CHICAGO (CBS) — The man behind the Twitter account that told the fictional, behind-the-scenes story of Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral campaign has been revealed.
He is Dan Sinker, the former publisher of the punk rock zine “Punk Planet” and a journalism professor at Columbia College. Sinker revealed himself on his personal blog on Monday.
“Thanks to the many thousands of you that made this so much f—-ing fun,” he wrote.
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The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal first reported Sinker’s role as @MayorEmanuel, after Sinker decided to reveal his identity after a “protracted e-mail negotiation.”
For his part, Sinker first appeared to offer a hint on his personal Twitter page today, when he posted a link to a Bee Gees performance of “I Started A Joke.”
The fake Rahm Emanuel Twitter page, spun an epic tale of profanity and hilarity since September. Main characters included an incredibly over-caffeinated, hyper-driven and profane Rahm Emanuel, his political guru, David Axelrod, Carl the Intern and a duck named Quaxelrod.
The story took fans on Rahm’s campaign to every [bleeping] L stop in the city and wild drives in Axelrod’s beat up Honda Civic. Mayor Daley even made an appearance as he kidnapped the future mayor and took him on a tour of City Hall to reveal deep dark secrets hidden there.
The story on Twitter ended at the peak of its popularity, with more than 38,000 followers the day after Emanuel was elected, as the fake Rahm vanished into a time vortex.
According to the Atlantic, Sinker’s secret was known only by his wife and a small circle of friends.
Sinker told the Atlantic that creating the story did start to take a toll.
“Your brain starts going a little crazy. I’m looking forward to my brain not feeling so crazy.”
The real Rahm Emanuel said he became a fan of the Twitter page during the campaign. Today, he said he would make good on his promise to donate $5,000 to charity if the author revealed his identity.
“Now that the cat is out of the bag, the mayor-elect will keep his commitment to donate $5,000 to the charity of professor Sinker’s choice,” said Emanuel spokesman Ben LaBolt. “Details to follow in the coming days.”