Report: Apple App Store Bans Pulitzer-Winning Satirist for Satire

Apr 16, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Mike Fiore won a Pulitzer Prize this week (April 12) for Editorial Cartooning. In citing his work the Pulitzer board said, "His biting wit, extensive research and ability to distill complex issues set a high standard for an emerging form of commentary."

What’s "emerging" about Fiore’s work is that his political cartoons are animated. Fiore self-syndicates his work, which can be seen at SFGate or at Fiore’s own site.

But an app that shows his work has been banned by Apple, according to the Nieman Journalism Lab.

 According to the Nieman article, here’s a portion of the email Apple sent Fiore last December when it rejected his app: "Thank you for submitting NewsToons to the App Store. We’ve reviewed NewsToons and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures and is in violation of Section 3.3.14 from the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement…"

The email ends: "If you believe that you can make the necessary changes so that NewsToons does not violate the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement, we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review. Regards, iPhone Developer Program."

A commentary about this situation is on Wired.com. (And it’s from that story where we got our headline, above.)


  1. Apple may need to review every magazine and book they sell if that’s the case. I understand it’s their business model, but they’re actively prohibiting free speech. Better take George Carlin off of iTunes, someone’s fragile ears may be stung.

  2. Just another reason why I never bought anything Apple. I did think they had some senwe of humor, at least; but now the truth is out: It’s just Sour Apples!

  3. Sorry, but no. Just because you have the right to free speech does not allow you to enter my home (or place of business) and say anything you want. When someone is in your place by invitation, they are beholden to behave themselves.
    Some people need to get a grip and recognize what it means to “actively prohibit free speech”. Apple is not breaking any laws.
    That said, as an Apple customer since the mid-eighties, I think Apple is making a big mistake here, despite the fact that I understand the many probable reasons for a don’t-ridicule-public figures rule.
    Think of the lawsuits that could be instigated by every thin-skinned, slighted politician or celebrity who might consider themselves a “victim”.
    Many a newspaper, author and artist has had to defend themselves from such absurd legal shenanigans.

  4. Awesome blog, nice writing 🙂

  5. Thanks.

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