it up and left it). It's a real rallying call for the other side, if given publicity.
posted by Busithoth at 9:41 PM on September 16, 2004




I'm sure poor little three year old Sophia had a complete and thorough grasp of what Bush and Cheney represent as opposed to John and John and was an ardent supporter of Bush and Cheney and not that she was bummed that her toy (the sign) was taken and broken.

Nah, that couldn't be it at all.
posted by fenriq at 9:46 PM on September 16, 2004


A Karl Rove confederate was planted to rip the sign and manipulate the press.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:47 PM on September 16, 2004


On the bright side she probably won't be kicked when down when she grows up, figures out dad's ideology is shit, and wonders why an adult would dare take a baby to protest.
posted by skallas at 9:47 PM on September 16, 2004


MeTa.
posted by louigi at 9:48 PM on September 16, 2004


This sort of reminds me of the ugly fan/chair throwing incident noted in a previous post.
posted by jaronson at 9:49 PM on September 16, 2004


The people who did it? Jerks. The guy who brought a toddler to a political rally? Jerk.

I have wee kids, and I have strong political beliefs, but even if these things stay calm, they're still bewildering and overwhelming to a child not even old enough to understand what the issue is. Until they can understand what's going on, they ought to be home with a babysitter.

(And yes, even though I've marched for Choice many times, I think every person there who brings a child that small to the proceedings is likewise a jerk. It's not a partisan thing, it's a parenting thing.)
posted by headspace at 9:49 PM on September 16, 2004


why an adult would dare take a baby to protest.

Ah, there's that Blame-the-Victimism I was waiting for! Nicely played, skallas.

That said, this post is some boooool-shit.
posted by dhoyt at 9:52 PM on September 16, 2004


We're really at the point in our culture where a political rally or even is not good for children?
posted by xmutex at 9:53 PM on September 16, 2004


xmutex, we're at the point where its stupid to take your child with you when you are going to "protest" the candidate by waving the opposition's flag.
posted by fenriq at 9:56 PM on September 16, 2004


That's OK, I'm sure the welfare us taxpayers pay corporations will find it's way to poor little george so he can buy one more sign.
posted by fleener at 9:56 PM on September 16, 2004


I bet you could get 30 million photos like that taken at football games and other sporting events if you had a crew of volunteers helping out nationwide. Sort of a Day in the Life of America thing. Plenty of Americans treat politics like sports.
posted by raysmj at 9:57 PM on September 16, 2004


>there's that Blame-the-Victimism

Considering the kid cant understand politics here, the victim is dad and dad's right to free speech. Or are we assuming 3 year olds can make political decisions and take political positions? I dont think she forced dad to drive her there.

This guy brought a kid to a protest. That's just plain stupid.
posted by skallas at 9:59 PM on September 16, 2004


Do the smirking people in this photo really feel proud for terrorizing a three-year-old girl?

Little Girls: Tools of the Repugnicans


posted by quonsar at 9:59 PM on September 16, 2004


Duuuude, Fred Durst is a Democrat?

That all I need to know, where's the votin' at.
posted by cedar at 10:02 PM on September 16, 2004


I'm not sure if I can support Kerry's new child torturing initiatives. I guess it makes us safer and all, but pictures like this still give me pause.
posted by moift at 10:06 PM on September 16, 2004


This guy brought a kid to a protest. That's just plain stupid.

Yeah, you're right, she and her father deserved it. Bonus points for witholding comment on the paradigm-subverting, sign-ripping freedom fighters in question.
posted by dhoyt at 10:07 PM on September 16, 2004


involving kids in politics is manipulative and stupid, but tearing up a little girl's sign is not much better...

Such a cute kid!
posted by ParisParamus at 10:12 PM on September 16, 2004


So, let's leave it at one delegate kicking a demonstrator at the convention, one little girl crying because her daddy's dictator isn't having the easiest time assuming complete power. Sounds equal.

What with tearing up a sign counting as felony assault and all. The sign ripper's a prick, but gimme a fucking break.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:14 PM on September 16, 2004


I think people who put campaign signs in their childrens' hands should be torn to pieces. Let's stop calling it "the little girl's sign," shall we? What those yahoos tore up is exactly 1/2 of daddy's little photo op.
posted by scarabic at 10:15 PM on September 16, 2004


dhoyt: There's zero question in my mind that if the parties were reversed here, there would be some bush supporters saying they shouldn't have brought a kid to rally. I'm sure you'd agree.

In short: the guy was being a jackass bringing his kid to a protest (a counter-rally even), and the guy(s) who ripped up the sign were being even bigger jackasses.

