The dastardly plan was rather lamely named "Top Secret Operation Rainmaker," and it never really got off the ground (or did it?). One reason may have been that it wasn't very well hidden, even among 33 million pages of private papers released during Minnesota's lawsuit against tobacco companies. Researchers assisting with the suit found it by searching on the key phrase "Top Secret." A great plan, and one they would have gotten away with if it weren't for those meddling search engines.
ST. PAUL, Minn: Somebody at Philip Morris was bucking for a promotion from minion to supervillain. In a 1990 company memo uncovered Monday, an employee suggests that the only way to get America smoking again is "to own a major media outlet." Suggestions: Knight-Ridder, United Press International or perhaps a piece of the Mort Zuckerman empire. Throw in a science magazine such as Omni -- to combat those irresponsible allegations about smoking being bad for you -- and pretty soon Philip Morris is able to "change the atmosphere," as the memo put it.