Here's a piece of political journalism that feels like a bad acid trip, but not for any of the reasons the creators likely intended.
We have Chris Moody, a journalist for CNN who does stuff that's kinda lighthearted, kinda humorous in a "gee, ain't this quirky?" way, doing an admittedly bad Hunter S. Thompson impression. He's driving—get this—in a red convertible in the desert when he comes across a hitchhiker. Just like in the movie, y'all!
That hitchhiker is former Baltimore mayor, Maryland governor, "Wire" inspiration, and current heartthrob and presidential candidate barely registering in the polls: Martin O'Malley.
What follows is a joke offer of beer and ether—O'Malley refuses both, saying "No, I'm good on the ether"—and a strange-yet-legitimate interview about the issues and campaign. Just watch.
OK, let's think about a few things we just saw.
Moody asks O'Malley what he thinks about states legalizing weed and the candidate gives a blah answer about keeping an open mind. Then, O'Malley says he's never tried pot, and the segment slips into another reference to Thompson's drug-fueled paranoia—imaginary bats, complete with goofy-ass computer animated ones flying over Moody and O'Malley. Holy smokes. If you're the O'Malley campaign, and your guy is a bit milquetoast on the whole drug thing, why would you agree to have him star in a parody of a book about a drug-fueled adventure of excess?
About halfway through Moody basically gives up on the accent and asks about college tuition, immigration, Bernie Sanders, and O'Malley's plan for gaining ground on his competitors. And like the rest of O'Malley's campaign, it doesn't really stand out. Come on, where's the commitment to the theme? Should've gone all the way and inhaled ether from a soaked American flag. Talk about a strategy for luring voters from Bernie Sanders.
Guess we'll see a cheesy HST parody bump tonight during the first debate of the Democratic Primary, which airs at 8 p.m. on CNN.