None of the aforementioned jackasses should be considered as representitive of their political parties. In other words: a pointless and utterly stupid post.
posted by malphigian at 10:24 PM on September 16, 2004


This photo is a forgery.
posted by iamck at 10:37 PM on September 16, 2004


awesome post. thought provoking, ground breaking, best of the web, awesome rhetorical question at the end, and just plain interesting and informative. Kudos, DWRoelands.
posted by cell divide at 10:45 PM on September 16, 2004


Too bad it's all rigged.

The same guy had the same thing happen to him in 2000. AND in 1996.

Coincidence? Or just another Republican dirty trick?

cite
posted by turaho at 10:24 AM on September 17, 2004


There are so many complete fools at protests and counter-protests these days that it's little wonder that they are ineffective.
posted by moonbiter at 10:29 AM on September 17, 2004


here's the info 2 of his other performances from Rising-hegemon.

Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, August 27, 1996, Page 3C

Phil Parlock's experience was less calm.

The Huntington man said he was knocked to the ground by a Clinton supporter when he tried to display a sign that read "Remember Vince Foster," the deputy White House counsel who committed suicide in a Washington, D.C., park. His death has become the subject of much debate among Clinton opponents.

"It must have been a strict Democrat who did this," Parlock said, feeling the red abrasions on his face. "Everyone with the exception of him was real peaceful about our protest."

Parlock said some of the crowd tried to make other anti-Clinton demonstrators feel unwelcome. He estimated that about 150 Dole supporters attended the rally, but their signs couldn't be seen for most of the rally.

Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, October 28, 2000, pg. 1A:

Phil Parlock didn't expect to need all 12 of the Bush-Cheney signs he and his son Louis smuggled in their socks and pockets into the rally for Vice President Al Gore.

But each time they raised a sign, someone would grab it out of their hands, the two Huntington residents said. And sometimes it got physical.

"I expected some people to take our signs," said Louis, 12. "But I did not expect people to practically attack us."

The two said they didn't go to the Friday morning rally to start trouble.

"I came to support Bush and try to change some people's minds," Louis said.
posted by milovoo at 10:39 AM on September 17, 2004


Whaa? Wasn't this deleted?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:46 AM on September 17, 2004


The Unluckiest Republican also, claims he was nearly shot at a GOP gathering...

-----

SHOT FIRED
By: Dee Delancey

PAT: LATE NIGHT GUNFIRE IN DOWNTOWN HUNTINGTON. THE TARGET? A REPUBLICAN POLITICAL GATHERING. DEE DELANCEY JOINS US LIVE FROM OUR PUTNAM NEWSROOM. DEE, IT HAPPENED AS G-O-P FAITHFUL WERE WATCHING THE PRESIDENT ON T-V?

Dee Delancey ON A NIGHT OF REPUBLICAN CELEBRATION NEARLY ENDS IN TRAGEDY IN HUNTINGTON. NEARLY TWO DOZEN PEOPLE ESCAPED INJURY AFTER AN UNKNOWN ASSAILANT FIRED A SINGLE GUNSHOT AT THE LOCAL G-O-P HEADQUARTERS.

Lyons; Maybe the guy will come back again and I can get a hold of him.
THE BULLET SLAMMED INTO THE FRONT WINDOW AS LOCAL REPUBLICANS WATCH THE NATIONAL CONVENTION.

Lyons; If they have a taget why don't they go get it? Face up! Whoever did it is nothing but a coward if you are listening out there. You come by again and maybe I'll be here.

DeLancey; There continues to be a serious impact for the Republican today. There office in Cabell County shut down due to this gunfire.

NO-ON IS TAKING THE VIOLENT ACT LIGHTLY.

Howard; To think now that's going to be in the back of our minds whether or not there's going to be somebody shooting at us. It's just insane. Definately crosses the line.

DeLancey; We're standing here right now?

Howard; That's right. We could be targets out here right now.

PEOPLE HERE SAY DEMONSTRATIONS LIKE THIS MAY BE ACCEPTABLE, THIS IS NOT.

Parlock; I think this is definately, definately an act that was by an extremeist kind of thing.

DEE: FORTUNATELY, NO-ONE WAS HURT. POLICE ARE STILL INVESTIGATING. I'M DEE DELANCEY REPORTING LIVE IN OUR PUTNAM NEWSROOM.
posted by milovoo at 10:47 AM on September 17, 2004


From turaho's link:
So was Parlock having one of his sons portray a union stooge?
Wow. If that really is what happened (and it looks plausible, judging from the pictures), I'd have to say Parlock is a brilliant manipulator.
posted by adamrice at 10:53 AM on September 17, 2004


Another update on Wonkette

I've learned that Phil Parlock, in an attempt to aid Bush in the state, had the incident staged. As far as I know, Parlock's family knew nothing of it. . . . [Blogger informant] Daisy, who also lives in Huntington, knows Phil Parlock and his family and she made it clear that they were "very nice people." I asked her why she thought Parlock would do such a thing, she mentioned that Parlock is "very very Christian," "incredibly anti-gay," and a strong Bush supporter.

and from another article,

Alex Parlock, 11, said he shook Bush’s hand four years ago during a campaign visit at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington. Alex said he was sitting on his father’s shoulders and wearing a Bush mask when then-candidate Bush saw him and shook his hand.

