Roseanne Barr's short-lived singing career, already playing to jeers across the nation, received a presidential veto yesterday, with George Bush pronouncing the comedian's caterwauling rendition of the national anthem "disgraceful."

Barr, meanwhile, in a nationally televised news conference from Beverly Hills, Calif., yesterday, was characteristically feisty and unapologetic about her controversial performance of the anthem between games of a San Diego Padres-Cincinnati Reds doubleheader in San Diego Wednesday night. After fans booed her screeching interpretation of "The Star-Spangled Banner," the star of the hit sitcom "Roseanne" grabbed her crotch and spat on the field -- gestures she later described as a parody of baseball players' indelicate on-field mannerisms.

"I'm not going to apologize for doing it," she said yesterday, "because I feel like it was the wrong choice for all of us to make. But not anybody anticipated that {the reaction} would be this negative."

Bush, traveling to Kennebunkport, Maine, aboard Air Force One, told reporters, "My reaction is, it's disgraceful. A lot of people in San Diego said the same thing."

Barbara Bush refused to be dragged into the controversy, saying only, "Roseanne's tough."

ABC-TV, the network that airs "Roseanne," broke its official silence on the incident yesterday. "We believe and understand that Roseanne Barr meant no disrespect for the national anthem," a network spokesman said, but refused to comment on whether Barr would be disciplined or if "Roseanne's" sponsors had reacted. Joe DelGrosso, general sales manager at ABC's Washington affiliate, WJLA-TV, said he'd received "no reaction whatsoever" from local sponsors of "Roseanne."

Amid the media frenzy surrounding the incident, ABC's "World News Tonight" was alone among the three major broadcast networks in ignoring the story on its newscast Thursday. A spokesman for ABC's news division said the national outrage over the comedian "was not the kind of story we cover on 'World News Tonight.' " He vehemently disputed any suggestion that the network's entertainment division had influenced its news judgment. Last night's broadcast carried a brief report on it.

Barr's news conference turned raucous when her husband, Tom Arnold, ordered a freelance photographer to leave the gathering at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Barr said the photographer, Kip Rano, sells his work to the tabloid papers, which she said she is suing and refuses to talk to.

In a bizarre aside to an already bizarre story, the policeman who escorted Rano from the press conference was Paul Kramer -- the same officer who was slapped by Zsa Zsa Gabor last year after stopping her for a traffic violation.

Barr told the media, "You all can take this as fun or you can {act} like this is the worst thing committed by an American. I went down there with the best of intentions. We thought it would be a fun, positive thing. ... I'm sorry I didn't sing so good. How much more can I say?"

Barr added, "I feel very unprotected by what happened. Everyone there knew for quite a few days that I was going to do it. They must have known I'm not the best singer in the world. If 50 people had called up and said, 'Don't do it,' I wouldn't have, but there were none."

Since the incident, Barr said she had received "hundreds and hundreds of calls saying, 'What's the big deal?' " She also said, "Really, no one has had it worse than me."

Told of the president's comments, Barr retorted: "I'm sorry I didn't sing so good. I'd like to hear him sing it."

Bush was asked if he watches Barr's show. "What show?" he replied.

Barr, in a phone interview Thursday night with a Los Angeles area television station, said she couldn't understand the reaction to her singing, which has been condemned by everyone from baseball fans to representatives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to opera singer Robert Merrill, a frequent performer of the anthem before baseball games in New York.

"If this is the worst thing they ever heard, they've had it really easy," Barr said. If she ever sang the anthem again, Barr would "do it for a hipper crowd."

In his monologue Thursday night, Johnny Carson offered that the anthem's author, Francis Scott Key, "must be spinning like a lathe. The closest sound I heard {to Barr's singing} was when I got my cat neutered."

Staff writer Dan Balz and wire services contributed to this report.