Some of you may be aware that former KVIA sports anchor Paul Cicala created a firestorm over one of his Twitter posts this past weekend. Cicala left El Paso on August 15, 2013. Currently, Paul Cicala is the sports anchor for Tucson’s KVOA. As some of you may know, on Thursday, June 2, 2016, Paul Cicala started a firestorm on social media over a comment he made on his Twitter account that blamed a Donald Trump supporter for provoking an attack against her.
Eggs were thrown at a woman wearing a Donald Trump shirt during a Trump rally Thursday night in San Jose, California. Cicala tweeted to NBC news correspondent, Jacob Rascon, that Rascon had failed to report that the Trump supporter had taunted protestors before she got pelted with eggs.
As a result, social media erupted against Paul Cicala and his post on Twitter.
The following day, KVOA and Paul Cicala issued an apology for the tweet. Cicala, also deleted his Twitter account.
Cicala could have chosen his words better but it is important to remember that Twitter isn’t a medium where one can articulate a complete thought because of the limits on text imposed by Twitter. Almost 20 minutes later, Cicala attempted to clarify his statement but by then it was too late because social media is instant.
However, I understand where Paul Cicala was coming from and why online users erupted in indignation.
First and foremost, violence against anyone is never acceptable. The woman wearing the Donald Trump shirt has the exact same right to voice her support of him, as I have to opine that Donald Trump is not fit to be president. Those throwing eggs at the woman had no right to do so and need to be prosecuted for their actions.
With that said, it is important to note two things. The first is that Donald Trump incites anger with his political rhetoric. Although, I have been taken to task several times, I still believe and will continue to believe that Donald Trump called me, and my brethren murderers and rapists. But, I have not resorted to violence as a response to his hate speech. Instead, I use words and my talents to remind everyone how unfit for the presidential office he is.
The second thing to note is Cicala was effectively silenced by angry posters who threatened his career. If you look at Paul Cicala’s post, he made a point to call out a reporter for not reporting a contributing factor to what transpired. However wrong it is that the egg throwers did what they did, it is also important to know the context of what transpired. That does not excuse the criminal behavior of the egg throwers, but it puts everything into context.
For example, it is very different if an individual suddenly attacks another because they have a different skin color. Most of us abhor this action. But what happens, if instead of reading that the attacker is racist and suddenly attacked, you instead read that the victim called him a racist before being attacked. The attacker is still wrong, but it puts their actions in the context of responding to a situation instead of just attacking a person on the street because of their skin color.
The attacker is still wrong and needs to be prosecuted, but their actions are mitigated by the context of the situation.
Likewise, it is important to know whether the victim of the egg attack taunted the attackers. There is a big difference between a sudden attack just to attack and an attack as a result of actions. It is the news media’s responsibility to report all of the facts so that we can each make our own minds up about what transpired.
I do not know Paul Cicala, but taking his tweet, it seems to me that he was challenging the reporter to put the actions in context.
Unfortunately, the anger that Donald Trump generates is so severe that the level of emotion is so high that reactions are becoming serious to all concerned. We may never know what Paul Cicala intended with his tweet, his corporate bosses have gotten involved and we will never know his true intentions, one way or another.
Those who are angered at Paul Cicala for his tweet, and those who are angered by the egg throwers should also note that Donald Trump has also angered many of us through his words.