Sunday, February 14, 2016

Phila. consumer hero exposed as ... a vampire?

"The Colbert Report" calls Patrick Rodgers a "difference maker," then gets all obsessed with his "cosmetic fangs."

Phila. consumer hero exposed as ... a vampire?

Patrick Rodgers at his Wynnefield Heights home with the "sheriff sale" declaration against the mortgage company. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)
Patrick Rodgers at his Wynnefield Heights home with the "sheriff sale" declaration against the mortgage company. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)

If you were watching Comedy Central's The Colbert Report last week, you might have caught a segment on Philadelphia's own Patrick Rodgers, the Wynnefield Heights man I wrote about last winter when he announced that he had "foreclosed" on Wells Fargo - by getting a sheriff's-sale order against one of its local offices to enforce a judgment he had won against the mighty bank.

Wells Fargo's office furniture was never auctioned off to satisfy the judgment - instead, the embarrassed bank reached a settlement with Rodgers, a music promoter and store owner. But Rodgers, as I rightly predicted in my column breaking the story, had done enough to become a consumer folk hero. He was quickly besieged by television shows and the national press, including the satirical version represented by Colbert.

The Colbert Report decided to make Rodgers one of its "Difference Makers," but then host Stephen Colbert discovered that Rodgers was a little, um, offbeat. You can watch the video embedded below, or click here to see it on the Comedy Central website. (It's worth watching for the Dan Rather snippets alone.)

For the record - and in contrast to all those other reporters Colbert slams in the video - I duly mentioned Rodgers' "vampirelike look" in my column about his settlement with Wells Fargo. In my final column on Rodgers, I told readers that he says he wears "cosmetic fangs."

Hey, I'm just a news guy, without the liberty Colbert enjoys to call a vampire a vampire. But at least I know how to spot a good "man bites dog" tale ... whatever exactly it is that does the biting.

Inquirer Business Columnist
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About this blog

Jeff Gelles, who writes the Inquirer's weekly Consumer 14.0 and Tech Life columns, takes a broad look at the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

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Jeff Gelles Inquirer Business Columnist
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