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Inside move: Powell shows spoof chops

FCC regulator unveils vid at annual holiday dinner

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission topper Michael Powell wowed telecom lawyers — and even reporters — last week with a spoof of the Christmas perennial “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Powell took on the part of the grumpy George Bailey, who rues his lot in life, while Motion Picture Assn. of America topper Jack Valenti impersonated Clarence the angel. Wearing overalls, Valenti showed Powell what life at the FCC would be like without him.

Powell’s bigwig father, Secretary of State Colin Powell, joined in the fun, repeatedly denying knowing his son, or any likeness thereof.

The video debuted at the annual holiday dinner of the Federal Communication Bar Assn. Separately, Powell screened the video for reporters during a goodwill breakfast.

Until now, the regulator had kept reporters at arm’s length, often complaining his statements are taken out of context and he is wrongly labeled an avid fan of deregulation.

When queried by the press — or called on the carpet by Capitol Hill pols — Powell often comes across as peeved or dismissive.

The play-acting suggests Powell is going on the offensive, hoping to pull a George Bailey of his own and to show the town he’s a happy regulator after all.

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