UPDATE 3/12/15: It has come to my attention that there is an additional problem with the Sausage blog illustration. Some commenters were confused by the illustration at first glance because the sausage letters that spell out the word GAWKER look similar to party balloons. We further demand that rather than just being tied off at the end of each letter, the letters should be changed to be made up of links. (h/t RuthSlayderGinsburg). Further, we demand to know why no Gawker Editorial or Art team member has responded to this topic via email or in response to this post. Is Max Read blackmailing you into silence? If you feel the need to address the hand crank or sausage link issue please contact me via secure drop. My PGP key is as follows: LOLajksghdjklahweiourajkdfbasejhd9q834729083ryajkfhakjshdklajH##$$*(@&#$@*()&$JHskjdfhka;jsh¯\_(ツ)_/¯dfiJHLOL.
The following is the exact text that I sent to the Gawker.com art team (and Gawker EIC Max Read) last week regarding the sausage.gawker.com illustration. Due to the lack of reply (I know, I know, they have had much more important things to deal with over email since then), I am posting my email here as a way for all Clashtalkers to air their grievances with the inaccurate Sausage blog illustration.
From: hardcöre umlaut
Date: Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 8:25 AM
Subject: Sausage.gawker.com illustration
To: Jim Cooke*, Tara Jacoby
Cc: Max Read
Dear Jim and Tara,
I am writing to you today to address a very serious issue that I believe is hurting the credibility of Gawker media. I have previously raised the issue in the comments of Max Read's posts multiple times and his only response does not provide a plan for correcting this issue. In fact, it seems like this recent newsfeed.gawker.com business was all a plot to keep the masses distracted so that we would forget about the sausage.gawker.com illustration.
As was pointed out to Max in the comments of the very first post on Sausage, the illustration does not truly depict a manual sausage maker. True, there are automatic versions out there, however I would point out that automatic sausage machines do not resemble the illustration either. Additionally, it appears that many commenters, particularly on the Clashtalk forum, care very deeply about this issue. One of them has even stated that the current illustration does not accurately represent a sausage maker of any kind.
Adding a hand crank to the sausage maker would benefit Gawker in many ways. First, it would illustrate Gawker's fight against the traditional practices of the mainstream media, which Nick Denton has written about on his personal Kinja blog. Fox News would use an automatic, factory-scale sausage machine for the illustration on its hypothetical behind-the-scenes blog, don't you think? Gawker Media certainly does not want to be Fox News. Second, it would appease the dedicated readers and commenters of Gawker.com. Eighteen of them cared enough about this issue to recommend a comment I wrote about it. I imagine that many of those recommends came from people who took the time to create an account specifically to star that comment because they care so deeply about the illustration. Finally, "manual sausage maker" + "hand crank" just offers so many more opportunities for innuendo.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this email and remember, don't be Fox News, add a hand crank!
*Due to the fact that Jim Cooke seems to be trying to hide his email address from readers who presumably would email him about the number of penis illustrations that regularly render Gawker semi-NSFW, I originally sent this email to an incorrect address. Approximately 40 minutes after I sent my original email, I located a gmail account listed on Jim's tumblr and sent it there as well.