One year of blistering headlines about Michael Powell -- a Wall Street
Journal editorial labeled him an IHOP waffle -- prompted some mock
indignation from the Federal Communications Commission chief at the Federal
Communications Bar's annual "Chairman's Dinner" Dec. 12.
"I'm outta here," he growled before stalking off the stage. The action
switched to big-screen monitors and Powell's version of It's a Wonderful
Life. His guardian angel, played by Motion Picture Association of America chief Jack Valenti, showed him what
the FCC would be like without him.
Arguably the most bizarre segment included just-confirmed commissioner
Jonathan Adelstein being voted off by his colleagues for drinking Michael Copps'
soy milk straight from the carton. Disturbed, Powell asks Valenti what fate has
befallen him. "You're not going to like it," Valenti warns: Powell is instead
chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A chastened Powell returns to his FCC office to find things looking up,
including a completed digital transition.
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