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Having been fodder for every gossip column in town, starting today I'm turning the tables -- and becoming one D.C. gossip columnist who fully gets what it's like to be on the receiving end.
Everybody knows Washington politics is not for the meek or thin-skinned. And I've lived, worked and loved D.C. politics and media since I was 18 years old. In the years since, I've toiled on the Hill, at the State Department, in the Bush 43 administration, and for the Washington bureaus of two TV network news divisions.
I've also counted chads in the Florida recount, run for my life from the Capitol on 9/11, met four presidents, many prime ministers and most members of Congress.
I traveled to 50 countries with two secretaries of state and have been quoted in every major national newspaper.
I've been to a White House bill-signing in the Oval Office when it was occupied by President Bill Clinton when I was accompanying Majority Whip Tom DeLay, who voted to impeach him a year earlier.
In the early years, I walked Bob Dole's dog "Leader," got coffee for Tom Brokaw, staked out Monica Lewinsky, carried David Brinkley's script and answered phones at the Bush 41 re-election headquarters.
But in addition to these great experiences, I've had my share of not-so-great ones: I've been the subject of jokes by both Jay Leno and David Letterman, described as a "Jilted Fiancé" in a front page story in the Wall Street Journal -- oh joy, with a dot-matrix picture and all. I've been fictionalized in an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" -- as a murder victim, no less -- and have repeatedly been mocked by gossip columnists, front- and back-stabbed by "friends," and unfairly accused of wrongdoing by reporters.
Known as the "Palm Tree Girl" who'd supposedly knocked over a camera (which never happened) during an interview with Tim Russert, I was also defended by Jim Kennedy, Bill Clinton's communications director, in a Sunday New York Times op-ed. (I don't know Kennedy but am forever grateful for his public support, which, given my Republican views and jobs, was particularly unexpected and appreciated.)
True, I'm even better known as the "Woman Scorned" (as in "hell hath no fury") who wreaked revenge on my ex-fiancé for cheating on me by going to the FBI with evidence against him. (I think the cheating part is actually true, but the FBI part is definitely not true -- no, not even a little bit, in any form or fashion.)
Nevertheless, "Emily Miller" is a character in an upcoming movie starring Kevin Spacey. The script characterizes me as abetting a criminal enterprise, getting revenge on a cheating fiancé, and single-handedly enabling the FBI to nail lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cohorts (and yes, lawyers are on the case).
The saga of a movie being made using my real name and character -- without my permission -- will be the subject of a future column. The tagline of this column is a reference to my initial efforts to stop the movie from using my real name and making untrue accusations. The powerful and anonymous website FamousDC wrote of me: "Emily Miller, the former DeLay spokesperson, who's afraid of nobody, recently laid some smack down on Kevin Spacey - who is playing Jack Abramoff in the movie "Casino Jack."
Meanwhile, although Jack Abramoff has admitted his crimes, he nonetheless blames me -- from his jail cell -- for bringing down the Republican Congress; ho-hum, all in a day's work for we women scorned.
Then there's my non-criminal baggage: As Tom DeLay's former communications director, I'm tagged as "radioactive" by corporate America. As Colin Powell's former press secretary, I'm suspect in conservative Republican circles. (That's because he stood up to Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld and endorsed Barack Obama for president.)
Follow me on Twitter @EmilyMillerDC
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