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Posted at 1:05 PM ET, 04/21/2010

Political satire: So has Apple finally seen the light?

By Michael Cavna


Now that Apple has approved Mark Fiore's "NewsToons" iPhone app, will the wall come down for other political-cartoon satire to gain entrance to the store?

So far, there's no app for that.

"I don't know if it changes anything," Fiore tells Comics Riffs on Tuesday, hours after being notified by Apple in a form message that his app had been approved -- this after his Pulitzer win a week earlier apparently led to Apple's reconsideration of his app, which was rejected in December.

"That's what I'm hoping for -- that this opens the floodgates for other political cartoons," Fiore says. "I would feel like a jerk if mine was the only one that got through." Fiore resubmitted his app last Friday at the invitation of Apple and his app was approved Monday, he says.

"I think that if ever there was a time for this to come to a head -- for Apple to change its policy -- now is that time," says Fiore, whose animated-cartoon app was rejected because it "ridicules public figures," violating an Apple condition for inclusion.

"Because I'm now sitting on their site, I'm violating their developer agreement with every minute that passes," says the self-syndicated Fiore, who won the Pulitzer for his animations. His app is now selling for 99 cents and updates automatically, he says.

Fiore's case follows the rejections last year of political-themed apps by MAD cartoonist Tom Richmond and syndicator Daryl Cagle. Both of those apps eventually were approved by Apple.

"I think ultimately, Apple is going to have to allow for true freedom of expression on their app store, even expression they don't agree with, if they intend to become an integral part of e-publishing with the iPad," Richmond tells Comic Riffs. "Otherwise they will get squashed by competing devices and formats that do allow for it."

Last year, Richmond drew congressional caricatures for the informational app "Bobble Rep" -- an app that, it could be argued, was humorous but not satirical in nature.

Of Apple, Richmond said that it's "hard to believe they don't remember how their micro-controlling ways allowed Microsoft and Windows to become the overwhelmingly dominant OS on the planet. Windows was arguably an inferior product, but the freedoms it allowed over Apple fueled its acceptance by the masses."

Apple has not returned Comic Riffs's calls seeking comment.

Kerry, McCain & Pelosi (among others), as you almost never saw them -- thanks to Apple. (Courtesy of Tom Richmond )

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By Michael Cavna  | April 21, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
Categories:  Geek Buzz, The Animation, The Political Cartoon  | Tags:  App Store, Apple, Daryl Cagle, Editorial cartoon, Mark Fiore's NewsToons iPhone app, Pulitzer Prize, San Francisco Chronicle, Steve Jobs, Tom Richmond  
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Next: Pink-slipped political cartoonist wins RFK Award


That post reads like someone has been celebrating pretty hard...

Posted by: wiredog | April 21, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

apparently Richmond has fat thumbs and myopia.

Posted by: jimbo1949 | April 21, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

You would hope it will open the door but I doubt it unless you are high profile (cagle), win a pulitzer (fiore) or get a whole bunch of bad blog press aimed at apple for your rejection (richmond).

Then again if Fiore or Cagle want to slide my stuff in via their apps, I am open to talking..haha

Posted by: BearmanCartoons | April 21, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

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