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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Sunday, September 19, 2004

    Intolerance: Revenge of the sign snatchers 

    In neighboring West Virginia, Akron's sister state, 3-year-old Sophia Parlock became a symbol for the intolerance and lack of civility that plagues this campaign, in particular, and our nation, as a whole.

    Her story has been all over the blogosphere, introduced by the Drudge Report, and followed up (responsibly, we might add) by Jim Ross at The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington.

    The incident occurred when Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards arrived at Hunington's Tri-State Airport at the end of a two-day campaign swing through one of the most closely contested of battleground states.

    Reports of the incident vary but the essence is that someone ripped away a Bush-Cheney campaign sign from Sophia and tore it to pieces. A news photographer captured the little girl's upset. The AP photo sparked the Washington Times' interest and soon was up on the Internet.

    Many news outlets and talk shows phoned Sophia's father, Phil, to discuss signgate and Parlock obliged. Bush Internet supporters seized upon the incident, and Kerry backers responded by looking into Parlock's background. They learned Parlock had claimed to have been assaulted at Democratic events in 2000 and 1996.

    Accusations have flown back and forth through the blogosphere. Could the event have been staged? Was the sign-snatcher, who was wearing an International Union of Painters and Allied Trades T-shirt, Parlock's son? None of this goes to the point, which is tolerance of others and their viewpoints.

    Parlock knew giving his daughter the sign was asking for trouble. Signs were banned, except for those disputed by the Kerry-Edwards campaign. In a public setting such as an airport, such controls are difficult to enforce. The Bush-Cheney regularly screens those at its events, excluding opponents. And so it goes.

    We listen only those who echo our own beliefs, and they so sound right and good. Don't they?

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 11:50 AM

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