(a Chicago audience waits patiently while one of those long-winded “spoken word” types eats into Jeff Tweedy’s set)
OK, that’s not really what longtime Chicago music critic and one-time Jersey Beat fixture Jim DeRogatis had to say about the admission of former Punk Planet editor Dan Sinker that the latter was the brains behind the oft-retweeted @Mayor Emanuel account. However, reminding us (again) of Rahm Emanuel’s connections to Live Nation/Lollapalooza via brother Ari, DeRogatis wonders if Sinker’s time and energy wouldn’t be better spent on serious issues rather than cheap laffs and predictable star-fuckery. “How about being a real journalist instead of just playing one on Twitter and TV?” demands Jim via his WBEZ.org, though surely there’s some room for a clever gag out there, too?
Sure, we all laughed at the gloriously inane, poetically obscene Tweets from this obvious but nonetheless mysterious satirist as the campaign dragged on, especially when Emanuel’s ascension to the throne started to look all but inevitable. (“Lynn Sweet thinks she’s being cute publishing that old photo of me in a leotard. MOTHER—-ING DANCE OFF, LYNN. LET’S GO.”)
But anyone who really cares about journalism past, present, and future surely would like to hear Sinker justify how this stunt doesn’t reduce the once proud legacy and noble ideals of participatory/new journalism—see: Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Michael Herr, George Plimpton, Hunter S. Thompson, et al—to nothing more than a solipsistic digital prank that has more in common with the desperate bids for celebrity regularly seen on reality TV than it does with either real political/investigative reportage or useful and meaningful social and political satire. And let’s be clear: It’s not the new media’s fault. Just look at what it helped accomplish in Egypt, or the role it’s playing in helping to motivate and organize people not far from here in Madison.
This is to say: Really, Dan? This one-note joke was your way to demonstrate the power of journalism’s new tools and comment on an issue as vitally important as the race for the next mayor of Chicago?