Deborah McAdams /
11.15.2012 05:06 PM
McAdams On: Me for Chairman
Who better to run the FCC?
Dear President Obama,
It has come to my attention that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski may be ready to return to the private sector, where, like many an esteemed chairman before him, he can collect handsomely on all the nice things he did for others as the head of the nation’s media regulatory agency.

I understand this job involves the clever and strategic use of cupcakery. In light of Chairman Genachowski’s rumored possible exit, I wanted to take this opportunity to inform you that I, too, enjoy cupcakes, and think rather highly of ball-shaped cakes on sticks as well. For these, and other, possibly more germane reasons, I believe myself to be the perfect nominee for the chairmanship. Allow me to elaborate.

In keeping with the established tradition that the FCC leadership have as little engineering experience as possible, I clearly qualify. I am not an engineer, though I know several engineers personally and even speak with them on occasion. I’ve had many years of practicing to appear as if I have a clue about what they are saying. I am in fact often able to take their information and reinterpret it as something completely unrecognizable. I think you’ll agree this is generally in keeping with current policy directives.

Also, if you’ve had the pleasure of regularly reading my weekly blog here at TV Technology, which I’m sure you have, then you’ll see that I possess yet another skill commensurate with the office of chairman, and that is the ability to carry on at some length without actually saying anything relevant. Another related skill along these lines is to advocate for an industry in terms of patriotic and moral duty. Rest assured that I will stop at nothing to continuously stress to the unsuspecting consumer media that whichever industry promises me the biggest payoff your policy goals will create hundreds of millions of jobs, erase the deficit, and save the lives of millions of innocent children for generations to come.

I also pledge to continue the subliminal campaign characterizing radio frequency spectrum as something on the end of a leash. In addition, I will appear to be concerned about media diversity when in reality I couldn’t care less. (We don’t, right? Because if we did, we wouldn’t be pushing a spectrum policy that will drive every non-English-language TV station off the air, correct?)

With regard to the agency’s website, I will build upon the current administration’s deployment of an army of web devs, who had never nor will ever use it for research purposes, and who turned it into a barely navigable and therefore commercially viable site. We’re talking digital ad sales, here. This is an ongoing lost revenue opportunity, particularly with traffic spiking from the insane number of “folders” employed in the online TV station public file initiative.

Among my other qualifications for the job of FCC chairman, I have the necessary legal training, having used the Lexis/Nexis terminal at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus library. I am a regular reader of Courthouse News, and have caught the end of something Nancy Grace said a time or two.

I’m sure you’ll find I have innumerable skills to recommend me for this job. I would refer you to my profile on, where you’ll see that a significant number of individuals have endorsed me for such competencies as writing, blogging, writing and “dancing at SMPTE.” You may also know that I have a long history of associating with influential people, including Ted Turner, who once requested that I sit on his lap, to former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who did not. I believe it should also be mentioned here that I can, with a bit of warming up, shoot a pretty decent three-pointer. I am also a woman, a paucity of which have occupied that luxurious eighth-floor office with its magnificent view of Washington, D.C.

In conclusion, Mr. President, let me say that I believe you will find me to be the foremost nominee for the chairmanship. I look forward to my nomination and standing in front of the Senate appearing contrite and serious. Most of all, I look forward to the windfall of cupcakery that will come my way once I, too, have been chairmadame.

Your friend,
Deborah D. McAdams


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Posted by: John Lawson
Fri, 11-16-2012 04:11 PM Report Comment
Dear Deborah, What have you done now? Publishing your letter to the President making the case for your nomination to be FCC Chair...uh, er, madame, is really creating some ripples here inside the Beltway. You've hit each (apparent) qualification for the job so squarely on the bean that, rumor has it, the White House Office of Personnel has been diverted from the whole Susan-Rice-for-State conundrum. They've started making urgent calls to the Senate Commerce Committee to help "knock down this McAdams thing" before it builds more traction. A Senate staffer just called and said the WH has asked for their help to "just make this go away," so they were calling everyone who might know you in hope of talking you out it. (I told them I had never met you.) Anyway, best of wishes. A source told me, "You'd better wish her luck with the FBI background investigation, hey, hey." I think they may have already started searching your emails using their "warrantless wiretap" authority under the USA Patriot Act. You're not writing a fawning biography of any four stars are you?. Nah, you don't do fawning -- that's why getting this appointment might be a stretch for you after all. Your secret supporter.
Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Fri, 11-16-2012 06:33 PM Report Comment
I typically refrain from responding to comments, given it was drilled into my head once to let all y'all have the last word, but I am compelled to thank you dear readers who clearly agree with my modest opinion of myself. - D.
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 11-16-2012 10:23 AM Report Comment
The engineers don't really care that you don't understand what they're saying, because you're so polite about humoring them as they rattle on. But that "polite" thing... that might disqualify you.
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 11-16-2012 11:49 AM Report Comment
The fact that you've been known to "speak with engineers" may also disqualify you.
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 11-16-2012 12:21 PM Report Comment
Deborah, this is hands down one of your best. It's refreshing to have someone finally expose the Emperor's lack of garments. This Chairman's policies are so transparently designed to further his own self-interest as to be almost criminal. As far as his trumped up crusade to end 'the spectrum shortage' as if the spectrum were a plot of farmland to be divvied up he would be well served to acquaint himself with the fallacy of reification. And by the 'public' to whom the spectrum belongs apparently what he really means is whichever of his cronies he decides should be the beneficiary of his largess.
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 11-16-2012 12:46 PM Report Comment
Deborah, you make a good case but I fear that your byline winter photo, taken in proximity to an actual transmitter tower, will disqualify you on the grounds of being over-qualified. No claims of malicious photo-shopery and innocence will hide the truth; That you're actually familiar with the subject matter and have a vested interest in preserving free, over the air broadcasting for future generations, that you know, and may actually associate with, broadcast engineers. Best,
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 11-16-2012 01:28 PM Report Comment
You've got my vote!
Posted by: Anonymous
Fri, 11-16-2012 04:05 PM Report Comment
Invited to sit in Ted Turner’s lap, that defiantly disqualifies you (along with at least two other women I know). Enjoy reading your comments keep it up. As I hope to keep earning a living in this out of favor industry I will remain: “Anonymous”
Posted by: Anonymous
Sat, 11-17-2012 05:00 AM Report Comment
Dear commissioner McAdams: How much do I have to pay you to "grease the wheels" so I can obtain a broadcast permit, hold on to it for a few days, and then re-sell it to a big corporation for big bucks? I promise, I will write down on paper that I'm really interested in serving my community, and care about it greatly. But how much cash do I shove under the door?
Posted by: Anonymous
Sat, 11-17-2012 12:54 PM Report Comment
Smashing idea! How are you at keeping a straight face while delivering a keynote on the importance of wireless broadband at the NAB Convention?
Posted by: Anonymous
Sun, 11-18-2012 10:51 PM Report Comment
Well said, Deborah! Alas, to be an FCC chairperson or even commissioner, your father must be a congressman or a general.

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