'Doonesbury' creator apologizes for citing Bush IQ hoax

Friday, September 7, 2001

PHILADELPHIA -- "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau has apologized -- sort of -- for a Sunday strip that cited an Internet hoax that said George W. Bush had the lowest IQ of any president in the last 50 years.

The strip depicted a purported conversation between an unseen Bush and an adviser in the White House. It cited a purported ranking of presidential IQs based on public statements and writings.

In the "study," Bush was said to have an IQ half that of Bill Clinton and a little more than half the average presidential vocabulary.

The "Doonesbury" Web site acknowledged that the ranking was an Internet hoax and said citing it was "a regrettable error, although perhaps inevitable, given that this feature uses the same fact-checking house as 'Saturday Night Live' and The Drudge Report."

"Trudeau takes full responsibility, acknowledging the use of fictional material from an outside source instead of simply making it up as he usually does," the site says. "The creator deeply apologizes for unsettling anyone who was under the impression that the president is, in fact, quite intelligent."

Universal Press Syndicate senior editor Alan McDermott said Trudeau told editors a "usually reliable" source had pointed out the study to him.

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