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Out, Damned Spot!

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Outcome: Elected president twice; never named Cuomo to the court.

Who: Jesse Jackson

Slur: In 1984, gave New York City an anti-Semitic nickname.

Damage Control: Initially denied the slur, accused Jewish leaders of trying to harm his reputation, finally admitted guilt and asked forgiveness at a New Hampshire synagogue.

Outcome: Ran for president the same year; continues to be one of the country's leading civil rights leaders and an international figure.

Who: Princess Michael of Kent

Slur: In 2004, told a group of African American diners at a trendy New York restaurant to lower their voices or "go back to the colonies."

Damage Control: Insisted she actually said, "Right now, I wouldn't mind going back to the colonies." Later described her accusers as a "group of rappers."

Outcome: Still married to Queen Elizabeth's first cousin and living on the British taxpayers' largess.

Who: Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder

Slur: In 1988, said African Americans excelled in sports because they were "bred" to be big during slavery.

Damage Control: Immediately apologized: "I'm truly sorry for my remarks earlier today and I offer a full, heartfelt apology to all I may have offended."

Outcome: Fired from CBS Sports and went back to oddsmaking in Las Vegas; died in 1996.

Aaron Brown's Unwanted Cameo Roles

Nearly five years after he narrated the catastrophe of Sept. 11 -- and nearly a year after he was abruptly removed from his CNN anchor's chair -- Hollywood is looking back to Aaron Brown's take on that day.

Both "United 93" and Oliver Stone's new "World Trade Center," opening Wednesday, borrow the same clip of the veteran newsman announcing the strike on the Pentagon ("Associated Press is reporting . . . it was a plane that crashed at the Pentagon"). The Stone film returns twice more to Brown, whose distinctively sharp voice acts as something of a Greek chorus guiding audiences through subsequent events (the towers' collapse, the recovery efforts). It's unknown if he'll cameo in next year's 9/11 film, "102 Minutes."

Brown now finds himself in the odd role of tragedy's touchstone -- like Walter Cronkite announcing JFK's death, or radio announcer Herbert Morrison's "Oh, the humanity!" at the Hindenburg crash. The experience is both flattering and unnerving: "In the biggest professional moment of your life, you want to think that you did it okay," he told us from his suburban New York home. "I know I did my job okay that day." And yet: "You'd trade it in a heartbeat for it not happening."

Not that he's seen the movies yet. "It's like looking at Sept. 11 coverage itself -- I have the tapes, but I've never looked at them," he said. "I'm not ready to go back."

Hey, Where Is Everybody?

D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams spent his 55th birthday at Rehoboth Beach last weekend, where he was spotted dining with his wife at Nicola Pizza -- white polo shirt, matching white baseball hat and, no, since you asked, no bowtie! . . . Caps rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin jetted off to a beach vacation in Turkey . . . Occidental executive chef Rodney Scruggs (back at the downtown landmark after an interesting stint as Ben Ladner's personal chef at AU) hanging out in tiny Ninety Six, S.C., while the restaurant is closed for renovations . . . Philanthropists George and Trish Vradenburg on a two-week White Nights Baltic cruise from Denmark to Russia and back . . . "Perfect Madness" author Judith Warner , Bloomberg editor Max Berley and their daughters escaping for a month to their home in Normandy, France.


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