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Apple tries to muffle Times profile of Steve Jobs

updated 10:50 am EDT, Mon August 17, 2009

Apple media control effort

Apple tried twice to interfere with the publication of a profile of Steve Jobs in the UK's Sunday Times newspaper, says the article's author, Bryan Appleyard. One PR representative from the company is said to have spoken with Appleyard directly, insisting that Apple wants to "discourage profiles." The company then contacted the editor of the Times, asking to have the article withheld entirely.

The profile cites a number of people to provide both positive and negative views of Jobs. One of the strongest criticisms is directed towards a strict internal security policy, which is described as creating a Mafia-like code of silence at Apple in which people can be fired for leaks or simply careless discussion. Appleyard also reiterates the claim that company executives deliberately seed misinformation, hoping to expose people who might theoretically leak real data.

Jobs is also described as being sometimes temperamental during interviews -- despite being a Zen Buddhist -- and a narcissist, a trait which is at least partly reflected in Apple's insistence on using internal design ideas rather than those demanded by the public. The company does benefit from Jobs' perfectionism, Appleyard notes, as well as his celebrity status, and his understanding of the end user. In a post-Jobs world, it is suggested that Apple could try to merge with Google, in keeping with the corporations' growing ties.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    It works

    If this system didn't really work for Apple, they would end up abandoning it. The fact that MacNN carries news of "leaks" by other companies shows how desperate these companies are in getting info in front of potential buyers. Yet anyone who knows the human psyche knows that "secretive" always seems more valuable (look at the speculation)! So when Dell has another "leak," no one cares! Another iPhone killer? Who cares?
    Those who can't keep the industrial secrets should work somewhere else... no one is making them stay.
    Leakers are pathetic at Apple and the other "leaks" or "outs" are mostly contrived as Apple buyers seldom care about them... and have no reason to care about them.
    As to news journalists... think about that.

  1. anly

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Indeed it should...

    Seriously, what is wrong with keeping the company's next "big thing" a secret!? A recent movie that comes to mind is "The International"
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0963178/
    Brilliant movie!

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    @Bobfozz

    So true.

    As an Apple investor, what you expect? When do you draw the line?

  1. anly

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Indeed it should...

    Seriously, what is wrong with keeping the company's next "big thing" a secret!? A recent movie that comes to mind is "Duplicity"
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1135487/
    Brilliant movie! My mistake, not The International, both had Clive Owen... heh...

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    in Apple's defense

    in Apple's defense, the 'profile' was an obituary. That hardly seems fair.

  1. Outdo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Interfere?

    Good God! Apple calls the author and then the editor to ask it not run a story. How is that interference with the writing, let alone "muffle" a story? The politicians do that daily for their own "spin", as do corporate PR types. No story here, except because it is about Steve Jobs.

  1. Tralthamidor

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Hold on

    Stop the presses! We've got a story about Steve Jobs trying to, eh, stop the presses..

  1. Tofino

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    muffle?

    excellent use of the word. i don't think i've ever seen it in 'print'. ever.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: It works

    Amazing how most of the comments aren't about the attempts to 'muffle' an article, but about one description of one of Steve's rules. And, mind you, they're just reporting it, it isn't like they're blasting Apple for such draconian policies.

    But, hey, I guess you have to find something in there to be perceived as anti-Apple to rail against, huh?

    And, seriously, did these people at Apple really think they could just call up the journalist or editor of the paper, say "We'd really like to not see this in print" and they'd actually say "You know, you're right. We're going to scrap this article. I think we've got another story about that sarah boyle woman we can run instead"

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