Despite the obvious flaws in the story, as far as I know no mainstream media organization had bothered to actually do investigation into the story. They seemed content to just pass on the sound bytes from the parties involved, or from political opportunists like Chris Arps or Bill Hennessy trying to boost their own profile from the event. Well that has finally changed.
Kristen Hinman from the Riverfront Times did some investigation into Brown, by speaking with one of his former employees, and found exactly what I would have expected. He's an opportunistic huckster who has serious difficulties in the "telling the truth" department. Among the revelations of the article:
1. Brown originally lied about knowing Errol Hosea King, even though King was his employee earlier in 2009.
2. Brown told King that he was using Kenneth Gladney to make money and that Gladney is a "gravy train."
3. Despite originally claiming that he was Gladney's lawyer, Brown now says that he is Gladney's "agent." When asked what that meant, Brown freaked out, yelled, "figure it out!" and hung up the phone. Actually, I have figured it out. It means that Gladney is his gravy train.
4. Brown and King drove to L.A. to hawk buttons at Michael Jackson's funeral.
5. The "Don't Tread on Me" flags are made in China, and Brown meticulously makes sure that the stickers that indicate this are taken off of them.
6. Brown only lets his employees keep 30% of the gross sales.
7. King says,"It's entrepreneurship... People need to know this."
Well, I had already suspected that this whole incident was about entrepreneurship for Brown and Gladney, but it's great to have a reporter do some digging to confirm it!