Apple Reverses Decision, Approves iPhone App Showing Political Caricatures

An iPhone application that Apple had rejected as "objectionable" for its caricatures of members of Congress now is available to users, the application's developer told Saturday.

The developer, Ray Griggs, said Apple reversed its initial decision after a story this week about claims that the caricatures, in particular a drawing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were "offensive."

The app, now for sale at the iTunes App Store, provides access to a telephone directory that lists the number of every U.S. senator and congressman and features caricatures of the legislators drawn by an artist.

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.

Griggs had previously told that his small firm, RG Entertainment, received a rejection letter from Apple last week, calling the caricatures "objectionable." RG had developed other apps for the iPhone that Apple accepted.

Apple didn't return repeated phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

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.

The app was developed for young voters who want instant online and telephone access to their senators and congressmen.