On calls for civility following the Tucson shootings


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Cisco Cotto
Conservative radio talk show host

Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy were shot before the advent of conservative talk radio and Fox News. You can throw Abe Lincoln in there too.

During the 10 years I was a journalist, the one guiding principle always on my mind was "wait for the facts and then write the story." If only certain Democratic politicians and liberal pundits would have followed this mantra in the wake of the Tucson shootings, they would have saved themselves some embarrassment.

This is especially true for Senator Dick Durbin, who was on CNN just hours after the attack connecting Sarah Palin to the shootings. He was quick to speak after the Ft. Hood shootings, too, but that time Durbin went to the Senate floor to urge Americans not to jump to conclusions about the shooter's motive.

There is sad irony in leaders rushing to connect political opponents to murders by decrying the irresponsibility of inflamed rhetoric. And there is also an opportunity lost. The moment would have been ripe to have a national discussion on appropriate care of the mentally ill. Instead the American electorate only has one further reason to believe Washington leaders and pundits are solely concerned with jockeying for political power.

Words can certainly be used by charismatic leaders to manipulate weak-minded people into doing just about anything, even taking a life. Think Jim Jones and Charles Manson. However, it's important to draw a clear line between people who intentionally lead others down a violent path and those who simply espouse a political agenda.

Cisco Cotto hosts a talk show weekday mornings from 9 to 11 on 890 AM WLS. His blog can be found at www.ciscocotto.com.

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Posted: February 13th, 2011 9:48 AM

@Reality- "Arguments out of a petty mouth are unanswerable." -Joseph Addison


Posted: February 12th, 2011 11:40 PM

You are nothing but a compulsive liar. From the NY Slimes bio page for Frank Rich. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Rich was the front-page columnist for the Sunday Arts & Leisure section as part of that section's redesign and expansion. He also served in an advisory role in the revamping of The Times's daily and Sunday cultural report during that time. Among other honors, Mr. Rich received the George Polk Award for commentary in 2005. Admit you are a liar. CASE CLOSED


Posted: February 9th, 2011 2:59 PM

Oh, Reality! How confused you are. Too much Fox News in your diet? Go to the website for the George Polk award or Wikipedia on Frank Rich. He was indeed honored for investigative reporting & journalistic integrity. Case closed! It appears you have yet to read Rich's report but still want to argue. That's just dumb! I am not going to defend Soros or unions. You ride the Koch brothers bandwagon & drink Cotto's kool-aid. Campaign finance reform is the solution. We should be able to agree on that.


Posted: February 9th, 2011 2:27 PM

JC-You obviously know NOTHING about taxes. You're right- Koch Industries paid no income taxes. It has NOTHING to do with tax havens or offshore accounts. Now go learn why NO LLC pays a dime in corporate taxes. Then explain why it was ok for obama to arbitrarily change long standing tax and bankruptcy laws to grant GM the ability to avoid taxes on $45 BILLION worth of net income. You still haven't pointed to anything they have done that is illegal of different than Soros or labor unions.


Posted: February 9th, 2011 2:20 PM

JC- the only thing your posts prove is just how ignorant and irrational you are. 1) Frank Rich didNOT receive an award for invetsigative reporting. He won a Polk award for commentary. 2)No bid contracts from the military amounted to less than 5% of KBR's total revenues and Obama awarded a NEW no bid contract, which they were free to put out for bid, making your claims irrelevant to the arguement.


Posted: February 9th, 2011 2:16 AM

And finally, Reality. Your enthusiasm regarding the charitable donations made by the Koch brothers should be tempered somewhat by the fact that Koch Industries does not pay a dollar of corporate income taxes: thanks to accounting schemes and off-shore tax havens. They do however compete against companies that pay corporate income taxes. Koch Industries is also one the world's largest polluters and is working to abolish the EPA and the Clean Air Act. That's why they want control of the Tea Party.


Posted: February 9th, 2011 1:50 AM

Back to reality. Since 2001, KBR has grossed more than $25 billion. They supply and support U.S. troops all over the world. Presdient Obama inherited the wars from George W. Bush and the Halliburton/KBR contracts from Dick Cheney. Thanks to this previous administration, KBR is too entrenched in war efforts to be replaced. That's exactly the message the top brass of our armed forces delivered to President Obama. This doesn't mean that he is not concerned and angry about KBR fraud & corruption.


