This article appeared in my Facebook feed, and is a good example of how not to do journalism:
NEAR MALKO TARNOVO, Bulgaria — Figures in camouflage and ski masks gather at a fishing lodge. Many are armed with long knives, bayonets and hatchets.
The 35 men and women are on the hunt in Strandzha Massif, a forested mountain range on Bulgaria’s border with Turkey. Migrants trying to cross into Europe are their prey.
Patches on their irregular uniforms — a coat of arms bearing a snarling wolf’s head framed by Cyrillic text — proclaim them to be members of the Bulgarian National Movement Shipka, abbreviated in Bulgarian as “BNO Shipka.”
Okay, I’m hooked. Sounds like a right nasty bunch. From here I expect to read about what they have done, what effect they’re having on the migrants in the area, perhaps even an interview with some of the migrants who have encountered these vigilantes. I’m sure there are some good stories to be had there. Has anyone been killed? Wounded? Forced to seek an alternative route into Europe?
Ah wait, I’m being awfully old fashioned, aren’t I? This is the real story:
Members of the paramilitary organization form into ranks as their leader, Vladimir Rusev, speaks. A former colonel who says he fought in Chechnya as a volunteer alongside Russians, Rusev declares his support for a man they admire: President Donald Trump.
“The CIA is trying to undermine Trump,” said Rusev, a compact 58-year-old with a neat mustache and short-cropped hair. “They want to destroy him. We offer our support to him.”
Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration and vocal criticism of Islam finds an appreciative audience here.
This was the journalist’s brief: go and find these nutjobs in the Bulgarian forest and see if you can get one of them to say something positive about Trump. Presumably had Hillary won, this whole situation wouldn’t be happening.
Most BNO Shipka members are friendly, courteous and open.
It’s funny how often this happens, isn’t it? Lefty journalist meets with supposed right-wing nutjobs and finds them rather agreeable. Didn’t Laurie Penny have one such revelation recently, and then found herself pilloried for “humanising” Trump supporters? Contrast the description of the BNO Shipka members above with those protesting on US campuses, for example.
“I’m not nationalistic or anything like that. I’m just a patriot,” said Nikolai Ivanov, a 34-year-old who was one of the group’s founding members in 2014.
“Many of these immigrants are not just some guys who are trying to run away from war. They are from age 17 to 35, with good physiques and training,” Ivanov added. “It’s not a problem that they are Muslims. The problem is it’s a different civilization. They don’t think like us, they have a totally different view about life, about everything.”
Why, it’s almost as if when politicians, the media, and other branches of the establishment refuse to allow discussions on such matters as immigration and Islam, vigilante groups form. But hey, let’s blame Trump.