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WECT anchor e-mails support to Commissioner Berger; Says he's lived through similar issues


Kevin Mauer at the StarNews originally broke this story Friday afternoon about an e-mail exchange between WECT morning anchor Bob Townsend and New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger. Mauer reports that Townsend did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment, and WECT's General Manager Gary McNair and News Director Scott Saxton declined to comment. The StarNews and WECT are local media partners who share content with each other.

From Bob to Brian
Thursday, September 8, 2011
4:26 a.m.

Nice Statement. Hang in there. Many of us have experienced some of what you have been going thru and have survived it. Just not as wide known as yours. Keep strong.

- Bob

From Brian to Bob
Friday, September 9, 2011
3:55 a.m.

Thank you Bob. That was a nice thing to say...I don't hear alot of nice things like that. I really appreciate it.

Don't you work in a couple of hours? Do you sleep or do you just manage with a few hours?

Granted nobody does as disturbing and outlandish and irrational things in these situations like I did, and I'm incredibly embarrassed by behavior, but I would think most people would be able to relate a little to relationship issues. I had to sever three in a week after learning Heather was cheating, and sever ties with her two sons who have a very close attachment to me and I love them. I was the first person they called dad (I put a stop to that and had them call me Brian so if their real father who abandoned them ever came back, I didn't want them to be confused. The three year old didn't understand what was going on but the five year old did and after saying goodbye he started crying in a way I've never heard anyone, child or adult, cry. It was very heartbreaking to see that. Put that all together and throw in Heather's borderline personality disorder and my "issues" and I did not express my emotions appropriately, but there was never any violence or threats of violence contrary to what I assume people must think (and with the way some media outlets didn't quite get the stories right, the obviously crazy behavior, and all the police calls I don't blame people for thinking that...) Not to mention the false assault charge a few months ago and my trip to the New Hanover County Detention Center and Resort and seeing me in chains like Hannibal Lecter it's probably somewhat instinctive to perceive danger and assume the subject is violent and thus the chains.

I can't wait to see and hear what gets said about the protective order Heather took out...which is a long story in itself (assuming Heather told me the truth before she filled out the paperwork...) we did discuss it this afternoon so it wasn't a surprise for me. The only impact it has on me is I have to go to at least one hearing, maybe more (WWAY will definitely be there...I'll give you a heads-up it's the morning of September 16...although I do hope the judge doesn't allow cameras in the courtroom...I've seen enough cameras for a lifetime!) The order is not based on any violence, it's basis is "emotional distress" from the whole fake suicide thing and photo. And I have to wait longer to get my gun back. That's the only real effect. Well, it just occurred to me the biggest effect will be the potential to use that to keep me in the news.

So that's why I didn't get back to you about coming on, in addition to be extremely embarrassing and hard to talk about and drawing attention (some people crave attention, but I do not like attention, positive or negative), its rather complex. The situation doesn't justify my behavior, but it didn't just pop out of the blue, there was a trigger that sparked it...a very complicated one some people might understand (not the irrational behavior, but the "why" that triggered it). And that is just way too complicated for a poor storyteller like me and probably a bit much even for print media.

I did forgive Heather, in about a day, but I will NEVER be in a romantic relationship with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder. There is almost 100-percent chance things will end in some way that is explosive and severely damaging and this is also a very high likelihood that you will need a therapist for yourself if you are involved in a relationship with someone with BDP. Unfortunately I didn't learn this until after I was in love with Heather and the kids, so I figured there was no way about 100-percent end badly, it couldn't possible be that certain, and I could avoid that with Heather, we might end, it might be painful, but it won't be that damaging and I won't need a shrink if it does end. Another example of poor judgment on my part, but I just couldn't end the relationship before the inevitable disaster happened. I know you must think that's crazy or me being dramatic, that's what I thought, only death and taxes are certain. But now I understand that it's not so crazy after all - the inevitable disastrous ending and needing a shrink after being in a relationship with someone with someone with BDP. I know BDP played a very large role in the week of drama. (I like boring, quiet and peaceful not frenetic and dramatic.)

I think in the future I'll steer clear of dating anyone with BDP. (I've seen statistics showing 5-6 percent of the population has BDP, but that seems oftly high so I think its got to be less than that). Now if only I could find a way to get out of the news and back to my quiet, boring and perfectly fine life!

Thanks again for the kind words of support. I really appreciate it.

- Brian

From Bob to Brian
Friday, September 9, 2011
10:34 a.m.

Brian -

Apparently none of your peers have ever had a personal experience to where they maybe acted out of the ordinary, and in some people's cases, acted as being temporary insane. I know exactly how you have felt with Heather. I have experienced it as well. Without going into detail, I had a friend who shared some positive feelings about me. We became good friends, but not in any romantic way, but definitely more than just a friend. Maybe romantic later on, but definitely not in the immediate future.