Posted: February 9th, 2011 1:29 AM

@Reality. I guess I'll take 'em one at a time. Frank Rich received the George Polk award for investigative reporting and journalistic integrity. Other Polk Award recipients include: Diane Sawyer, Studs Turkel, Jimmy Breslin, Susan Sontag, Howard K. Smith,James Baldwin & Walter Cronkite. Pretty impressive company. And they sure trump the photos Cisco Cotto posted of himself posing with Glenn Beck, Scott Lee Cohen, Sarah Palin & "Cliff" from TVs "Cheers". Please read Frank Rich's report.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 10:52 PM

JC- What exactly have the Koch brothers done wrong? It is their money and they can do with it as they please. Their t party donations were far less than the $$ donated to the dems by unions or Soros. In fact, Koch gave 15% of its donations to democrats in the 2008 election cycle, far more than unions or soros gave to the GOP. They employ 70,000 americans and donated $500 million to Lincoln center, the smithsonian, MIT, cancer research, PBS, Sloan Kettering, to name just a few.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 10:21 PM

JC- Why did Obama give KBR (the HAL subsidiary) a no bid contract in May of 2010? May 6 (Bloomberg) -- KBR Inc. was selected for a no-bid contract worth as much as $568 million through 2011 for military support services in Iraq, the Army said.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 10:16 PM

JC- Frank Rich is NOT, and never has been, an investigative reporter but if making up facts helps you feel better, go right ahead. Frank Rich is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. His weekly 1,500-word essay helped inaugurate the expanded opinion pages that the paper introduced in the Sunday Week in Review section in April 2005. Before writing his column, Mr. Rich served as The Times's chief drama critic beginning in 1980, the year he joined The Times.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 6:54 PM

Come on, Hoppy! Read my posts. Frank Rich's report in the 8/26/10 issue of the New York Times provides plenty of valuable information. You'll learn about the Koch brothers funding of the Tea Party and why they are doing it. There are countless reports available on line that examine the Koch brothers and their involvement with the" reform" movement. We're in total agreement about the military's involvement in Iraq and Afghansitan. The latest issue of Rolling Stone has a great report on the war.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 4:35 PM

JC I'm not sure what you are waiting to hear me say. I can tell you this, though. If it were up to me, there would be no profiteering in Iraq or Afghanistan because there would not be a US military presence there. Likewise, Germany, Japan, Italy, Saudi Arabia, et al. As far as the funding for the Tea Party, I don't know where it comes from and doubt if you do.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 3:15 PM

@Hoppy. Public corruption is the biggest threat to the republic. Members of both parties have been active participants in stealing taxpayers funds for personal gain & failing to protect the public trust. I'm still waiting to get you on the record. My issue with Cisco Cotto is detailed in my initial post. So far, none of his followers are willing or able to dispute my concerns. Cotto protects the likes of Cheney, the Koch brothers & U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is not a honorable man in my book.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 12:24 PM

JC If your point is that almost everyone in side the DC beltway is a criminal, I agree. If your point is that they are only Republicans, then I disagree.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 11:31 AM

Come on, KB. You must be aware that, prior to the November elections, Gabrielle Giffords expressed her concerns about the use of targets in postings by Sarah Palin. Perhaps, you should written that on the palm of your hand as a reminder.


Posted: February 8th, 2011 11:12 AM

Hoppy hands him homework. There have always been war profiteers & Viet Nam was no exception. In fact, Congressman Donald Rumsfeld complained about no bid contracts being awarded by LBJ. Let's stay on topic. Do you agree Dick Cheney improperly steered billions in government contracts to Halliburton? All I've heard from the Cotto crowers is gibberish. Take the challenge & address the issues raised in my initial post. By the way, you failed to mention Nixon and Kissinger's war crimes. Cambodia?

brewster73 from Chicago  

Posted: February 8th, 2011 10:06 AM

re comments: Can't defend your position? Then obfuscate the issue & hijack the discussion; EXACTLY what this article's about. Political rhetoric obstructed a serious & necessary discussion about the mental heath and court systems in our country. My bi-polar sister-in-law held a knife to the children's throats, the case worker told the judge the children were in lethal harm's way when with her...the result? They changed custody from 70-30 to 50-50. People KNEW Loughner was deranged. So unecessary


Posted: February 8th, 2011 9:18 AM

@JC, Would you like to tell us who profited from the war in Viet Nam? You know, the one where JFK sent the first combat troops, and LBJ eventually had 500,000 poor black kids from the inner city fighting for reasons that were never made clear to the American people.

Tom Cassidy  

Posted: February 8th, 2011 9:08 AM

And let's not forget Mayor Bloomberg, who opined that the Times Square bomb was probably the work of someone opposed to the Health Care Reform bill.

KB from Chicago  

Posted: February 8th, 2011 8:59 AM

I agree. Dick durbin was given the correct name. Also that sheriff in Az.. I do not even get how the thought even popped in the liberals'minds to tie this shooting to palin. Its ridiculous...It would be like saying Mayor daley is responsible for this past blizzard.... Stop opening your mouth before you know the facts.... go figure this kid was generally liberal leaning and not even into politics...


Posted: February 5th, 2011 4:31 PM

@Ronnie, Frank Rich is a topnotch investigative reporter. Read the article I referenced before offering an opinion. Cisco Cotto is not going to tell you the truth about the Koch brothers. He's not on your side!

