Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.
America's most admired lawbreaker (The Huffington Post's Highline)
"Over the course of 20 years, Johnson & Johnson created a powerful drug, promoted it illegally to children and the elderly, covered up the side effects and made billions of dollars."
Meet the obscure company behind America's Syria fiasco (Buzz Feed News)
"The U.S. violated its own policy and gave Purple Shovel approval to acquire millions of dollars' worth of high-tech missiles for the rebels from Belarus, a dictatorship that is under sanctions by the European Union. Belarus, which has supplied weapons to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and is accused of human rights violations, is normally off-limits to U.S. arms dealers."
Exxon's own research confirmed fossil fuels' role in global warming decades ago (Inside Climate News)
"Exxon's research laid the groundwork for a 1982 corporate primer on carbon dioxide and climate change prepared by its environmental affairs office. ... In it, the company recognized, despite the many lingering unknowns, that heading off global warming 'would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion.' Unless that happened, 'there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered,' the primer said, citing independent experts. 'Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible.'"
Driven to deceive: Life behind the counter at Dollar Rent A Car (International Business Times)
"...people who have worked the counters at Dollar rental locations confirm that abuses against customers are widespread, arising from a corporate commissions structure that prizes steep sales goals and creates pressure to exploit travelers. In multiple states, they describe how employees learned deceptive tactics from one another, while supervisors turned a blind eye to the activity, and rebuffed customer pleas for adjustments to the final bill. Those tactics included rental sales agents adding extra insurance coverage to customers' contracts without telling them and then having them sign for it."
MuckReads Local: Angered at Alexandria Bay, publisher bashes community in apparently plagiarized article (Watertown Daily Times)
This is the weirdest story I've ever read about plagiarized North Country travel magazines. http://t.co/CVGovPdaVZ— Laura Northrup (@lnorthrup) September 17, 2015
"When a publisher of tourism magazines failed to get free meals and lodging from businesses in exchange for a glowing review of tourism in the village, he published an article, with the byline of Lindsey S. Green, blasting Alexandria Bay and instead praising Gananoque, Ontario. The problem? Ms. Green said Tuesday that she wrote only one article for Andrew J. Schaff, publisher of DeWitt-based Tourism Trades USA, and that one wasn't it."