The New York Times has been quite dismissive of the right to free speech when the right wing is involved, calling it a “canard” abused by racists. Yet the Times can be quite protective when it comes to (imaginary) threats to its own free speech, as shown by two stories on Monday. Both stories reacted to a provocative tweet by Donald Trump -- a video repurposing an old clip of Trump doing a bit at WrestleMania, showing him clothes-lining another man, but with a CNN icon projected over the face of the “victim” of the “assault,” Vince McMahon (quotation marks provided, since the media doesn’t seem to realize that wrestling is fake). First off, Trump and his mean tweet have already ruined sensitive media columnist Jim Rutenberg’s Fourth of July holiday, according to his Monday piece for the front of Business Day, “Celebrating Independence As Free Press Is Besieged.”



The front page of Friday’s New York Times featured a graceless goodbye to former Fox News chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes (and an insult to Fox News viewers): “A Fighter Who Turned Rage Into a News Empire” by Clyde Haberman. Even upon his passing, the Times maintained its hostility toward a man who found a wide and instantly receptive audience who latched on to a point of view clearly absent from the mainstream media’s liberal universe.



You know it’s getting serious when the New York Times is sending its media columnist on a mission to Moscow, to find ominous parallels between the state of the Russian press, squelched and persecuted under Vladimir Putin, and the American media. Jim Rutenberg filed a 1,600-word report for Monday’s New York Times. The Times doesn’t do much these days to hide its adamant opposition and hostility to Trump, and neither did Rutenberg’s story and headline: “In Russia, a Pliant Press That Trump So Craves.” Could it happen here?



New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg took his usual spot on the front of Business Day on Tuesday, with a new angle in his regular hammering of Trump, this time praising “Pod Save America” (get it!?) a popular podcast under the auspices of the ironically named Crooked Media, produced by former Obama White House aides: “Opposition and a Shave – Former Obama aides use a podcast to counter Trump on his terrain (And they have advertisers.)” Go team!



Sunday’s New York Times featured the latest installment in easily-freaked media reporter Jim Rutenberg’s crusade against President Trump: “Trump’s Undermining Reporters May Haunt Republicans.” The online headline foreshadowed Rutenberg’s unlikely attempt to enlist Republicans in defense of the press and against Trump: “Will the Real Democracy Lovers Please Stand Up?” while the text box delivered an empty threat: “This strategy could push Republicans into a corner later.”



New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg, hyper-sensitive to threats to his profession from fearsome President Trump -- found his most dubious one yet and wrote it up as a dark threat barely averted in Saturday’s “A Newsroom Risk In the Trump Era: Self-Censorship.” He got right into the drama, with Trump as a fascist-in-formation: "This is how the muzzling starts: not with a boot on your neck, but with the fear of one that runs so deep that you muzzle yourself." The Times clearly felt no censorship threat when it ran a compilation of vile overseas news accounts of Trump’s media-trashing press conference.



New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg took his standard place on the front of Business Day, hyperventilating this time about the pushback to Kellyanne Conway’s comment about the “Bowling Green massacre” being a turning point in the battle against “fake news.” The headline wasn’t subtle: “The Massacre That Wasn’t: A ‘Fake News’ Turning Point.” The text box cheered: “The internet acted quickly to dismantle a Trump adviser’s false claim.”



New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg used the D-word in his latest excoriation of the new president in “The Costs of Trump’s Brand of Reality.” “Disinformation was once for dictatorships, not the U.S.”...was how Rutenberg's story was plugged on the front of Monday’s paper, for his “Mediator” column on the front of Business Day.



The New York Times a saw a rough road ahead for Trump cabinet choices. Meanwhile, media reporter Jim Rutenberg documented the latest go-round of Trump vs. the mainstream media, which Rutenberg claimed were “Outgunned, Outmaneuvered and in Need of a Game Plan.” And his NY Times colleagues provided a backhanded compliment, saying the president-elect’s social media wasn’t all “anger and spittle.”



After television news (and his own newspaper) spent the last eight years praising Barack Obama and defending him against GOP attacks, there’s a Republican about to take office and suddenly it’s high time for journalists to get tough on politicians. That’s the gist of New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg’s latest Mediator column “TV News Must Pull No Punches For Trump." Rutenberg praised ABC’s George Stephanpopoulos and Martha Raddatz, two of the most notorious purveyors of Hillary hagiography and anti-Trump vituperation during the 2016 campaign.



We’re just a few steps away from Putin-style reign in America under the Trump regime, New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg implied in his “Mediator” column on the front of Monday’s Business Day: “From Russia Comes a Warning for Americans.” Rutenberg used Tolokonnikova, who has also attacked Trump, to make dubious parallels between the Russian media situation and America’s: “...as an emissary from a dystopian political-media environment that seemed to be heading our way, with governmental threats against dissent, disinformation from the presidential level and increasingly assertive propagandists who stoke the perception that there can be no honest arbiter of truth.”



On Monday’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough in a conversation concerning who the Trump administration would be appointing to positions of power and what policy achievements they would reach, warned his colleagues in the media not to be too quick in making negative determinations as they mistakenly did, time and time again throughout the election.