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Just about everyone on the internet (including us) has already praised the Twitter account @MayorEmanuel, which ended its journey when the real Emanuel won last week’s election for Chicago mayor. That fanfare makes today’s victory lap and collective celebration entertaining on a number of levels, not the least of which is the revealing of the account’s creator as Dan Sinker, something of a media hero already in some circles for his creation of Punk Planet. Also on this busy media Monday, all-star blogger Andrew Sullivan is taking his ball and going to play with Tina Brown, Salon can’t sell itself and Keith Olbermann moves to the internet. Details on all of it inside Press Clips, our daily media round-up.
Fake Emanuel Outed: The Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal gets the credit for unmasking @MayorEmanuel, who became known to nearly 40,000 followers as a profane caricature of President Obama’s one-time right-hand man. “Your next motherfucking mayor,” read the Twitter account’s bio. “Get used to it, assholes.” Credited with “nearly 2,000 tweets in five months and…several times as many followers as Rahm Emanuel’s real account,” Sinker is praised by Madrigal as he man behind “an epic, allusive ode to the city of Chicago itself, yearning and lyrical.”
But even before his online experiment, Sinker meant something to a certain sect as the founder of Punk Planet, a zine that lasted 80 issues from 1994 until 2007, and through its national distribution (which ultimately led to the publication’s demise) resonated beyond its native Chicago to stuck suburban kids with only a Barnes & Noble in walking distance.
Now a professor who tracked the mayoral race on the side, Sinker was perfect for the playful project. Or according to Madrigal’s math, “Punk Rock Attitude + Deep Feel for Chicago + New Media Storytelling Chops + Day-to-Day Political News Watcher = @MayorEmanuel.” Read the whole Atlantic story here. As for the $5,000 the real Emanuel promised to give to a charity of the tweeter’s choice should the alter-ego author come out, might we suggest PunkPlanet.com?
Brown Woos Sullivan: In less lighthearted news for The Atlantic, their website’s best and most prolific blogger, Andrew Sullivan, will be taking his talents — and his whole Daily Dish blog — to Tina Brown’s revamped Newsweek and The Daily Beast combo publication. The announcement was dumped, interestingly, during last night’s Academy Awards in a blog post by Sullivan himself, who wrote that after four years with the Atlantic, “there are some opportunities you just can’t let pass by.” Sullivan may have been waiting until Monday morning to publish his plans before Michael Calderone of Yahoo’s The Cutline media blog tweeted the news.
In his post, Sullivan called working with Tina Brown at her new hydra-headed publication the “chance to be part of a whole new experiment in online and print journalism.” The Daily Dish was founded in 2000, spent 2006 under the Time banner and has been a part of the Atlantic since. In addition to the blog, Sullivan will write six columns a year in print.
The move is a huge coup for Brown, who is charged with breathing life into Newsweek, a long wheezing weekly, while also maintaining the online presence of her own Daily Beast. Sullivan and his Daily Dish team are said to account for a quarter of the Atlantic‘s online traffic. Sullivan will switch over in April, while Brown’s redesigned Newsweek, rumored to drop next week, may very well just appear on your iPad or doorstep at any moment. (Pretend you have a Newsweek subscription.)
Olbermann Online: Current TV‘s own Keith Olbermann has launched a website he calls the FOK News Channel, which stands for Friends of Keith, but sort of sounds like “Fox News,” and also “fuck,” if you pronounce it phonetically. It looks more like a blog than a news channel.
Salon Not Sold Yet: The veterean internet magazine Salon, which struggles to make money and pay its writers to put out tons of smart words, has been in talks to merge with Michael Wolff’s Newser, which aggregates content from sites that pay its writers to write smart words, but that’s over now. The last time media talks were publicly “over,” though, Tina Brown was not taking over Newsweek, so it could just be a bargaining move.
Ailes Still In: Fox News bossman Roger Ailes, who encouraged an ex-employee to lie to federal investigators, is not (yet) being indicted on those charges, as was rumored on the internet and then circulated more on the internet by various outlets. The blogger who first said so was just blogging about an anonymous man he in the airport.