New York Times Snubbed By Apple, Denied Sneak Peek of OS X Mountain Lion

Editors of the top technology sections of newspapers and blogs were all given early access to Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion. But the New York Times was purposely blacklisted. 

In his lifetime, Steve Jobs was a proponent of the New York Times. Sensing that the Times represented a perceived gold standard in U.S. journalism, Jobs even offered help in terms of aiding the “gray lady” launch into the digital age. You will recall that many of the iPhone and iPad screen shots on official Apple advertisements once features the New York Times‘ homepage.

It now appears, however, that the New York Times has been effectively blacklisted from Apple’s top tier of favored technology media outlets.

A myriad of reports surfaced today indicating that the Times was purposely left out of Cupertino’s media list for advanced review of their newest Mac operating system, dubbed “Mountain Lion.” Daily Tech explains in their piece today that the move by Apple is clearly retribution for the New York Times leading the charge on promoting stories that their use of labor in Mainland China violates human and workers’ rights. as a result, the Times’ technology page ended up being way behind on the new OS X story:  ”According to The Washington Post, the Times ended up having to cite Apple’s press releases as well as other publications for its OS X 10.8 review. To top it off, its report hit the internet late, which was described as an embarrassment for the Times.”

New York Times Technology Editor David Pogue has been particularly fair and complimentary to Apple products over the years, and he was not the one to lead the charge against Apple’s labor practices at the New york times. In fact, the original article was not on the front page of the Technology section, but rather was front page material. Pogue, however, did broach the subject on his blog the other day in a post that directly referenced the original article. Entitled “The Dilemma of Cheap Electronics,” he tries to mitigate the biting criticism of the Times levied at apple, stating, “There’s an important factor, however, that seems to be largely missing from the conversation, though it was noted in the article: Apple isn’t the only company that builds electronics at Chinese factories. The truth is, almost all of them do.”

Clearly, Pogue is trying to do some damage control on behalf of the Times here by spreading out the blame equally. Obviously, it was not enough.

The New York Times Article & The Obama-Jobs Exchange About Apple Manufacturing Jobs “Never Coming Back”

I would argue that this battle between Apple and the New York Times has been brewing for far longer than many would like to admit. It is worth revisiting a public exchange between a newly-elected President Obama and Steve Jobs, wherein the President very candidly — and surprisingly — asked Mr. Jobs what it would take to get Apple manufacturing back into the United States. Jobs very candidly reported — at the consternation of the President — “Those jobs aren’t coming back.”

As in — “ever.”

The Huffington Post points out that “The New York Times repeats Apple’s often-repeated public justification for that position, describing the company as praising the “flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers,” which is why their recent reversal is so poignant.

If one was to assign a political ideology to the editorial branch of the New York Times, it would be fair to say that they are a center-left media team, with more of an affinity for the Presidents’ agenda than that of the opposition. Given that reality, as well as the President’s reelection timbre, which is clearly seeking to hold Wall Street to account for the lack of jobs and global economic downturn, can it be surmised that the New York Times has targeted Apple — a bastion of Capitalist success — as a scapegoat for the President’s campaign rhetoric?

It would not be the first time that Apple has been unfairly singled out by the media — and particularly left-leaning media. Last April, we reported on a now forgotten story of how Greenpeace audaciously claimed that Apple is the “least green,” or most anti-environmentalist corporation in the world, citing the construction of a major data center in the U.S. as an unnecessary energy-sapping facility. The consensus among Apple users was that Greenpeace’s claim was unfair and absurd, especially considering Steve Jobs’ particular focus on making Apple products as eco-friendly as possible.

It remains to be seen if the current debate over Apple’s use of Chinese labor will be as forgiven by consumers as Greenpeace’s “green libel” was, but one thing seems apparent: there is a timeline that connects from the Obama-Jobs exchange about Apple manufacturing jobs never coming back to the U.S. and the schism that now exists between Apple and The New York Times.

By Michael Nace


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