Brad Miller’s bad behavior is nothing new

by Jim Longworth

When I first reported that Congressman Brad Miller was shouting and used profanity during our now famous telephone call, some people wondered if I was exaggerating. But days later Miller went on a rant during an interview with YES! Weekly’s Amy Kingsley, and resorted to name-calling. Miller called me a “jackleg” (definition: Someone who is unskilled, unprofessional, and dishonest), he referred to my “ass,” and he made several defamatory statements about my journalistic integrity and abilities.

I suppose I should be flattered that a sitting congressmen is interested in my fanny, and that he took time out of his busy schedule to personally insult me, and that, for some reason, he is afraid to answer questions on my TV show. But I am more perplexed than flattered. After all, this is a man who purports to be a mild-mannered gentleman, and whines about Vernon Robinson running attack ads on TV. Yet it was Miller who rose to power by broadcasting smear ads against his first opponent, Carolyn Grant, in which he dredged up false facts about her messy divorce. In fact, Brad’s attacks were so nasty, that, according to the Raleigh News & Observer, Judge Howard Manning rebuked Miller for defaming an innocent woman, calling it, “negative character assassination.” On the other hand, Vernon at his worst only attacks Miller’s policies and failures, but has never resorted to defamation. In that regard, Miller is a hypocrite, and now it is apparent that he also does not possess the temperament to serve in the halls of Congress.

It is possible that Miller will defeat Robinson on Nov. 7, but if so, Brad’s behavior of late, coupled with a less than stellar performance in Congress, will leave the door wide open for a strong candidate (like Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes) to send Miller packing in 2008.

So, am I angry that Miller called me a jackleg? Not really. You see, I’d much rather be a jackleg TV host (which I don’t think I am), than a jackleg congressman. That’s because my behavior only reflects on me, but Brad’s behavior reflects on all of us.

All of a sudden Vernon Robinson is looking like the more dignified candidate in the 13th District.

Jim Longworth is host of “Triad Today” which can be seen Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7), and Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on UPN 48 (cable channel 14).