Bill O'Reilly opened this segment with Brit Hume by asking the question: "Do some conservative media people actually intimidate Republicans in Congress?" Hume actually answered him honestly when it comes to who is ruling the roost and the GOP being afraid of these right-wing hate talkers on the radio.
They somehow forgot to mention the influence their own network has on them as well. Imagine that.
HUME: I'm not sure they're calling the shots but make no mistake about it, Bill. These -- some of these radio talk show hosts have real influence. They have a huge following, particularly in very conservative areas where they are most popular and where the many members of congress who inhabit those areas are not worried about being reelected if they can get nominated. But they are worried about a primary challenge that could deny them the nomination.
O'REILLY: And that happened --
HUME: So they'll go a long way to avoid it and keeping radio talk show hosts off their back is one way of doing that.
O'REILLY: That happened in Indiana to Lugar. He was a very well thought of senator, moderate. And then a more conservative guy got the nomination. He lost in the general race. So you believe that in Congress, if somebody has to run every two years as they do, and they get on the wrong side of a powerful radio voice, that's beamed into their district, because the guys are national, they can really do them bad damage if they promote the other guy?
HUME: Well, look, it's not controlling but it's a factor. I mean, if you're a pragmatic politician up for reelection, you're looking at the landscape and you don't want to a lot of problems. And you don't -- and in many of these districts the Democrats can't cause you any problems. There are just not enough of them. What there are enough of is conservative Republicans and conservative Republicans around the country today are very disappointed in their party and its leadership. And they think that the control of the House of Representatives should have been able to give them much more leverage than they seem to have been able to demonstrate and they should have been able to do more with it.
And so if you're sitting over in the House of Representatives and some measures of defund Obamacare comes along and you think it's a suicide mission because it might involve a government shutdown you're going to be hesitant to oppose it anyway because you don't want the most conservative -- you don't want the tea party and you don't want the conservative radio talk show hosts on your back. That doesn't mean they can defeat you but it means you don't want it.