Daniel Sinker, a Chicago journalism professor and media blogger, finally disclosed today that he is the profanity-laced voice behind the famous, Twitter account for Chicago’s mayor-elect, Rahm Emanuel.
The Twitter account @mayoremanuel became an Internet sensation this past fall, amassing nearly 40,000 followers as it told the story of Chicago’s mayoral election from the view of a candidate who assumed he’d already won. When a state court almost kicked Mr. Emanuel off the ballot because of Chicago’s residency requirement, the fake Mr. Emanuel erupted with four-letter words. When he won election last week with 55% of the vote, the fake Rahm crowd surfed at his own victory party.
Most of the posts would exhaust our supply of dashes.
“The guy is known for being profane, let’s see how profane we can get,” Mr. Sinker told Washington Wire, saying he aimed to “turn the volume of that myth up to f—— epic.”
Mr. Sinker, 36 years old who lives in a northern suburb with his wife and 5-year-old son, insists he does not cuss as much at home or on the job at Columbia College in Chicago. He first revealed his identity to the Atlantic.
Washington Wire had its own suspicions in November that Mr. Sinker, who often weighs in on Windy City politics, was behind the account. (Mr. Sinker’s personal Twitter account was one of @mayoremanuel’s first followers on Twitter.)
But during a November email exchange with Washington Wire, he repeatedly disavowed any association with @mayoremanuel.
“Wish I had something to share – that account is amazing,” Mr. Sinker said during one exchange. When pressed, he responded, “Don’t really have any guesses who it is – just enjoying the ride.”
Washington Wire also asked to meet with @mayoremanuel via Twitter. Using his fake-Rahm persona, Mr. Sinker denied the request in exceptionally earthy language.
So, what does fake-Rahm actually think of real Rahm?
“There’s certainly a lot of people who would do a lot worse job,” Mr. Sinker said. “It was obvious from day one that he was getting elected. Much credit to the real guy, he ran for office, man.”
The real Mr. Emanuel promised a donation of $5,000 to the account author’s favorite charity if he would reveal himself. Mr. Emanuel’s communications director Ben LaBolt said Monday on Twitter that the promise would be kept.
Mr. Sinker said he hadn’t decided where he’d send the money yet.