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Ah, the tech media are such a fickle beast. The recent contacts privacy “oops” with the Path app has turned many members of the media against each other, and now it appears that The New York Times may have fallen from Apple’s graces after its exposé on working conditions at its Chinese factories.
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple had an interesting opinion piece on Thursday night in the wake of Apple’s announcement of OS X Mountain Lion, its next-generation operating system for the Mac. The announcement was followed up with an exclusive interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook -- but instead of Cupertino’s favored newspaper, The New York Times, the interview appeared in the pages of The Wall Street Journal instead.
The reason for the shift appears to come from Apple’s displeasure with a recent series of articles dubbed “iEconomy” in the Times, which painted Apple and its suppliers in a rather negative light. CEO Cook, in particular, has been quoted in recent weeks as taking such comments rather personally, given his former position as chief operating officer, where he was directly in charge of such issues.
With the post-announcement exclusive going to The Wall Street Journal, many are speculating that Apple has now “Gizmodo’ed” The New York Times -- a reference dating back to the lost iPhone 4 prototype in 2010, which wound up in the hands of tech blog Gizmodo, who proceeded to show off every inch of the hardware and was summarily cut out of all future Apple events as a result.
Apparently, the Times agrees. “They are playing access journalism,” says a source at the newspaper. “I’ve heard it from people inside Apple: They said, look, you guys are going to get less access based on the iEconomy series.”
Times tech editor Damon Darlin went on the record to clarify: “We’re never happy with our access to Apple. We never have been. Apple is a difficult company to report on.” And what of the lost exclusive interview with Cook? “Talking to the CEO of one of the largest technology companies, the highest-valued company of the world? Yes, we would like to do that. They know that,” Darlin said.
For now, The New York Times doesn’t appear to be in the same doghouse as Gizmodo -- tech reviewer David Pogue posted his own look at OS X Mountain Lion on Thursday, even though it came much later in the day compared to others.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter