First-family fans


Mayor Martin O'Malley and some members of the City Council have grumbled in the past about the HBO series filmed in their city, complaining that The Wire portrays Baltimore in a negative light. But the show has some friends in high places.

Gov. Robert Ehrlich and first lady Kendel Ehrlich tune in every week.

"We never miss The Wire," Ehrlich said yesterday, as he and the first lady visited the set to draw attention to a wage-rebate plan intended to attract more TV and movie projects to Maryland.

"The first lady is having a major time getting over the loss of Stringer," Ehrlich said from the lectern.

Kendel Ehrlich, sitting off to the side in a director's chair, piped up: "I couldn't believe you killed him."

David Simon, executive producer of the series, wasn't on the set when the gov visited yesterday. He was in New York, mixing sound for the series.

By phone, he said he was happy for the support he has gotten from the state and the city.

A hot ticket, but not a hot date

The day before the Rolling Stones played Baltimore, there was another big show a few miles down the road. And tickets to that one were even harder to score - except for members of Congress.

They all got two passes for the State of the Union speech, one for themselves, one for a guest. Who were the Maryland delegation's dates?

The answer might say something about who wears the pants in their districts, offices or homes. Or it might not. In any case, here's the rundown from the delegation (at least the members who were willing to say):

Rep. Ben Cardin invited the Rev. John L. Wright, pastor of First Baptist Church of Guilford and former chairman for the Maryland NAACP.

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest took Maryland National Guard Capt. Shawn Keller of Delmar.

Roscoe Bartlett was accompanied by his chief of staff, Bud Otis.

And Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger and Rep. Chris Van Hollen took their wives.

Sex, drugs and Post-It notes

Skinny, skinny guy spotted walking by the Office Depot in Charles Center Wednesday. Who cares?

A whole bunch of Mick Jagger fans, that's who. They got a little face time with Sir Lips.

The moon's not bright tonight in Montgomery

Montgomery County State's Attorney Doug Gansler got a good grilling about a local mooning case the other day on Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

"Unfortunately, there are still some jackbooted prosecutors who don't believe in the Bill of Rights," intoned fake newscaster Ed Helms.

"I don't think this a free speech situation and that we're trying to limit people's ability to communicate," Gansler replied.

Helms' comeback: "What other civil liberties do you enjoy trouncing?"

It's a free country, isn't it?

A caller to the State House thought he heard the sound of runaway government spending when someone put him on hold the other day. The music playing while he waited was West Side Story's "America," as in "Everything free in America."

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