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Spears joke

Annapolis (Maryland), Oct. 8 (Reuters): Maryland’s first lady was only joking when she said she would like to shoot pop star Britney Spears, but yesterday it was no longer a laughing matter.

Kendel Ehrlich, wife of the state’s Republican governor Robert Ehrlich, had been criticising what she views as the entertainment industry’s negative influence on youth, during a domestic violence prevention conference last week in the city of Frederick. “Really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would,” Ehrlich laughingly told the audience, accusing the 21-year-old Grammy Award-nominated singer of exaggerating the importance of sex for young girls.

Spears, a former Mickey Mouse Club member and once-demure pop princess, has recently begun to refashion herself as a sex object with steamy live performances and a topless photo on the October 2 cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Frederick radio station WFMD discovered Ehrlich’s remark about Spears while reviewing a conference tape-recording and ran a news story about it on Monday.

By yesterday, the first lady’s office was forced to issue a statement.

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