What Do Carter Page and IHOP Have in Common?

The FBI obtained a FISA warrant in October 2016 to conduct surveillance of former advisor to President Donald Trump, Carter Page, for allegedly colluding with the Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in favor of then candidate Trump. This past June, the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) launched a campaign rebranding itself as the International House of Burgers (IHOB). What do these seemingly unrelated stories have in common? They were both hoaxes on the general public.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton successfully obtained and released to the public on Saturday July 21 the documentation related to the FISA warrant on Mr. Page. The 412 pages of heavily redacted documents included the initial October 2016 FISA application and three subsequent renewals to conduct surveillance of Mr. Page for allegedly “collaborating and colluding with the Russian government”. The newly released application clearly shows that the FBI and the DOJ heavily relied upon the biased Democrat-funded Steele dossier to build the case that Page coordinated with the Russian government on election-related “influence activities”.  The author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, a former British spy, was referred to as “Source #1” in the FISA application.

President Trump responded to the release of the documents in a July 22 tweet.

“Congratulations to @JudicialWatch and @TomFitton on being successful in getting the Carter Page FISA documents. As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of “Justice” and FBI misled the courts. Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!”

As for IHOP, on July 9th, the 60 year old franchise came clean, admitting that their flipping of the P to a B was just a publicity stunt to sell more burgers.

“We’re giving away 60¢ short stacks on July 17 from 7a-7p for IHOP’s 60th birthday. That’s right, IHOP! We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers), the company tweeted.”

IHOP President Darren Rebelez stands behind the fabricated name change, arguing that it was a way for consumers to think of IHOP as “a player in the burger business”.  And while IHOP is still waiting upon the  final financial results of the promotion, the organization achieved its publicity objectives with the name change generating 30 billion impressions and sparking 20,000 articles.

However, not everyone was happy about the fake name change as is evidenced by some of the negative comments which the organization received on Twitter. Such as “International House of Betrayal”. Dan Hill the CEO of Hill Impact, an organization which studies brands described the situation in an article in USA Today

“Any marketing ploy that is based on dishonesty says something about your culture,” Hill said. “It says you care more about sales than you do integrity”

The Bible teaches us that “ill gotten-gains have no lasting value’. If the public can get this upset about a deceptive burger marketing strategy, doesn’t it stand to reason that they could get just a little worked up about a FISA warrant which was obtained based on biased, Trumped-up unsubstantiated evidence?

Leonora Cravotta is the Director of Operations for the American Conservative and Co-Host for the Scott Adams Show airing Live on Red State Talk Radio Weekdays at 8am.

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