Who wears Bush masks at Pro-Bush rallies?
posted by milovoo at 11:03 AM on September 17, 2004


[reading the links in the Meta-talk thread]
Some of the articles point out he attended the rally with his "union stooge" son. Each link paints a different picture about the incident. Anyone figure out the truth here as to who ripped the sign? Reading a picture is not reading. Because Mr. Parlock claims: With Parlock were sons Phil II, 21, and Alex, 11, and daughter Sophia, 3. Parlock said a Kerry supporter yanked a Bush-Cheney sign out of Sophia’s hands, making her cry. As they stood along the road later, someone threw the ripped-up remains of the sign at them as they passed.

Maybe a fourth Parlock child was there because it would seem very strange having your son be the culprit then introduce him afterwards.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:12 AM on September 17, 2004


Who wears Bush masks at Pro-Bush rallies?

Perhaps it was a desperate, unsuccessful bid to get some anti-Bush protester to mistake his kid for Bush and beat the crap out of him.

Also:

Link for milovoo's Unluckiest Republican cite up there. Just 'cause without a link, I didn't know if milovoo was making it up. Can't be too safe these days.

Be careful out there.
posted by soyjoy at 11:13 AM on September 17, 2004


so, i was just wondering....

Does the smirking DWRoelands in this post really feel proud for swallowing an amateur Repugnicans serial deception?
posted by quonsar at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2004


This is gold. I hope the cable news outlets pick this up.
posted by The God Complex at 11:22 AM on September 17, 2004


Do the smirking people in this photo really feel proud for
If you look at the photo closely, no one is smirking. The original posted picture which is making it way around the net paints a wrong story. "The rest of the story" is the father planned the stunt. Then its irony is that his older son is being blamed when reading into the picture. Pancakes anyone?
posted by thomcatspike at 11:27 AM on September 17, 2004


Not only was this staged but he's done it twice before? So he's a serial asshat? Good for him.

I'm glad he's on the other side. Now if we can only get Fred Durst to blow himself up......
posted by fenriq at 11:36 AM on September 17, 2004


This is gold. I hope the cable news outlets pick this up.

Other than tomorrow's Daily Show writing itself, I'll bet it will pass right under the radar.
posted by milovoo at 11:45 AM on September 17, 2004


Try explaining this to your daughter when she is old enough to understand, Mr. Parlock. It is my sincere hope that she will be kinder to you than I would.
posted by whatnot at 12:08 PM on September 17, 2004


Parlock is a brilliant manipulator.
So he's a serial asshat?


Monday, July 5, 2004 Thousands cheer Bush - The Phil Parlock family of Barboursville -- father, mother and 10 children -- likewise made the trip as a family.

Thursday, April 10, 2003 Military families rejoice, but realize fight’s not over - The Parlock family in eastern Cabell County also watched Saddam’s statue -- and his regime -- tumble in Iraq. Pamela Parlock, 20, is a member of Huntington’s 1257th Transportation Company of the West Virginia Army National Guard. She has nine siblings. When I watched that statue come down and when I saw the cheers of the Iraqis, I knew two things," said Phil Parlock, Pamela’s father. "

Monday, April 5, 2004 Five vie for two Cabell BOE seats - Phil Parlock has seven children in the Cabell County school system. This is his fourth attempt running for the school board.

ect.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:20 PM on September 17, 2004


Three-year-old Sophia Parlock

The three-year-old, look how long her legs are hanging next to her father’s torso. If you compare the family photo standing by a National Guard truck, think she is going on five now. The photo (scroll down to bottom to see both) at the National Guard facility has to be 2 years older. Because you see the oldest son is in fatigues and the oldest daughter in civilian clothes. Both older children are currently in the National Guard.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:40 PM on September 17, 2004


TCS is a one-man MoJo! Go, go!
posted by soyjoy at 1:51 PM on September 17, 2004


Bonus points for witholding comment on the paradigm-subverting, sign-ripping freedom fighters in question.

Former CW: dhoyt=perpetually holier-than-thou.
Current CW: dhoyt=clueless asshat
posted by y2karl at 1:55 PM on September 17, 2004


Also do you know a three year old girl whose hair length is to her waist?
posted by thomcatspike at 1:56 PM on September 17, 2004


Also do you know a three year old girl whose hair length is to her waist?

Scientific fact: Republicans exhibit a quadraploid genetic makeup that allows them to grow hair really really fast. They can also move backwards and forwards through time (which can be confusing if done too often - the reason many of them believe we are still in the 1950s) and if you chop their arm off, another Republican will grow from the severed limb.
posted by Jimbob at 2:13 PM on September 17, 2004 [1 favorite]


Score one for tolerance and diversity.

