Jobs and his secretive minions are notorious for this sort of behavior; the company famously derailed a Vanity Fair excerpt of Alan Deutschman's Jobs biography. Apple flacks had less luck with the Times:
"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.
This attempt to block the report launched a flurry of headlines about a story that was otherwise a thumb-sucker: "Apple Attempts to Suppress Steve Jobs Profile Article;" "Apple Tries to Kill Steve Jobs Story in Sunday Times;" "Apple Practices 'Corporate Omerta';" etc. The incident was a perfect illustration of the Streisand Effect, named after an incident in which Barbara Streisand attempted to remove from a public database a photograph of her house, causing the image to spread far more widely than it would have otherwise.
It's foolish PR, sure, but this sort of heavy-handedness is also as good a sign as any that Jobs has resumed his very firm grip on Apple Inc. Welcome back, Steve!