Apple doesn’t have a particularly healthy relationship with the press; it has sued websites for publishing information it didn’t like, and has tried to keep information under wraps that a journalist tried to uncover via the Freedom of Information Act. Now, however, it has tried to prevent The Times from publishing an article about Steve Jobs.
The article in question is not really anything to get all excited about. It details Jobs’ personal andprofessional life, including the hiring of Sculley and Jobs leaving Apple, all the way until Jobs returning to the company and bringing it back on its feet with the iMac, iPod, and iPhone. It also details Jobs’ control-freak attitude and his allegedly narcissist personality.
The article also details Jobs’ health situation, as well what would happen if Jobs eventually left the company. There’s nothing in there we didn’t know already, so for us geeks it’s not particularly interesting.
Still, the author claims Apple tried to block the article from getting published. This is what the author wrote about Apple’s attempts, copied here verbatim:
The secrecy is all about preserving the magic of each new product. Apple hates personality stuff and press intrusion. “We want to discourage profiles,” an Apple PR tells me stiffly, apparently unaware she is waving a sackful of red rags at a herd of bulls. Another PR rings the editor of this magazine to try to halt publication of this piece.
I’m reminded of the classic case of the “Parental advisory – explicit content” labels on music CDs. What happened when the RIAA started putting these labels on CDs? Exactly – they sold more copies. This Apple case is the same: had Apple not tried to stop the article from getting published, no one would’ve cared about it.