So, I wonder if we're going get any comments from the original poster?
posted by milovoo at 2:16 PM on September 17, 2004


soy look what I found over at my favorite site which is currently the 22nd top link being viewed on the net.

One last theory: some lefties have alleged that the union guy on the left in the photo is actually Parlock's son, impersonating a Democrat thug. Michelle Malkin has interviewed Parlock, who laughs at that suggestion, pointing out that he lives in a small town where his son would instantly be recognized.

The site owner is being fooled when looking at what I linked above "With Parlock were sons Phil II, 21, and Alex, 11, and daughter Sophia, 3. ....later, someone threw the ripped-up remains of the sign at them as they passed."
Mr Parlock never says or gives a specific description of the culprit. Meaning it is his son in the picture and for all we know he imagined a Kerry supporter ripping his sign up. Because the sign was never ripped up in his view. The photo with three five year old crying is so very misleading.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:24 PM on September 17, 2004


One more comment. The photographer is from Mr Parlock's home area. So they may know each other. Also, why in the photo is the younger Parlock making a fist? This photo was staged, not that no one else thought that.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:30 PM on September 17, 2004


Here's some eyewitness accounts.

I'm still not sure about the union shirt guy being his son, because he claimed it was not on a radio interview, and it seems like very few people are dumb enough to risk their entire personal credibility with such an testable lie. Then again, perhaps he is not the brightest bulb in WV.
posted by milovoo at 2:35 PM on September 17, 2004


Also, why in the photo is the younger Parlock making a fist then? Remember the supposed culprit is gone. His delay is off looking at the fact some time had passed as the signs ripped pieces would most likely have to be picked up off the ground.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:36 PM on September 17, 2004


for all we know he imagined a Kerry supporter ripping his sign up.
Arrrr... the smoking gun.
That's exactly what Phil did.
Mr M
1 - The signs were hidden, I believe, in the leg of his pants so they had been mangled already by body sweat and crumpling. They easily fell apart. He reached down to retrieve them as Edwards came off the bus.


Then quonsar nails it before the photo shot i bet he pinches the kid on the leg in order to get her to cry when a camera goes by.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:47 PM on September 17, 2004


Sorry on more. Can't believe the support Phil has received even though he pancakes himself with his quotes in the news papers.

"They just pounced on us," said Phil Parlock, who took his 11-year-old son, Alex, and 3-year-old daughter, Sophia, to the Democratic rally at Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va.

What happen to your other son I linked above? Did he disappear like the Kerry supporter?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:56 PM on September 17, 2004


well, if it's true and not faked, maybe it's just pent-up frustration about a candidate who won't allow anyone who doesn't like him to come within 5 miles of where he is, or said protestor will be arrested. i think it's not nearly late enough in the game for a bush supporter to call foul on the tolerance of a democrat right yet. in terms of political party karma, that is.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:58 PM on September 17, 2004


another link
posted by Outlawyr at 3:00 PM on September 17, 2004


I guess this shouldn't really be a surprise, when meagre evidence points to some wrongdoing, right-wingers and republicans immediately call for violence and retaliation, and then when evidence proves to be manufactured and false they still claim they were right and no apology is ever made. I fear the day when the truth is not soon enough.

(I've been reading LGF and Freep)
posted by milovoo at 3:06 PM on September 17, 2004


What happen to your other son I linked above? Did he disappear like the Kerry supporter?

Here's what he told the (Moonie-owned) Washington Times:

"In the picture, you can see one of the painters union guys has a piece of one of my signs in his hand."
posted by Vidiot at 7:39 PM on September 17, 2004


While I find it almost impossible to believe that someone would be dumb enough to pull a stunt like this using his own son, I also can't fathom the mentality where it's a good idea to have nine or fifteen or however many kids. Maybe the one explains the other.

Author's note: The manner in which this story came to light is a lesson in modern journalism. The mainstream fellows simply reported the Parlock perspective, but it was an intrepid band of online newshounds - bloggers Rising Hegemon and Atrios, who picked up on the work of one Rezmutt, member of the forums at DemocraticUnderground.com - who pieced together the strange coincidences surrounding these Parlock incidents.

Um, hello - have you ever heard of a fellow by the name of thomcatspike? Now who's behind the curve, hmmm???
posted by soyjoy at 8:03 PM on September 17, 2004


So (connecting the dots, 'cuz I'm slow)... the Herald-Dispatch (presumably) identifies the IUPAT t-shirt kid as Phil II, the Washington Times identifies him as one of the attackers and IUPAT issues an apology because of one of their "overzealous members" did????

Who the hell am I supposed to believe, the Dispatch, the Union, or Sun Myung Moon?
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:24 PM on September 18, 2004


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