The recent woes besetting the Bush administration offer conclusive proof that the White House has finally jumped the shark, an expert in the field of jumping the shark said today.

Jumping the shark — a phrase referring to the phenomenon of a long-running television series suddenly becoming irretrievably bad — has never been used to explain the rapid deterioration of a presidency before.

But according to shark-jumping expert Jace Monteith, “The Bush administration is beginning to look like the fourth season of ‘Saved by the Bell.’ “

Mr. Monteith points to Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent hunting accident as a sure sign the White House has jumped the shark.

“If you were reading TV Guide and it said, ‘This week, trouble ensues at the White House when the vice president shoots a man in the face,’ you’d be like, oh, man, they’re running out of ideas,” Mr. Monteith says. “What are they going to do on next week’s episode, give the ports away to Arabs?”

Mr. Monteith thinks that recent calls by Senate Republicans for President Bush to bring “new blood” into his administration are yet another ominous sign the White House has jumped the shark.

“That’s something always done to make a show last for another season or so,” Mr. Monteith says. “I don’t know who the White House has in mind, but I hope it turns out better than Scrappy-Doo.”

Elsewhere, the Sony Corp. said that production delays for its PlayStation 3 console would mean that for the next six months computer game players would have to get a life.

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