Apple gave an exclusive interview with CEO Tim Cook to The Wall Street Journal instead

Apple is not a huge fan of The Big Apple's main newspaper right now.

The New York Times blasted Apple's ego and reputation hard last month with its second installment of the iEconomy series, which focused on the poor treatment and harsh working conditions of employees at Apple's suppliers' factories in China. Now, the Times is paying the price.

Apple is currently preparing for the release of its latest operating system, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. With such a release comes previews of the OS, which are typically granted to only certain media outlets. The Times used to be on that list, but it appears Apple refused to grant it that access to Mountain Lion.

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.

"They are playing access journalism," said an anonymous source at The New York Times. "I've heard it from people inside Apple. They said, look, you guys are going to get less access based on the iEconomy series."

To add insult to injury, The New York Times also lost out on a crucial interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. However, The Wall Street Journal's Jessica Vascellaro was able to score that interview, where Cook described the meshing of the functionality of Apple's mobile iOS and Mac's OS X operating systems.

"We see that people are in love with a lot of apps and functionality here," said Cook in the interview with The Wall Street Journal. "Anywhere where that makes sense, we are going to move that over to Mac."

Cook made sure to throw a jab at Microsoft in the interview too, saying that nothing Microsoft does "puts pressure on Apple."

The New York Times, on the other hand, had no original quotes for its write-up on Apple's upcoming operating system.

"We're never happy with our access to Apple," said Damon Darlin, The New York Times' tech editor. "Apple is a difficult company to report on. 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."

The New York Times published a report last month detailing the harsh conditions that Apple's suppliers' workers are forced to deal with on a daily basis. The Times cited problems like long hours, exhaustion, lengthy overtime, unsafe working environments, underage employment and crowded living conditions at supplier factories in China. These acts, such as working over 60 hours per week, are direct violations of Apple's supplier code of conduct. While Apple has been warned of these violations repeatedly on an annual basis since 2007, the Times wondered why Apple has never done anything about it.

Cook was outraged by the claims, and sent an email to all Apple employees saying that Apple cares about each and every one of its employees whether they're in the United States or overseas.

Apple also had the Fair Labor Association (FLA) defending it in a recent report, where FLA President Auret van Heerden made a visit to one of Apple's main suppliers in China, Foxconn Technology Group. Upon entering the factory, van Heerden was surprised at how "tranquil" the setting was compared to others in China, like garment factories. He described Foxconn as a "first-class" facility, and said the workers were committing suicide and acting up out of boredom and homesickness rather than harsh and exhausting conditions.

Apple's treatment toward The New York Times mirrors similar behavior the company directed at Gizmodo back in 2010. Gizmodo got its hands on a lost iPhone 4 before its release, and kept it to investigate the device and write a report on it. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs contacted Gizmodo personally to ask for the iPhone 4 back, but the publication refused because Apple had been "cold" to the tech news outlet previously, affecting its iPad coverage at launch. Gizmodo said it was forced to take more aggressive action to report on Apple's products.

Sources: The Washington Post, Apple Insider

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