GOP candidate accuses Apple of political bias for rejecting his iPhone app

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“A Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives is accusing Apple of unreasonably rejecting an iPhone attack app that accused his Democratic rival of voting to raise taxes and cut spending on Medicare,” Declan McCullagh reports for CNET. “Ari David, who’s vying for the June 8 Republican nomination in the district that includes West Hollywood, says Apple claimed that his free iPhone app was ‘defamatory.'”

“The app targeted incumbent Henry Waxman’s voting record using pointed phrases like ‘Soviet-style regulation,'” McCullagh reports. “Under the App Store policy, ‘it’s fine as long as you show pictures of yourself with puppies and kittens, but don’t talk about the guy you want to replace in Congress,’ David, who has worked as a writer, actor, and stand-up comedian, told CNET on Friday.”

“Apple may believe that Democrats would be offended by a political app that says Waxman ‘supported cap & trade legislation that would have brought us $7 a gallon gas,'” McCullagh reports.

“This is hardly the first time, of course, that Apple has been the target of complaints alleging arbitrary App Store exclusion,” McCullagh reports. “Cartoonist Mark Fiore had to win a Pulitzer before his app was approved; it had been denied on the grounds that it ‘ridicules public figures,’ which Fiore intended to be the point of the exercise And Apple rejected, and then permitted, apps offering political caricatures and a defense of a government-run health care system.”

McCullagh reports, “David, one of five Republican primary candidates vying to challenge Waxman, an influential committee chairman, thinks the Apple employees who rejected his app were acting on their own personal biases. ‘That’s fine, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t go out and tell the world that that’s what happening with my candidacy.'”

More info and links in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of the politics involved in this specific instance, we’ve long said that Apple should be concerned about apps’ technical quality and adherence to the SDK agreement, not the ideas that the app espouses. For more detail, and what types of apps we believe should be rejected no matter what, please read our take here.

Also of note, we just ran the following searches Apple’s U.S. App Store and found:
“Conservative” – 93 apps
“Republican” – 100 apps
“Liberal” – 54 apps
“Democrat” – 70 apps
(note: some apps may be counted in multiple categories)

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. Dunno about you guys, but I wouldn’t want politicians from any team using my app store to pursue a political agenda. Use the Internet, we all have web browsers.

    Besides, aren’t you guys all republicans anyway? I mean, that was the point of your impromptu poll, right MDN? You believe in the rights of businesses, right? So this guy can complain all he wants but it’ll make him sound like a hypocrite. Or worse… A LIBERAL!!!!!,,,!!!, Tough shit, buddy, Apple doesn’t owe it to you or anyone else to explain. That’s capitalism baby, and they’re doing great at it without you. Anyone who says otherwise is clearly a socialist.

  2. Incidentally, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who is getting tired of MDN mixing Mac news and their political opinions. People of all political leanings (or none at all!) use Macs so why alienate certain people who came here to share their enjoyment of one of the very few things that liberals and conservatives can agree on (that Apple products kick ass)?

  3. Maybe he should start a good ol’ Republican war… Maybe that aborted fetus would have grown up to accept his app. Maybe the NRA should step in… Maybe the vacuous bible-thumper religitard should ask for god’s assistance… Maybe Dick Cheny could “rough up” Steve jobs… Maybe Rush Limbaugh should accuse Obama as being responsible… Stupid Republicans…

  4. Matt,

    The point of MDN’s counting of apps was to show that, if anything, Apple is “biased” in the opposite direction than claimed by the Republican candidate Ari David.

    That seems really, really obvious and extremely easy to grasp.

    Not sure how you arrived at your crazy-ass conclusions… Actually, strike that, I know exactly how you got there: You can’t think dispassionately because you’re a knee-jerk Liberal.

    Don’t worry, we’ll fix the uninformed mess you made soon enough.

  5. Matt,

    CNET reported this originally, not MDN. That’s what the quotation marks, attributions, and link to the full article mean.

    MDN is here to cover Apple-related news. They have done their job.

    You are clearly a moron.

    MDN MW: “thinking” Give it a try sometime, will ya, Matt?

  6. @TT

    Not just Hollywood, but West Hollywood too!

    When he talks, you can hear the golf claps.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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