Gawker jumps to some unfortunate conclusions

By Jesse on January 23, 2009

Back in April, after a long day spent drinking by the pool, several Winos gathered at Emily’s place to taste a couple bottles of Petite Sirah and eat some burgers. At one point, with my arm around Emily’s shoulders, I apparently decided to simultaneously tighten my hold, take a sip of wine, and flip off the camera (I do not remember doing any of these things, but the photographic evidence exists). Due to Emily’s pained expression, the resulting shot was not included in our original review (although it later made its way on to the internet in the context of a blog post about our new social network).

Today, however, it randomly reappeared — on Gawker, of all places, accompanying a completely unrelated story about some dating event in New York City.

For those who are blissfully unaware, Gawker is a Manhattan-based gossip rag focused on the media industry. I contacted the author of the post, who sheepishly admitted that he’d found the pic when he Googled the search “champagne wino” (figuring, for some reason, that a picture of a homeless guy drinking bubbly would be the perfect companion to his story about Wall Street financiers). Upon discovering the photo of Emily and I, however, he reckoned I looked douchy enough to be an annoying finance type — in this case, I sadly have to agree — and he decided to run with it. And that’s the beginning of the story of how I wound up on Gawker… the NSFW details continue below (we advise you to read before clicking through to the page in question).

The hilarity really picked up when Gawker’s salivating pack of snarky devotees decided to tear mercilessly into the image that had been arbitrarily placed hot and steaming before them. One can almost smell the pungent aromas of neglected delivery Pad Thai sitting next to the keyboard as its owner dropped everything to spew his brilliant and insightful criticism on to the comment section of his beloved Gawker. This lovely little nugget is just the tip of the iceberg:

Max Headroom? Honestly? It’s called hat-hair, and it was full of chlorine. Leave me alone. (The Lyle Lovett comment, though, I kinda liked.)

Undaunted, the Winos fought back. First, I authored a response comment (a fairly difficult task, given Gawker’s arcane restrictions on posting comments) in which I explained the photo’s back-story and invited readers to check out what we do. Andrew, though, had colder revenge to dish out. Realizing that the “pic via” link directed readers back to the Young Winos photo directory, he pulled a little bait-and-switch, replacing the original pic with probably the third-most NSFW image I’ve ever seen. I strongly advise you not to click it. You may vomit several times.

The Young Winos of LA — engaging in guerrilla warfare since 2005.


  1. Unfortunately looking at this from a new computer, the re-directed link still showed the original photo, and only upon refreshing the page with the photo on it did the NSFW one appear.


    Comment by Andrew Lang — January 28, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  2. You just can’t get enough of looking at your handiwork, can you?

    Comment by Jesse Porter — January 28, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

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