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There can no more compliment to satire than for a reader to laugh hysterically while throwing up at the same time. That is what we call "satirical nirvana," and President Bush literally blew the roof off the house of satirical possibility with his admission this week that he gave up golf in 2003 out of respect for U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq war.

"I didn't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf," said Bush. "I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."

When I was political editor at the Lampoon, I was told that one of the prerequisites of good satire was that the reader might read it, thinking, "This might be true." Hysterical, of course, but wholly possible. And it was always based on the truth. Truth that wasn't all that funny, because, well, although truth can be stranger than fiction.

And for the past 7 ½ years this President and his administration have tested satirists...

"Failed Arabian Horse Consultant Chosen To Run FEMA."

"Twenty-four Year Old College Dropout Approved by White House to Rewrite Government Scientist's Research"

"Texas Sheriff Sees No Reason To Question Vice President Who Drank A Beer Then Shot a Guy in the Face"

But sacrificing golf to be in solidarity with gold star families, and your name isn’t Tiger Woods... well, that’s just comedy gold. And when someone sets the bar so high in your in your business, you can either quit or make it your life's work use that new bar as a challenge to create something so wonderfully unique that it also increases the quality of life for everyone who reads it.

I choose to quit.

At least for a week.

So it is, that I will not do my All The News That's Fit To Spoof this week. While it is not near the level of President Bush's sacrifice, I will also not accept my salary for the column.

It's the least I can do for the families who have lost loved ones in this war.

Former political editor of National Lampoon, Steve Young, is an award-winning television writer and author of Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" (www.greatfailure.com).  His L.A. Daily News oped column can found every Sunday at www.dailynews.com/columnists except for this week.


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