Talk radio's Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin and internet giant Matt Drudge are getting a good chunk of the credit for helping defeat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who championed the type of immigration reform, dubbed "amnesty," conservatives are rising up against.
The staunch support of Ingraham and Levin for Cantor challenger and amnesty foe Dave Brat is seen in conservative corners as the key to the college professor's victory in Tuesday's Virginia GOP primary.
And now they are planning to turn their megawatts on Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran and further promote state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who, with their backing, eked out more votes than Cochran in an earlier primary, setting up a June 24 runoff.
"On it," said Levin.
Pat Buchanan, one of the titans in the conservative media world, said that while Brat ran a good campaign, his victory was a gift from Ingraham, Levin and Drudge’s anti-amnesty drumbeat on Cantor.
“His advocacy of ‘amnesty’ and perceived arrogance are what made Eric Cantor vulnerable. And Brat ran a gallant campaign,” Buchanan told Secrets.
“But Laura, Mark Levin, and Matt Drudge played the decisive roles in raising the decibel level and rallying the troops over the latest invasion crisis on the Mexican border. If amnesty is dead for 2014, and we can probably call the coroner's office, these three are holding the smoking revolvers,” he added.
Media watchdog L. Brent Bozell III noted that the radio personalities put their reputations on the line for Brat. Levin, said Bozell, president of the conservative group ForAmerica, "was with Brat when nobody gave a damn." Demonstrations of support like that, he added, shows that "Levin has kind of become the conscience of conservatives."
Levin was modest about his support of Brat. "Look, the good guys win some and lose some. We need to win more to restore the republic. This is a great victory for the people. Dave Brat ran a superb campaign. But it's their victory. Their courage. Their work," said Levin, who has a huge audience in Virginia.
Ingraham campaigned with Brat and said on her show Wednesday that his victory was the latest sign that reports of the death of conservative talk radio are lies. "In your face," she cheered.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.