About face! Apple approves iPhone app featuring caricatures of politicians for sale in App Store

An iPhone application [Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition (99-cents)] that Apple had rejected as ‘objectionable’ for its caricatures of members of congress now is available to users, the application’s developer told FoxNews.com Saturday.

“The developer, Ray Griggs, said Apple reversed it’s initial decision after a FoxNews.com story this week about claims that the caricatures, in particular a drawing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were ‘offensive,'” FoxNews.com reports. “The directory’s caricatures feature the drawings of every member of Congress — Republicans, Democrats and independents alike — by freelance artist Tom Richmond, who has drawn for Mad Magazine. The heads of the politicians bobble on the iPhone screen… [and offers voters] instant online and telephone access to their senators and congressmen.”

“Griggs, who thanked the nearly 200 people who he said sent him supportive e-mails, said he received a phone call from a top Apple employee Friday night letting him know that the company would approve the app’s release,” FoxNews.com reports. “Apple didn’t return repeated phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.”

Full article here.

More info and download link for Bobble Rep – 111th Congress Edition is available via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, that didn’t take long at all. Apple did the right thing. Now, how they get to point where they don’t first do the wrong thing, get publicly upbraided, and then have to reverse themselves is the last remaining question.

Note to the Apple employee who initially rejected this app: The massive sales boost you’ve given this app should give you pause before you arbitrarily reject another app in the future; that is, if you’re even still employed as an Apple App Store gatekeeper.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Matt B.” for the heads up.]


  1. Jobs is the kind of person that would like to see more involvement by the masses. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if there wasn’t an agreement between Apple and the developer to generate some buzz around the app, thereby increasing interest/distribution, and most importantly, more involvement of the masses.

  2. Yeah, Apple should have approved it and they made the right decision here.

    But unless I’m missing something, the only explanation was “We’ve reviewed [the app] and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures.” Figures, as in plural. The author claims the email had the picture of Pelosi, who happens to be the Speaker of the House, but that is not enough to conclude that her image was the primary criteria for the rejection. It sounds like a typical conservative slant to make liberals seem shady, trite, and thin-skinned.

    It is irritating, because I really enjoy MDN’s takes on Apple related news, but the conservative flavor really detracts from the site. This place would be so much better if it was apolitical.

  3. Evidently, Apple prefers having others repeatedly shine the spotlight on their stupidity rather than actually FIXING the problems with their App Store approval setup.

    There doesn’t actually seem to be any other way to escalate problems a developer has with a reviewer about a stupid rejection other than to ‘go public’…

  4. @Journo

    Yes, Pelosi was *part* of the reason, along with all of the other members of Congress. There is no reason to conclude that it was primarily because of Pelosi that the app was rejected. Again, that is pure conjecture based on trying to make Pelosi and liberals look bad, when in *fact* the only issue was some idiot who rejected the app because it “ridicules public figures.” Anything beyond that is actual theory.

  5. Think about this – the process must be sucky with almost 100k apps.
    How would one review them all quickly?

    BTW, there’s nothing on the iPhone that could possibly make Polosi look worse/uglier/dumber.

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