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Posted at 4:32 PM ET, 02/10/2011

This is what happens when you sue City Paper

By Dan Steinberg


"As a general PR rule, it's never a good idea to bring widespread attention to something you would prefer did not receive widespread attention," Jason Reid wrote in his debut Post column. Then he quoted a guy who specializes in, among other things, crisis communications.

"The people you're looking at, are they out in the middle of the forest screaming and no one can hear them? Or are they in the middle of downtown and everyone on every street corner can hear them?" this fellow asked. "They [the City Paper] are sort of out in the middle of the forest. And you know what? He [Snyder] has handed them a megaphone so everyone can hear them now."

Well, here's a nice graphical representation of that megaphone. It comes from Tech Cocktail, which expands on the graphic in this blog post:

This fascinating article published by a small local paper averaged 16 web comments per week for the fist 12 weeks it was published before something changed on January 30th. But deeper analysis actually reveals that after two weeks after the article was published, the comments averaged only 3 comments per week and then In the 13th week comments spiked to 470 comments....

If Dan Snyder didn't want anyone to read the article, then he should have done what 99% of the rest of us Washingtonians did...ignore it. Attention begets more attention. The power of the internet and social media teamed with the ancient proverb, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," aligned to bring thousands of anti-Snyder fans to read the article that Snyder was trying to quash. Activity on the Paper's Facebook Group has increased and is overwhelmingly supportive, as is the Twittosphere. Sentiment towards Snyder is unanimously negative as measured by tools like Tweet Feel which at my last count showed a 100% anti-Snyder rating, well below Hosni Mubarak who came in at 67% negative.

That's not good. That also helps explain how City Paper raised more than $18,000 for its Legal Defense Fund in less than a week. For another graphical representation of the problems created by this lawsuit, Google Dan Snyder. The City Paper story now turns up high on the first page of results. It didn't two weeks ago.

By Dan Steinberg  | February 10, 2011; 4:32 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Next: Henry Sims is running for office

Comments

Hosni Mubarak is more popular than Dan Snyder?

Posted by: Aerowaz | February 10, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I hope both Dan Snyder and Dave McKenna lose their jobs.

Posted by: PropJoe | February 10, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Hosni Mubarak is more popular than Dan Snyder?

Posted by: Aerowaz | February 10, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can work out a trade with Egypt where we send them Danny-Boy in exchange for some postcards of the pyramids or something.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 10, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Presumably Snyder took this into account. You are not reinventing the wheel here.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 10, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious. I wonder how he'd spin this.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 10, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Snyder is about as good at picking PR reps as he is players. What an embarrassment. If he truly loved the Redskins, he'd sell the team.

Posted by: sbdc2 | February 10, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Presumably Snyder thinks about all of the decisions he makes. That doesn't mean that he gets them "right".

Posted by: rhbancroft | February 10, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he's buying the City Paper and wanted to drive up interest.

Does anyone now doubt that Snyder brought this suit during Super Bowl week so he could dominate the DC press at a time when no one would have been talking about his team?

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | February 10, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Long ago, I learned a rule that one should never get into a name calling argument or a shouting match with someone who owns a printing press and buys ink by the barrel.

Posted by: willgiery | February 10, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Long ago, I learned a rule that one should never get into a name calling argument or a shouting match with someone who owns a printing press and buys ink by the barrel.

Posted by: willgiery | February 10, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Either that, or you just stole a very famous line.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 10, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder is an egotistic tool. The only thing he's proven to be a winner at is the NFL off-season press coverage, and he's off to a nice start once again.

Even money says he's one of the first owners to start cutting staff if there's a lockout.

Posted by: BinM | February 10, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Careful Dan. Snyder's team is carefully printing out these articles as evidence of your ongoing conspiracy to criminally link to Dave McKenna's article.

Posted by: ThisGuy | February 10, 2011 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Dan Snyder is an egotistic tool. The only thing he's proven to be a winner at is the NFL off-season press coverage, and he's off to a nice start once again.

Even money says he's one of the first owners to start cutting staff if there's a lockout.

