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House Majority Whip Dick Armeyof Texas called Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) "Barney Fag" in an interview with reporters today, then raced to explain away the remark as an accident. Armey, the second-ranking Republican in the House, claimed that he had "trouble with alliteration" and promptly apologized to his "friend" Frank, who is gay. A visibly angry Frank said that he understood the remark was unintentional, but added: "I could not accept that it was wholly accidental. I just had to believe that it was somewhere in the back of his mind."