Apple attempted to silence newspaper profile of Steve Jobs

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Apple reportedly attempted to block the publication of a profile on company co-founder Steve Jobs, a piece that called the company's chief executive a visionary and also compared him to that of a ruthless dictator.

Referring to the technological revolutionary as "Silicon Che Guevara," author Bryan Appleyard in the British Sunday Times profiled the well-known history of Jobs at Apple, including his departure from and return to the company, as well as his health problems. The profile pulls no punches, portraying the man as both an American icon and a person to be feared, calling him "Good Steve" and "Bad Steve." The article even quoted the late Jef Raskin, co-creator of the Macintosh, on Jobs: "He would have made an excellent king of France."

The article also mentioned that Apple didn't want the Times to print the story. Appleyard noted that fact as he detailed the secrecy that surrounds Apple, and how it is the company's "core marketing tool."

"Apple hates personality stuff and press intrusion," Appleyard wrote. "'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."

In one of the article's more telling parts, it described a job interview that Jobs conducted. Reportedly, the Apple co-founder became bored with the candidate and began asking him questions about when he lost his virginity and how many times he's taken LSD. Finally, the multi-billionaire allegedly began gobbling like a turkey at the candidate before the job-seeker acknowledged he was not the right person for the position.

Calling "Bad Steve" the man who was driven out of Apple, Appleyard referred to "Good Steve" as the businessman who has obtained "rock-god" status. It said that "abused employees" who survive Jobs often find themselves praised by the company executive.

The lengthy piece quoted numerous people who worked with Jobs, or who have covered him in the press. It questioned how the company would proceed without its co-founder at the helm, suggesting a Jobs-less Apple would seek a merger with Google.

"The loss of Jobs's genius for products would mean Google's innovation and Apple’s design and market sense would be a very good fit," he wrote, "although antitrust regulators might disagree."

Recently, Jobs has has numerous surgeries following his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer. He returned to work this summer after he had a liver transplant. Last month, a very thin Jobs was photographed leaving Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.