The man behind the brilliant @MayorEmanuel Twitter account, which "followed" Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on the campaign trail by making up jokes about him and ultimately "vanished into a time vortex in order to save the multiverse," has been outed.
The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal profiles Dan Sinker, a professor, editor, leftist activist and founder of Punk Planet, "a legendary zine that ran from 1994 until 2007."
Here's a chunk of Madrigal's lengthy story probing this delightfully tweaked man who's been suffering through paranoiac episodes in the last weeks:
What's stunning is that Sinker managed to preside over @MayorEmanuel without ever getting caught. Or at least outed. His secret was known only by his wife, a small circle of friends, and one Chicago Public Schools teacher, Seth Lavin, who figured out Sinker's identity when Sinker used his personal bit.ly account to shorten a link that @MayorEmanuel later tweeted. Lavin kept it mum. Others came close to identifying him, Sinker said. An intern at the Wall Street Journal was onto him early, as was a reporter at Crain's Chicago Business. But no one could muster any proof.
As the weeks went by, the pressure began to take a toll on Sinker's psyche. "The train rides became totally paranoia-inducing by the end. I would think, 'Is anybody watching this? Why is that guy looking at my phone? Who is this?' he said. "Your brain starts going a little crazy. I'm looking forward to my brain not feeling so crazy."
That's all well and good, but still: Quitter! The Chicago Tribune editorial board is especially disappointed that he's wrapping up the account. Think of the Chicago Tribune editorial board's feelings, Sinker.
As for the actual Rahm Emanuel? Well, he owes some money now to a charity of Sinker's choice.
[Image via AP]