I got curious about this, and did a search. I think you must mean https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/25/us/ohio-hovater-white-nationalist.html
(Sorry, I’m going to ramble a bit now. It’s that time of day.)
I didn’t think it was a puff piece. I think the intention of the article was just to show that those kind of people were, really, just people, like everyone else. And try to shed some light on what drives these people. Though I didn’t think it was a particularly interesting article either. I suspect a more talented (and opinionated) journalist, like, say, Eric Blair, might have been able to do something with it. And Mr. Hovater doesn’t seem like a very pleasant man. But lots of perfectly respectable people are not.
Presumably you saw the response from the NYT. I suppose the apparently violent response that the post generated is healthy. From the POV of this outsider, I (and I suspect many others) worry about the US going facist. Especially given the frankly horrifying history of the US, and its parent country, Britain.
As an Indian, I’m particularly aware of British imperial history. It’s dismaying that many, both in the West, and outside it, are not. To the credit of the British, they never went fascist. But they (or their ruling classes) still managed to commit a truly impressive series of awe-inspiring crimes, while not being fascist.
Fascism seems to be considered the big bad in the West these days. And that’s well and good. I’m glad that Americans (and others) are trying to hold the line. But it’s not the only source of evil in this world.
I think I’ll stop now. I hope I didn’t offend anyone - I didn’t mean to. I just felt like writing this down. Maybe I should start a blog…