The mainstream media bubble is already using Brenton Tarrant’s mention of BitConnect as reason to publish negative forecasts for Bitcoin. Never mind that, aside from both being cryptocurrenices, the two are wholly unrelated. This is just one of many examples of precisely the kind of outrage journalism Tarrant was counting on.
Tarrant mentioned profiting from BitConnect in his media-baiting manifesto, the Great Replacement, a trap designed specifically to incite overreaction from journalists not familiar with internet culture. He claimed to have funded his trips to Europe, North Korea, the Middle East and other…interesting choices of destination for a 20 something Aussie through a crypto that is known as one of the biggest scamcoins ever made. BitConnect was a ponzi scheme that collapsed under the weight of its own bullshit last January, after ripping off thousands of gullible investors looking to cash in on what they thought was going to be the next Bitcoin.
Any journalist with an ounce of subject matter knowledge would have seen right through Tarrant’s facetious statements. But we’re talking about an industry comprised almost entirely of individuals whose ignorance rivals only their ego in magnitude.
While they’re busy participating in the very media frenzy Tarrant was hoping to cause, they’re missing the important questions.
Questions such as:
What 28 year old do you know that has no digital footprint aside from troll accounts? It’s hard to believe that a young, single man traveling the world wouldn’t maintain a Facebook account to stay in touch with his friends and document his adventures.
Why wasn’t he investigated or red-flagged after traveling to North Korea and Pakistan? I can’t even get through TSA without getting a prostate massage, but this young lad is visiting terrorist hotspots and UN-sanctioned regimes, all before purchasing enough weapons and ammo to arm a small nation.
How has he stayed off the grid so long? We know from recently-surfaced social media posts that he received an inheritance from his deceased father in 2011, but how long can one travel the globe and remain a virtual ghost? His father wasn’t wealthy, and even life insurance benefits don’t typically provide the kind of nest egg one could use to lead a life of luxury abroad for 8 years.
Why did it take the Christchurch police so long to respond to the attacks? Tarrant fires the first shot around 4 minutes into the livestream, which means it took local police approximately 13 minutes to respond to an active shooter situation. He is then able to drive to the next target, another mosque miles away, without running into any police blockades or being noticed by a police helicopter —- oh, about that, the Christchurch police didn’t deploy any aerial reconnaissance to track Tarrant down, even after he managed to evade capture at the scene of both attacks.
Why didn’t he commit suicide? Besides live-streaming the attacks, the other major difference between Tarrant and other mass shooters is that he surrendered to the police. Most mass shooters, particularly those who seem to be chasing notoriety, choose going out in a blaze of glory over rotting in a cell for the rest of their life. Tarrant can be seen checking corners as he prepares to move from positions of cover to cross open areas, and repeatedly inspecting his magazines to ensure he doesn’t run out of ammo unexpectedly. These are not the behaviors of someone who has a death wish. And from what we can tell of his conveniently-blurred courtroom photos, he is at least feigning the appearance of being quite pleased with himself.
There is certainly more to the story than what is being reported, and that extends to the mysterious backstory (or lack thereof) of the enigmatic figure that we know as Brenton Tarrant. No former classmates or childhood friends have stepped forward to recall that he was “always socially awkward,” or to provide clichéd observations on how they can’t believe the person they once shared a classroom with has gone on to become a celebrity killer.
Of course, we shouldn’t expect to see much in the way of nuanced articles or quality investigative reporting from the same outlets that compile lists of the most trending fashionwear and cover the Kardashians as if they’re somehow worth 1,000 words of weekly column space. And Facebook is fulfilling its obligatory role in the war on information, the platform was practically designed to make bullshit go viral.
May we have a moment of your time?
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