Mayor Emanuel proves he's a good sport, again

September 7, 2011 12:23:28 PM PDT
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel surprised the man behind his former online alter ego by dropping by a book party last night celebrating next week's release of a book, ''The F*****g Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel.''

The book re-tells the fabulously funny Twitter tales spun by Dan Sinker, who posed as the fictitious @MayorEmanuel during the campaign for Chicago mayor.

"Uh, the mayor just showed up," Sinker tweeted Tuesday night from the Chicago bar Hideout. Not only did Emanuel show up, he also autographed a copy of the book with a line of profanity worthy of the fake @MayorEmanuel. Sinker was a Columbia College professor who tweeted an imaginary story of what many might believe the real Rahm Emanuel was thinking, but would never publicly say as he campaigned for Chicago mayor. Sinker's tweets are compiled in the new book, set for release September 13.

The real Rahm came through on a promise to donate $5,000 to a charity of Sinker's choosing. His appearance at the book party Tuesday night also lent a high-profile endorsement to the sometimes low brow online -- and now in print - comedy.

On February 28, The Atlantic published an online article outing Sinker as the real person behind fake Rahm. The book then describes an ABC 7 crew arriving at his suburban door for an unscheduled interview. "I had been sitting on the couch in my living room, my back to the front window. I turned around and saw a news van parked outside. I dove off the couch and crawled across the floor to my bedroom," Sinker writes. He then describes ABC7's Ben Bradley's hard pitch for the soft story: "There are two ways we can do this," Sinker recalls Bradley telling him outside his door. He thought, "Either I could let him and his news team in. . . or I could close the door and they'd do the story anyway, but talk with my neighbors, coworkers and 'your parents in Glenview' (a detail [Sinker] hadn't offered up)." It worked. ABC 7 was the first station to broadcast an interview with Sinker. And so began a quick journey to Twitter fame.

"Mr. Sinker has taken the modern micromedium of Twitter, and worked within the 140-character constraint to create an epic poem that simultaneously lampoons a political figure while celebrating the great city of Chicago," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote in the prologue to the @MayorEmanuel book.

Today, the Chicago Tribune gave the book a positive review writing "Sinker's song is much more than an "1812 Overture" of F-bomb-launching cannons. Sinker's work is a knowing, cynical, sentimental and hilarious love song to Chicago, its history, its politics, its artists and its people."

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