Posted by: BinM

Of course he will be cutting staff. He is a winner at one thing, making money. Anyone and everyone that helps him do this by buying merchandise, tickets, food at games, etc., is just helping him win at it more. By all accounts he treats his employees horribly and all the people giving his football team money are helping.

Posted by: Dancy1 | February 10, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

People just need to lay off Dan! Just kick a man when he's down like heartless jerks! Sure he's been a f-up but there is no need to pile on! He holds the happiness of many in his hands; if his team wins the SupBowl I guarantee everyone will love him!

Posted by: iubiquity | February 10, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

If they ever win a Super Bowl while he still owns the team he still wont be loved. we'll just say they won in spite of him and add overcoming his general meddling and incompetence to the list of heroic feats performed by our heroic team.

just saying, if he's counting on winning curing our hatred of him he's sadly deluded. he's long past to point of rehabilitated perceptions. which might mean this is the start of a full on embracement of his natural dbag and ahole nature. in other words, we might have already seen the best side of him.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | February 10, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

"Just kick a man when he's down like heartless jerks!"

What's more the definition of kicking someone when they're down?

A) Criticizing a billionaire who is attempting to bully a free local newspaper.

B) Suing a 72-year-old grandmother whose income was wiped out by the economic downturn and couldn't afford to keep paying for season tickets.

Posted by: 202character | February 11, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

If Trump decides to run for President, Danny could join the ticket as Veep. What a match made in egotown. Two of the most disliked people in America.

Posted by: msjn1 | February 11, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

B) Suing a 72-year-old grandmother whose income was wiped out by the economic downturn and couldn't afford to keep paying for season tickets.
-----------------------------------

Poor grandma! First off, not many 72 year olds are working and therefore no longer have income. Second, if her SAVINGS were wiped out then maybe she should have diversified her investments better. Thirdly, if all her investments and savings got TOTALLY wiped out, she probably shouldn't have been spending money on frivolous things such as Club Level Redskins Season Tickets -- specifically signing a 5 (?) year contract with escalating costs.

Either way, pardon me if I'm not weeping for Grandma. I want Club Level Season tickets too but rational thinking disclosed I cannot afford them.

Cry me a river.


Posted by: fushezzi | February 11, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Dan, isn't there actual sports related stuff you could cover in your bog? I know Dave McKenna is your friend and all, but seriously, the Post is supposed to be covering SPORTS in the sports page. Did the Redskins sue the WCP? Nope, and individual sued the WCP owners. A little detail left out, Dan Snyder is not suing the WCP, but rather the Wall Street hedge fund that owns it.

Posted by: popeman38 | February 11, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

How anyone could continue to apologize for Dan Snyder is a complete mystery to me.

His stewardship of our beloved Redskins has been an embrarrassment and a disgrace. The organization is merely a shell of what it once was.

Posted by: Rocky420 | February 11, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

seems like dan only knows how to lose.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 11, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

seems like dan only knows how to lose.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 11, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse
---------------------------

So true. 34 year olds who own Professional Football Franchises are such losers!!!!

Posted by: fushezzi | February 11, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

So true. 34 year olds who own Professional Football Franchises are such losers!!!!

Posted by: fushezzi

If the shoe fits...........

Posted by: jbanks979 | February 11, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

So true. 34 year olds who own Professional Football Franchises are such losers!!!!

Posted by: fushezzi

If the shoe fits...........

Posted by: jbanks979 | February 11, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse
------
Thanks for your opinions Mrs. Snyder

Posted by: bal503 | February 11, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

PROTESTERS RALLY AT REDSKINS HEADQUARTERS

ASHBURN, VA -- Amid reports that protesters in Cairo, Egypt, are succeeding in their bid to unseat 30-year President Hosni Mubarak in favor of a new ruler for the country, fans of the Washington Redskins are said to be adopting similar tactics in their own effort to unseat Dan Snyder, the despot owner of their favorite NFL football franchise.

