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ABC Apologizes For Marion Barry Flub

ABC News has apologized for mistakenly running a picture of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry when it was promoting a "World News" story about a man suing a dry cleaner for $54 million for losing his pants.

Both Roy L. Pearson, who filed the lawsuit, and Barry are black. Barry's picture ran for East Coast feeds Tuesday when Pearson's story was "teased" at the beginning of the news. It was corrected for later editions, spokeswoman Natalie Raabe said.

The mistake happened because both men happened to be in a Washington court that day and ABC got video of both, Raabe said. Barry was acquitted this week of drunken driving charges.

"We are deeply sorry for this mistake and apologize to Mr. Barry, Mr. Pearson and to our viewers for the error," ABC News wrote on its Web site. There was no on-air reference to the mistake. Anchor Charles Gibson has unsuccessfully tried to reach Barry for a personal apology, Raabe said.

It was the second such case of mistaken identity this month involving newsworthy black men. Fox News Channel apologized for running tape of House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers while reporting on the indictment of Rep. William J. Jefferson on bribery charges.

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