Whole Foods actually announced the lawsuit a month ago, claiming all along that Brown had tried to run a scam against the chain. They released the video just a day after Brown’s tearful press conference that showed that Brown had seen the cake before purchasing it. Oh, and one other thing … that bakery employee who decorated the cake turns out to be “a member of the LGBT community,” too. D’oh!

* * * * * * *

In retrospect, it seems odd that anyone would have bought this three-layer hoax at all. Whole Foods concentrates on the urban, upscale market that would be most turned off by the kind of derogatory slur that Brown accused their bakery of leaving on his cake. It seems beyond stupid to have tried a hoax like this in a well-capitalized chain that would have point-of-sale video systems. And finally, even the picture itself was a giveaway. The slur was clearly done separately from the rest of the decoration.

What was the point of this exercise, anyway? Perhaps Brown wanted to make himself the new leader for activists in the Austin community. Instead, he’s now the latest in a long line of hate-crime hoaxers, a trend that has gotten so bad that it might make for a bigger market for lawyers than actual hate crimes. Whole Foods will probably drop their lawsuit* now that Brown has publicly admitted his fraud, but they shouldn’t. And Brown should be banished into oblivion too, especially by his church and his allies, but that probably won’t happen either.

“What was the point of this exercise, anyway?” To respond to Ed Morrissey’s query, perhaps a detail reported last month at Austin-based NBC affiliate KXAN holds a possible clue: “KXAN obtained a copy of the lawsuit from the Travis County Clerk’s Office claiming Brown defaulted on a $27,000 student loan. The petition was filed March 11, 2016 by a student loan trust, and said Brown stopped paying on the student loan issued for the 2007-2008 school year at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.”

*Which they did.