By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated September 07, 2001 03:56 PM

“Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau, 53, has put forth a half-hearted apology for a Sunday comic strip that cited an Internet hoax that said George W. Bush had the lowest IQ of any president in the past 50 years — an IQ half that of Bill Clinton –- reports the Associated Press. The strip in question depicted a purported conversation between an unseen Bush and an adviser in the White House about a study that gave Bush a low IQ ranking. The study quotes the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pa., and cites several so-called world-renowned authorities using something labeled the Swanson/Crain system to measure intelligence. As it happens, no such institute is listed in the Scranton phone book, and researchers have said they have never heard of either the research system or the authorities cited. The “Doonesbury” Web site acknowledges that the ranking was an Internet hoax and says that 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.” The site goes on to say: “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 creator deeply apologizes for unsettling anyone who was under the impression that the president is, in fact, quite intelligent.”