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Powell Defends Son Amid Stern’s Attacks

October 27, 2004 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday dismissed as ``nonsense″ shock jock Howard Stern’s suggestion that he was responsible for his son, Michael Powell, becoming chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

``My son is an enormously qualified individual, and I think he has served _ if I may so as a father and as a not so distant observer _ with great distinction,″ Powell said in an interview with CNBC.

Stern questioned Michael Powell’s credentials in a telephone call Tuesday to KGO-AM radio in San Francisco during an interview with the FCC chairman.

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Secretary Powell said Wednesday that his son got the job long before he became secretary of state.

Not exactly.

While Michael Powell did become a member of the commission in November 1997, when President Clinton appointed him to a Republican seat on the panel, he was elevated to FCC chairman by President Bush on Jan. 22, 2001. That was two days after Bush’s inauguration, which was also the day his father became secretary of state.