Has Katie Couric seen molly? The former news anchor who will go down in history for exposing Sarah Palin as unqualified for a school board in Siberia — which she could see from her house — has turned her sights toward the drug also known as a supposedly purer form of ecstasy, or MDMA. On today’s episode of syndicated talk show Katie, which airs at 3 p.m. EST, Couric will label molly as “the deadly drug your kids may be doing.” She’ll also interview two parents whose daughter reportedly died due to the drug; the father likens molly to “Russian roulette.” The show announcement quickly adds, “Then, meet artists who paint extraordinary work with their mouth and feet!”
Such high-profile coverage marks the continued mainstream spread of fears about MDMA, which was patented by pharmaceutical giant Merck in 1913 but has predominated pop culture in recent years. MDMA was linked to the deaths of two attendees at New York City’s Electric Zoo Festival, and police cited the drug in a recent death at a U.K. Warehouse Project party. Molly has been implicated in several other hospitalizations of deaths in the past few months alone. At the same time, the battle over molly is an old one, especially in the EDM community, where Kaskade and promoter Insomniac Events’ Pasquale Rotella have pleaded for understanding.
More recently, chart-twerker Miley Cyrus has proclaimed her love of molly, after teasing a reference in hit “We Can’t Stop.” Kendrick Lamar has blasted molly-themed rap as “corny.” And after Rick Ross appeared to endorse MDMA as a date-rape drug, Duck Sauce half and Fool’s Gold co-founder A-Trak wrote a Huffington Post op-ed grappling with rap’s shift “from glorifying selling hard drugs to glamorizing their effects.”
Couric’s path has crossed with pop culture in memorable ways before. Last year, she devoted Katie time to the question, “What’s your YOLO?” And she has held two fascinating interviews with Lil Wayne, one that aired just in September and a classic 2009 encounter in which the New Orleans rapper politely took to calling her “Miss Katie.”
Check out SPIN’s list Rolling in the Deep: Hip-Hop’s Greatest Molly Moments.