Air America’s Randi Rhodes

Federal officials are
reportedly reviewing a skit broadcast on the liberal Air America network that featured an apparent gunshot warning to President Bush.

The audio production came during the opening minutes of “The Randi Rhodes Show” Monday night, according to the Drudge Report.

The announcer said: “A spoiled child is telling us our Social Security isn’t safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here’s your answer, you ungrateful whelp: Just try it, you little bastard. .”

“Let’s not do that while I’m here in Florida,” Rhodes, who broadcasts from West Palm Beach, Fla., said laughingly following the item. “Let’s not arm the old people until I leave. What is with all the killing?”

But a government source told Drudge, “Even joking about shooting the president is a crime, let alone doing it on national radio … we are taking this very seriously.”

According to Drudge, Rhodes apologized later today, saying, “It was a lame attempt at humor. I apologize … it was bad.”

A reporter at today’s White House briefing asked presidential spokesman Scott McClellan about the broadcast.

Said McClellan: “I haven’t heard anything about it until you just mentioned it, but it sounds very inappropriate and over the line to me from the way you described it.”

A statement from Air America denies there’s any federal probe taking place.

“We are not under investigation from the Secret Service,” president of programming Jon Sinton said. “We regret that a produced comedy bit that was in bad taste slipped through our normal vetting process. We do acknowledge that it was an internal error and internal discipline will be enforced.”

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