Friday, February 12, 2016

National views: Comcast's 'wonk rock star,' Hershey's fall

The Washington Post and Dan Rather review David L. Cohen and Milton Hershey's legacy, respectively

National views: Comcast's 'wonk rock star,' Hershey's fall


Just in time for Mischief Night: TV newsman Dan Rather, backed by the AXS TV network owned by Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters,, plans an expose on Pennsylvania's own Hershey Foods and the decline of Hershey, Pa., once "The Sweetest Place on Earth," to run on AXS TV - the former HDNet - Comcast Channel 897 in Center City - at 8 pm EST tonight. 

Rather's "How Sweet It Was" will bash Hershey for its foreign exchange students-as-workers scandal and the demise of the company's iconic Hershey factory (now slated for demolition) as Hershey jobs move to Mexico. The segment won't take up Hershey's long relationship with Pennsylvania's elected attorney generals, starting with the first one, LeRoy Zimmerman.

Separately, Comcast's self-described "consigliere" David L. Cohen is the subject of this profile in the Washington Post, which outlines his clout as boss of a Washington lobbying operation bigger than that of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, in furthering the cause of Comcast's 40% operating profit margins and its mergers.

The piece opens with Cohen delaying the start of a cheap Internet-for-the-poor program so it can be timed to sway the Federal Communications Commission's decision in the NBC Universal deal. It goes on to acknowledge the data-driving onetime Swarthmore student politician and top aide to Philly mayor Ed Rendell has little street recognition, but is respected (and, as a Bloomberg spokesperson says, feared) in Washington's influence market. 

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
Also on
letter icon Newsletter