Ronnie 100 from Oak Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2011 3:51 PM

JC-please, you cannot invoke Frank Rich and the NYT and then accuse anyone else of not "being exposed to a reasoned thought process". There is no news entity, or member of the media more knee-jerk and lacking in reasoned thought than Mr Rich...that is unless you include his partner and mind-numbed robot, Paul Krugman, or anyone on MSNBC (though of course nobody watches). The Health Care takeover by the current administration is a greater criminal act than anything Haliburton may have done.


Posted: February 5th, 2011 10:34 AM

@IT- Have you read "Ultimate Sacrifice"? I believe it was Gore Vidal who stated that the authors "solved" the JFK assasination. If you are a regular listener of Cotto's show or Fox News, it's likely you are not beng exposed to a reasoned thought process. You need to work on your game.

independent thinker  

Posted: February 5th, 2011 8:05 AM

@KS - Never let facts stand in the way of the opinions far left or far right wing groups. Political parties are for lazy sheep who do not want to listen to the other side. BTW @JC - is this the same Thom Hartmann who "solved" JFK's assassination - some type of mafia plot?!? - LMAO.

KS from Chicago Ridge  

Posted: February 5th, 2011 6:59 AM

As someone else has stated, this is simply a column that points out the hypocrisy of the left. Anyone who wants to write about their grievances can do so, too. As far as the terrorist plot against a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan is concerned, it appears to be a one man vendetta. This is a quote from the Dearborn police chief; The suspect "appeared to be acting alone," Haddad said. "His threat has been mitigated." I have yet to hear one conservative leader condone the act of this sick man.


Posted: February 5th, 2011 12:28 AM

More for Spanks to chew on.... WAR PROFITEERING: A March '03 Pentagon memo reveals that Halliburton's no bid contracts for the Iraq War were coordinated by VP Cheney, former CEO of the company. TEA PARTY FINANCES: The Koch Brothers provide the bulk of the funding. Read Frank Rich's report of the Kochs in the New York Times (8/28/10). HEALTH CARE REFORM: You'll recall that the U.S Chamber of Commerce admitted to spending $57mil on ads against efforts to reform health care. Prove me wrong!


Posted: February 5th, 2011 12:10 AM

@Candy. I didn't claim that YOU were recieving money as a Tea Party member. But you should know that the Koch Brothers are proving the bulk of the funds used to press the agenda you embrace. There's lots of information out there that will detail the history and motivations of the Kochs. I doubt you share the same values or are aware of the corporate influence within the ranks of the Tea Party and GOP. You've got the mantra down pat on Soros. Now take a look at the Kochs.


Posted: February 4th, 2011 11:44 PM

@Spanks. Too much Fox News in your diet.

Mort Aod from Attleboro, MA  

Posted: February 4th, 2011 7:40 PM

Thanks, Cisco! As always you've compiled a thoughtful and concise response to something that touches us all. In regards to "Doh!" in the comments, I'm afraid that the individual missed the part of the news reporting where the 'right-wing terrorist' referred to himself as: "a Muslim and a member of an Indonesian mujahedeen group." That makes me think of every tea-partier I know.

Candy from Cissna Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2011 7:32 PM

First, as a member of the tea party, I am not getting money from anyone. So, that blows that theory, J.C. George Soros anyone? What Cisco was doing, is pointing out the hypocrisy of the left. You know little Dickie Durbin urging no one jump to conclusions about Ft. Hood, and then saying it was Sarah Palin's fault that 6 people died in Tuscon. You know, like you J.C. and you DOH.


Posted: February 4th, 2011 7:32 PM

Really? War profiteering, money men funding of the Tea Party, and special interests blocking health INSURANCE reform? Exactly what basis in fact do any of those statements have? Theories, opinions, paranoia...yes. Facts, not so much. But it would be great to hear Mr. Cotto spend an entire show on any one of them. (I'd say since Cheney/Bush have been GONE for 2 years we let that well beaten horse die)


Posted: February 4th, 2011 6:50 AM

Cisco Cotto is RIGHT! But than again, there are far too many people that look to take every tragedy and take advantage of it to further their cause - that was the motto of many politicians. People need to know the entire story - and comparing what might have happened in Michigan with what one of US Senators misstates about another crazed person is clearly unwarranted and a Stretch to mask the facts of a Senator who can't help himself - open mouth and insert foot. Keep up the the good work.


Posted: February 4th, 2011 1:29 AM

Apparently Cotto doesn't know that Booth was part of a Southern conspiracy to kill Lincoln. Setting that aside, I'd like to know how much airtime Cotto has devoted on his radio show to discussions about the rightwing terrorist who was arrested last week minutes before detonating a bomb and killing 500 Muslims in Dearborn, MI.


Posted: February 4th, 2011 1:08 AM

I've listened to Mr. Cotto's radio show and believe his motto these days is "wait for the facts and then distort them". He won't offer an honest examination on Iraq war profiteering by Dick Cheney and high-ranking members of the Bush Administration. Cotto is not going to be truthful about the money men funding the Tea Party. He hasn't been on the level by exposing special interests' efforts intended to block health care reform. I like to see Cotto debate Thom Hartman on the issues of the day.

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