Marlboro Country

MARLBORO COUNTRY….Charles Duhigg’s story in the LA Times today about Philip Morris’ annual adventure fest for foreigners in Moab, Utah, is worth it for this line alone:

“We want the winners to experience the freedom of America,” explains [company executive Fran?ois] Moreillon. “And we find this is easiest when Americans are not part of the event.”

Classic. On the other hand, this piece managed the difficult task of making me feel kind of sorry for Philip Morris. I’m not quite sure why Duhigg thought this thing was such a big deal that it required Woodward & Bernstein levels of in-your-face reporting, but by the time I was done I pretty much understood Moreillon’s point. Relentless harrassment of a private party on the thin grounds that they’re hiking on public land is not exactly a high point of American journalism