On Delyan Peevski, heroes in white and a plethora of internet trolls

A thump a second. That is the frequency of the human heartbeat. If you get excited – you become amused, fall in love, get angry – the number of beats doubles. The flat line is the scariest graphic in medicine.

On a cardiac monitor, it indicates that the heart has stopped – sometimes temporary, but more often than not for good. Journalism is a lot like medicine. It takes the pulse of society, checks its temperature, looks for the source of contagion and treats the affected areas. Honest journalism is like the right diagnosis or effective drugs – it can save human lives. Used by the wrong people for personal gain, it turns into poison for society and eventually flatlines.

Nowhere is this made more evident than in the websites of the indicted oligarchs in Bulgaria. They have long ceased publishing newspapers, as no one is interested in paying to read the fabrications of the behind-the-scenes clique. However, they still have websites and those act just like a chain of infection does – they spread thousands of poisonous droplets on the internet to eliminate everyone who poses a threat to the big boss’s interests.

No society, no civil society interests. Everything that is being disseminated is dictated either by Ivo Prokopiev or Tsvetan Vassilev or some other indicted individual with dirty millions and shady schemes behind his back. So if you happened to visit a website from the Capital group on the official holiday of medical workers (celebrated in Bulgaria on 7 April) – the heroes on the front lines of the fight against the new coronavirus – the chances are you did not see any messages of gratitude for those brave men and women. What was not in short supply were the articles against the sworn enemy of the oligarchs in the country – lawmaker from the opposition party MRF and Telegraph Media publisher Delyan Peevski.

Truth be told, it is essentially the same article, which, just like with a chain of infections, started out in one media outlet and then spread to another within hours. The more carriers of the virus there are, the bigger the damage of contagion, right? The first link in the chain this time was the website of the Bulgarian desk of Radio Free Europe (RFE). From the moment it resumed operations in Bulgaria, the reputable media outlet funded with American taxpayers’ money was captured by Ivo Prokopiev’s people. By planting the right people on the right positions, the indicted oligarchs has managed to grab a hold of the reins of the mainstream media and steer it in a way that benefits only him.

Several hours after the RFE set the tone with an article by Nikolay Staykov, a former owner of a condom business and long-time scribbler for the Capital circle, the text appeared in Ivo Prokopiev’s website Dnevnik. The irony is that in the rush to carry out their boss’s wishes, the people in his media machine forgot to note one significant fact. Under the RFE article sits the disclaimer that published opinions “do not necessarily reflect the media outlet’s position”.

This qualification is missing from the article in Dnevnik, which goes to show two things – who the original source is and the fact that Dnevnik does not have its own position, which is frankly the case with all of Prokopiev’s media outlets. Used to being treated as property that can be borrowed against, the oligarch’s journalists have no right to an opinion. Such luxury is only afforded to Prokopiev himself, who years ago showed that human life holds no value to him by poisoning an entire town. The once picturesque Merichleri has been turned into a Bulgarian Chernobyl – the doors of homes there bear the obituaries of former residents, a stark reminder that Prokopiev made millions at the cost of deaths.

This is why the journalists of the Capital media machine and the entire chain of websites surrounding it do not express their gratitude to medical workers these days – the heroes in white who fight for the lives of all of us. Do not expect them to do it anytime soon either. But they certainly churn out at least one fake news item a day, ordered by Prokopiev and his oligarchic cronies and dutifully crafted by the plethora of internet trolls serving their interests. As the chain of infection of their latest product demonstrated, this includes the Bulgarian desk of the RFE, whose behaviour proves it has been captured by Prokopiev. What the oligarchs’ brand of “journalism” leaves behind is a flat line. 

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