Phil Parlock. Parlock is a family man and a staunch Republican. Parlock
has a very sad story to tell about how rotten Kerry supporters are.
You see, they made his little girl cry.
Parlock, his weeping daughter, and the fiendish union guy holding a
piece of the allegedly ripped sign. Parlock was at a rally on Thursday
to greet Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards, who was on a swing
through West Virginia and Ohio. Parlock brought his three children and
a Bush/Cheney sign to show support for his beloved President. According
to him, a Kerry-supporting union guy wearing an IUPAT shirt ripped up
the Bush sign his little girl was carrying, making her cry.
Terrible, right? A sign that our national politics have descended into
these kind of brutish tactics, right? An embarrassing incident for the
Kerry campaign, right? The media certainly thinks so, and has dutifully
reported on the incident.
For the third time.
report from the Charleston Daily Mail, August 27, 1996:
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...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
A report from the Charleston Daily Mail, October 28, 2000:
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."
For the third Presidential election in a row, poor Phil Parlock has
been abused by terrible Democrats while trying to support the Republican
candidate, and while trying to introduce his children to the art of
retail politics. Is this just a string of bad luck for Phil?
I doubt it. It seems a great deal more certain that Mr. Parlock is a
serial disruptor who has managed to convince the easily-duped mainstream
media on three separate occasions that he was attacked by Democrats.
Only a truly hard-core fanatic would pull a stunt like this, and Parlock
certainly appears to fit the bill.
Note the fact that he was holding a "Remember Vince Foster"
sign at the first incident in 1996. Parlock, it seems, is of that particular
fringe school of thought which believes Hillary Clinton had Foster whacked
as a part of her grandiose evil scheming. Believers in this particular
conspiracy theory are not known for their balanced view of American
politics. They see the Clinton family as a pack of remorseless murderers,
and therefore feel compelled to do whatever they can to thwart them.
Take a look at the sprightly Parlock family, posing beside a giant military
a long look at the young man in the gray shirt, and then take another
look at the alleged union guy who tore up the sign. Am I the only one
who sees a striking resemblance?
It appears we have a clever fellow here who has convinced the same Charleston
newspaper three different times that he was victimized by Democrats
at rallies. He does not seem to have any problem with involving his
own children in the game, and may have even gone so far as to have one
of his sons play the role of 'Democrat Attacker.'
This would be funny, in a sad sort of way, but for two things.
First, this is how campaigns get mired in utterly mindless trivialities.
Instead of discussing the upswell of catastrophic violence in Iraq,
we get to hear about poor Phil and his crying daughter. There are important
matters to discuss, matters central to the future of the country, but
media tricks like this blow the whole show off-track. That's bad.
The second reason this isn't so funny happened two weeks ago. A gathering
of Republicans at the local GOP headquarters got a nasty scare when
someone fired a bullet at the building. About two dozen people were
there to watch the Republican Convention in New York when a single shot
hit the window.
Dee Delancy of WCHS news in Charleston reported on the incident, and
interviewed several people who were there. One of them was Phil Parlock,
who said, "I think this is definitely, definitely an act that was
by an extremist kind of thing."
Parlock was there.
This could all be a series of strange coincidences. Parlock could simply
be an unlucky guy who always seems to be around when Democrats do something
wretched, who took abuse in 1996, 2000 and 2004 for supporting Republicans,
who happened to have the same newspaper on hand to report his story
each time, and who also happened to be on the scene of a shooting incident
that made Democrats look like frightening would-be assassins.
This could be a series of coincidences, but someone should take a long
look at this fellow regardless. Manufacturing a few sign-ripping incidents
isn't a terribly big deal. But he appears to be hell-bent on making
Democrats look like thugs, and there has been a shooting incident involving
him on top of everything else. The media, which may well have been repeatedly
scammed by Parlock, might want to do some further checking.
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.
Once upon a time, stories like this would get missed. The internet has
created a whole new phenomenon. If the mainstream media wants to avoid
being embarrassed, they might want to think about paying attention to
this brave new world of investigative journalism.
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and international bestseller
of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know'
and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'