Debate Erupts Over Gianno Caldwell’s Meal from Fox News’ Paradis Books & Bread

On Saturday in Miami, Fox News analyst Gianno Caldwell went for breakfast at Paradis Books & Bread. His meal sparked a national news story that resulted in the restaurant shutting for a planned “winter break” a week early.

Caldwell tweeted, “I can’t believe what just happened. I met up with friends for breakfast at Paradis Books and Bread in North Miami & while we were having discussions about politics, we were told by the owner that we were not welcomed there because we aren’t politically aligned. Outrageous.”

The tweet had more than 2 million views and sparked a conversation about the state of our political divide. Caldwell reiterated during a Fox News segment he was speaking about politics in the café and was asked to leave. He called the incident “troubling.”

The café said via its Instagram account, “a group of people came in, ordered their food, sat in the inside corner, and talked quite loudly for over an hour. A lot of what they were discussing was very troubling, specifically when talking about women in degrading ways, as well as using eugenic arguments around their thoughts on Roe v. Wade.”

When the story began to go viral, the café said it received “a couple of genuinely alarming messages online and calls to our personal phones that have ultimately made us decide to take our winter break out of an abundance of caution for ourselves and our community.”

A 2019 Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos poll found more than nine of 10 people – about as close to unanimity as a national poll usually reaches – said it was important for the United States to try to reduce that divisiveness. But as of December, a declining share of Americans said they believe it is “very important” to reduce divisiveness or to find better ways to understand people whose political affiliations are different from their own.

Charles Campbell, a landscaper who lives in a New Orleans suburb and participated in the poll, said he doesn’t necessarily think America is more divided today compared to 10 or 20 years ago – Americans are just more aware of the divisions and differing opinions and beliefs because of social media.

Much of the reaction, debate and commentary on Caldwell’s experience has taken place on Twitter.

Lynne Richardson from Oakland, New Jersey, said that media outlets have helped to foster the country’s deepening divides. But she sees an advantage in trying to understand Americans who have different beliefs and opinions from her own.

“I’m not going to give up a friendship with someone who’s generous and kind and loyal just because they have different political beliefs,” she said. “That’s really cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

On Saturday, Fox News analyst Gianno Caldwell went for breakfast at Paradis Books & Bread. His meal sparked a national news story that resulted in the restaurant shutting for a planned “winter break” a week early.

Caldwell tweeted, “I can’t believe what just happened. I met up with friends for breakfast at Paradis Books and Bread in North Miami & while we were having discussions about politics, we were told by the owner that we were not welcomed there because we aren’t politically aligned. Outrageous.”

The tweet had more than 2 million views and sparked a conversation about the state of our political divide. Caldwell reiterated during a Fox News segment he was speaking about politics in the café and was asked to leave. He called the incident “troubling.”

The café said via its Instagram account that a group of people were discussing “very troubling” topics. When the story went viral, they received “genuinely alarming messages” and decided to take a winter break.

A 2019 Public Agenda/USA TODAY/Ipsos poll found most people believe it is important to reduce divisiveness. But a declining share of Americans said they believe it is “very important” to reduce divisiveness or to understand people with different political affiliations.

Charles Campbell, a landscaper from New Orleans, said people are more aware of divisions and opinions because of social media. Much of the reaction to Caldwell’s experience has taken place on Twitter.

Lynne Richardson from New Jersey said media outlets have helped foster the country’s deepening divides. But she said it’s important to understand people with different beliefs.

“I’m not going to give up a friendship with someone who’s generous and kind and loyal just because they have different political beliefs,” she said. “That’s really cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

Contributing: Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY

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