(Washington)— White House spokesman Scott McClellan, peppered with reporters’ questions about Vice President Dick Cheney’s accidental weekend shooting of a hunting buddy, said President George Bush was “not immediately informed of the incident because he was too distracted by the Iraq war.”

“If, because of the war, the president doesn’t have time to catch Usama bin Laden,” Mr. McClellan said, “when do you think he’ll find a moment to deal with a quail hunting accident in Texas? ”

In related news, Mr. McClellan said the Bush administration is sticking with its initial ’single-shooter’ theory.

“From all indications,” he said, “the vice president acted alone. Lab reports show that all of the pellets came from a single 28-gauge shotgun which had the Vice President’s fingerprints all over it.”

Despite these assurances, the White House press corps buzzed with conspiracy rumors, including suggestions that the quail, which Mr. Cheney allegedly shot at, had not flown in a completely random, natural pattern, but seemed to intentionally pass in front of 78-year-old attorney Harry Whittington.” — Scott Ott/ScrappleFace

Hopefully, the VP’s victim will be fine. One of the first rules of shooting is “Know our target and what’s beyond it!” But it must be said that the victim should never have rejoined the group after splitting up without announcing himself. Another basic rule. Don’t make yourself become a surprise. There will be enough ammunition for cartoonists to last thru to the spring. Let’s just hope it does not touch off a rash of rioting and the burning of the NRA HQ in Fairfax, VA. [Hat tip: Scott Ott/ScrappleFace for the satire]