Last year, that person and I parted ways of that friendship. It was the other person's decision, and I, quite honestly, was devastated. After being in somewhat of a bad situation for a long time, I had finally found someone that I thought would be a person I could count on, for a long time, and perhaps, for life. I was all ready for whatever changes were required to make that happen. But I think I became to intense in moving the relationship along, that the person (she) backed off completely. And I mean completely, no contact, cold turkey.

I about went crazy, and believe that temporary insanity was what happened to me. That was in the spring of last year. I don't feel that I am over it yet, it still consumes me sometimes.

So what has happened between you and Heather is perhaps some of what has happened to me. Of course, you and I took different paths to try and recover from our circumstances, but because of your professional role as a County Commissioner, and with the news industry that it is now, your position became very public. That is a shame, but again, the world is different, depending on the roles we have in our lives.

Don't beat yourself up. Keep going. The last thing you need now in your personal life is to let the others control what you have in your professional life. You don't have to be defiant, but just be strong. Get thru this thing on September 16, hold your head up high, take whatever comes, and move on.

I do know of a good doctor that I go to, and he has helped me tremendously, not saying you need the help, but maybe someone to talk with about this. If you want his name, just let me know. He is really good and has been a blessing to me. In the meanwhile, if you need to talk with someone who has had a very familiar role with some of what you are going thru, don't hesitate to call, you have my number. I am not expert, but a victim of a circumstance that I am still trying to get a handle on.

As fas as tv, you may want to consider it after September 16, just leave it where you did yesterday. You made your feelings known, you spoke up and gave your position, now don't do anything until they do the next step (court hearing). You are safe in the Commissioners role, just have to put up with people who don't know the circumstances and quick to judge without that knowledge. Just do your job, show up (on time) at the meetings, and as my doctor told me, put on my "big boy pants" and move on. Time will heal everything, or at least I am hoping that will happen. Just hang in there. People who have experienced the same circumstances know what is going on, just a bunch of real asses out there in the world who thinks they know everything and want to bully people. Screw them. Keep strong.

Call if you need anything. Wanna meet for lunch someday, just let me know. I hate eating alone. Thanks.

- Bob

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


It bothers me

It bothers ME because Brian is an elected official and Bob is a TV news anchor.

(1) Is Bob playing to Brian's emotions to just get a good news story? To get Brian to spill his guts and then tell all in an "exclusive"?

(2) Support is one thing, but Bob encouraging Brian to continue as a county commissioner is irresponsible. He crossed the line.

(3) Brian is not an effective county commissioner or leader at this point in time. He has a mental illness, and Bob knows he does because he is offering his own shrink to Brian.

(4) Who leaked these emails to the public? Were they on the public domain website where news media has access to them? If so, why do that when you know other media can read them? That doesn't make sense unless you want to fan the flames and be part of the news story.

We now know that both of these individuals have very poor judgement. That's dangerous for a news anchor and even more dangerous for an elected official.

Your well written critical

Your well written critical remarks prove you are anything but dumb, or innocent.

GuestLee, in reply to your

GuestLee, in reply to your points:

1) I certainly hope not.

2) Bob is entitled to an opinion. If from his experience he believes it possible for someone to bounce back from something like this without giving up their job, then so be it. However we may disagree, he's expressed his opinion to Brian personally, not professionally in this instance.

3) Brian needs help, no argument there.

4) The story leads with "Kevin Mauer at the StarNews originally broke this story Friday afternoon...". I suspect that they were exchanged on the public server. It is unfortunate and unnecessary that they should have been publicized, however it came about.

This is wrong.

WWAY, I am, quite frankly, disgusted by this article. This is none of your business. WECT is a far superior than WWAY, and I feel that this article is an attack on your opponent. You put this article up hoping to draw viewers to your bad anchors and bad graphics, but in reality, you have turned many people away. I feel an apology needs to made because of this article. Yea, we live in a culture where morality is absent, but people know when things are just wrong. This is a perfect of example. This is dirty, and I will not be watching WWAY anytime soon.

HEY NOW! the graphics are

HEY NOW! the graphics are pretty good!

....the rest though, is all true.


If that's the way you really feel, I would also like to suggest you stop reading this forum, sponsored by WWAY, and stop posting on this forum. After all, if you're not going to watch WWAY, why comment on their forums, right? So long.

Jerry Springer TV

WWAY is trash for posting this. I don't care if this is a public server. Obviously sour grapes because of WECT being the better station. If I worked at WWAY I would be very embarrassed right now.
Some intern whose job is to monitor this server probably got all tingly down his/her leg and ran to the editors office to rely the info and then the low life got all tingly as well and said, yeah post it without thinking what a low life he would make his station look like.

WWAY Enquirer - Because we have too.


If it offends you so much, stop reading and posting (here) on their forum. They're not forcing you to read or post anything. Kinda like TV...if you don't like it, flip the channel. I bet it won't be long before you're back here again. WECT and Star News are far too tame in their reporting. You'll get bored quickly.

Why is any of this any of our business?

