Republican campaign manager unmasked as source of fake Sandy tweets

By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 14:35 EDT
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Social media network Twitter. Photo: AFP.
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The campaign manager for a New York Republican congressional candidate has been named as the man behind a series of fake tweets, one of which was picked up in the media, as Hurricane Sandy made its way through New York City Monday night.

Buzzfeed reported Tuesday that Shashank Tripathi, a local hedge fund manager and contributor to New York Magazine, is behind the @ComfortablySmug Twitter account, which posted several false reports during the storm, including a tweet saying the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was “under more than 3 feet of water,” that was initially picked up by CNN before the network posted a correction.

Tripathi is listed as the campaign manager for Christopher R. Wight, the GOP candidate in New York’s 12 congressional district. Calls to both Wight’s campaign office and the cell phone listed for Tripathi on Wight’s campaign website, as well as the magazine, were not answered.

Tripathi also allegedly posted fake reports of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo being “trapped in Manhattan” and that Con Edison had shut down all electrical power in Manhattan, a statement the company refuted on Twitter.

As Buzzfeed reported, there have been no tweets from @ComfortablySmug as of Tuesday afternoon.

Four years ago, Tripathy anonymously wrote an installment of the magazine’s “Daily Intel” sex diary series, describing himself as a “Self-Obsessed, Emotionally Detached Hedge-Funder” and detailing a week in his lovelife that included “two acts of intercourse, one rough; one act of fellatio; two acts of phone sex with poorly treated ex; one collected phone number from lesbian; two acts of masturbation, both while fantasizing about ex-girlfriend.”

In a 2009 interview with the magazine, Tripathi said the difference between his online persona and himself was, that he was “not as blatantly an asshole in person, but I still have asshole tendencies.”

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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