Just a few months ago, this kind of rhetoric abounded. But in the aftermath of the 2012 elections, the tone among the right-leaning punditocracy has shifted, especially on immigration. Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media kingpin, has called for “sweeping, generous immigration reform.” Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, who led the charge against George W. Bush’s ill-fated 2007 immigration-overhaul plan, have endorsed the Senate blueprint. So has Bill O’Reilly. Even Rush Limbaugh has signaled that he might be persuadable, by praising co-author Marco Rubio’s efforts as “admirable and noteworthy.” Against this backdrop, Pruden’s mud slinging—which in another era might have swayed public opinion—only make the Times seem out of step.

This is Mariah Blake’s first story for CJR’s United States Project, which covers the coverage of politics and policy. Follow @USProjectCJR for more posts from her and the rest of the United States Project team.


Mariah Blake writes for the United States Project, CJR's politics and policy desk. She is based in Washington, DC, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Salon, The Washington Monthly, and CJR, among other publications.