These are human beings who have just as much right to privacy as anyone else. Bob Townsend was giving moral support to a friend and he has every right to do so. Just because he's in the public eye doesn't mean he has no rights. We don't own him or commissioner Berger. We don't have the right to know every intimate detail of their lives and we certainly have no right to judge them. There isn't anyone among us who hasn't lost control of our emotions, had a dysfunctional relationship or questionable moments in our lives. Don't hold anyone else up to higher standards then you hold your own self up to. Publishing these very private emails is reprehensible. This isn't news. It's tabloid fodder and cheap entertainment for people who have pitiful lives.

Totally agree!!

Totally agree!!

They have NO right to privacy...

....exchanging e-mails on a county server that is open for public viewing.


Where is this "county server that is open for public viewing"? I would like to go there and check it out. Or is it only open to new media?

Where does it say that it

Where does it say that it was on the county server?

It was in the earlier edition of this story

Any e-mails sent to the county official address are on this server and open for viewing.


Exactly where can I go to view these emails? Can you be specific? I sure would like to read them.

Perhaps Scott or Kevin....

can give you a link. I only know that open access is required by state law.

Way to go TMZ of Wilmington!

Way to go TMZ of Wilmington! Nothing like trying to get the lead on a story. Unfortunately, your competition is winning. It looks like they will score that all important "first interview"with brian. However, still love watching y'all!

Berger Townsend

Bob Townsend, Who would have thought. I know all of the people in Wallace are proud of You. I know your family is especially proud of You. What another idiot. Bob if this is true, You will need therapy, and a good attorney. Let's see what this explanation becomes. A movie , at least a TV Movie is forthcoming.

Bros Before Ho's

Know what I'm sayin? Nothin' wrong with a couple of G's rappin' 'bout they personal bidness!

Too long; didn't read

Too long; didn't read

This is just wrong, you have

This is just wrong, you have proven yourself to be my least respected news provider in the area. Shane on you and I do think you may be successfully sued for this.


The two guys carried on this mutual love-fest of the broken-hearts on a server that is open for public viewing. The courts have never even hinted at a right to privacy in such circumstances.

WWAY hits a new all time

WWAY hits a new all time low, you guys are truly the scum of the earth..


Then quit reading and posting (here) on their forum. Go to Star News and WECT. I betcha you'll be back here in no time because the other ones are b-o-r-i-n-g.


I cant believe you would sink so bloody low as to post these emails. The tabloid mentality of your network has just lost any viewship in this household as far as anything other primetime programming possible. My wife and I used to watch WWAY3 for local news most of the time since we only have truly 2 11pm news stations in Wilmington (I just dont get into listening to Raleigh news on Ch 10) So I guess WECT has new watchers for their news broadcast. Im truly disgusted and cant believe what Ive witnessed. I agree Brian has some issues but for you to post these emails just makes you look like a bottom feeder news agency and Im sure many people will be disgusted by your voyeuristic intentions.. This crap I expect from TMZ, National Inquirer not a local news affiliate of a major network (ABC)

Try the others

If you're so offended, stop reading and posting (here) on their forum. Get bored out of your mind by only reading and posting on WECT and Star News. It won't take long before you'll be back here again, I guarantee it!

starnews ROFLMAO

The Starnews is barely above WWAY and their tabloid mentality. They even admitted it was one of their reports who broke this story but the difference is the Starnews walked away from the article while WWAY chose to sink to a new low.. Trust me I wont get bored there are tons of other news sources online available besides tabloid trash reporting that passes for journalism, then again sadly most main streak media has gone that route. All for sensationalism and exploitation vs common decency and respect in reporting. I mean next thing you know WWAY will be reporting what Berger had for every meal and when he takes a crap and analyze why he wipes the way he does as a sign of his mental capacity. Yes Mr Berger has significant issues and I agree he probably needs to resign to focus on his own well being and health and get his life together but airing private emails in public is beyond acceptable. Id like to know who the person was in the NHC Govt on the payroll who leaked these emails and obviously went looking for these deliberately should be disciplined or terminated for his actions because there was no investigation on going or need to release these emails other then dirty politics or motivation for sensationalism of Mr Bergers situation.


No one leaked the emails to the public. They were on the county's public domain server that is open to the public. It's public emails that are checked on a regular basis by all the news media. That's what makes this insane. Why would a news anchor email a county commissioner on a public domain server, knowing that it would be read and reported by all the other media? It's not WWAY's fault that a news anchor chose to use this very public server to exchange emails with a county commissioner...WWAY just reported this public information. Mr. Townsend could have saved himself and Mr. Berger a lot of grief by sending a private note instead of using a public server.

If you don't like WWAY, you shouldn't come here either to read and post on their forum, but you know you won't be able to stay away. The others are just too boring and you will soon lose interest.

Yeah, your mistake would be

Yeah, your mistake would be expecting them to act like something other than TMZ-WILM (or the New York Post)

I guess that obsessive puppy-love.... more common than I realized.

Both of you boys need to realize that women are like buses - there's another one coming along in fifteen minutes.

(Same thing goes for men, ladies. When they walk out, lock the door and get on with your life. There's no bigger or worse waste of time than pining for lost love. Once it's gone, it's gone.)