The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for March 24, 2012

From Rihanna’s team of hitmakers to the secret implosion of Google, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

03.24.12 8:45 AM ET

The Song Machine
John Seabrook, The New Yorker

The hitmakers behind Rihanna.

The Age of Double Standards
Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect

American Airlines can declare bankruptcy and wipe away debt. But you can’t—and that’s just the beginning.

The Case Against Google
Matt Honan, Gizmodo

Is search no longer central to Google’s mission? And are its recent moves "evil" by its early company standards?

Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times Magazine

Since Katrina, the cartoonish pace of vegetation growth in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward resembles something out of a Chia Pet commercial.

Should Science Pull the Trigger?
Carl Zimmer, Wired

They could produce drugs that would zap the viruses behind common illnesses. But is it a good idea?

The Cardinal Sees Red
Peter J. Boyer, Newsweek

Cardinal Dolan is not satisfied with the Obama compromise on contraception. America’s pope girds for battle.

For more great longreads, check out our friends at Longreads.com.