The once far-fetched scheme to get rid the unpopular franchise owner by any means available seemed to gather new impetus this morning when Snyder's own lawyers joined the protest movement.

Meanwhile, captains and coaches from the team's defensive unit were said to be huddling at an undisclosed location not far from Snyder’s country estate in Potomac, Maryland -- where they are reportedly poised to move in and take control of the team in the ever-increasingly likelihood that Snyder is banished from Redskins territory.

While Snyder has often bristled at any suggestion that he would ever relinquish control of the team, he also reportedly used a recent Superbowl week visit to Dallas to meet with rival franchise owner Jerry Jones and broach the topic of seeking “political asylum” in Dallas should Snyder ever be captured, tarred and feathered, and run out of the nation’s capital city.

Jones was reportedly amenable to the idea, but only on the condition that Snyder does not then decide to move the Redskins franchise to nearby Fort Worth, or work to convince the NFL to rename the Dallas franchise as the “Palefaces.”

Posted by: Vic1 | February 11, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

B) Suing a 72-year-old grandmother whose income was wiped out by the economic downturn and couldn't afford to keep paying for season tickets.
-----------------------------------

Poor grandma! First off, not many 72 year olds are working and therefore no longer have income. Second, if her SAVINGS were wiped out then maybe she should have diversified her investments better. Thirdly, if all her investments and savings got TOTALLY wiped out, she probably shouldn't have been spending money on frivolous things such as Club Level Redskins Season Tickets -- specifically signing a 5 (?) year contract with escalating costs.

Either way, pardon me if I'm not weeping for Grandma. I want Club Level Season tickets too but rational thinking disclosed I cannot afford them.

Cry me a river.

===============
And, of course, the fact that the season ticket holder was a grand-mother of 72 years of age that had just been wiped out by the economic downturn was a well known fact to Snyder, after all, she had to reveal that information on the application.
The beauty of Snyder is that as an owner of multi-million dollars enterprises, he still finds the time to personally look for poor grandmothers to sue ...

Posted by: isthatallthereis | February 11, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

seems like dan only knows how to lose.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 11, 2011 9:17 AM
===========
I totally agree with you. By the way, I would like some fries and a diet coke with that hamburger.

Posted by: isthatallthereis | February 11, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"And, of course, the fact that the season ticket holder was a grand-mother of 72 years of age that had just been wiped out by the economic downturn was a well known fact to Snyder, after all, she had to reveal that information on the application.
The beauty of Snyder is that as an owner of multi-million dollars enterprises, he still finds the time to personally look for poor grandmothers to sue ..."Posted by: isthatallthereis________________________________

I am a club season ticket holder. There is no "information" you have to provide to buy the tickets. There is no background check, no employment verification, no credit check. You are using your discretionary income to buy entertainment. You are responsible. She signed a 10 year lease on tickets that clearly states that should you default, the Redskins can revoke the tickets and seek full payment of the contract. Read before you sign, it really is that simple. Grandma defaulted, then refused to pay. If you don't take action, ANYONE can default on a contract and walk away owing nothing. Bad business to allow that to happen.

Posted by: popeman38 | February 11, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

All well and good, but for all of Dan's lawyers and "business decisions" -- why is it that no one appears willing or able to hold someone like AH92 accountable to the terms of his contract?

Posted by: Vic1 | February 11, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

18,000 in a week HOLY MOLY with that kind of loot they can afford to fight the lawsuit for at least a few days!! Instead of burning your money why not save it for something worth while.

Posted by: Steve12341 | February 11, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

If Wash. wins the Super Bowl, everyone will love Dan Snyder? Seriously? Which part of that idea is more ridiculous?
There's no way in any of our lifetimes that Dan Snyder can bring a championship to DC. If he's in charge there's zero chance. And bringing in Shanny and Bruce hasn't exactly improved those chances. More chaos with McNabb, Grossmann, Albert, 3-4 D, Kyle, 6-10, and of course lawsuits!

Posted by: gary9smith | February 11, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"If Wash. wins the Super Bowl, everyone will love Dan Snyder".
No I won't. I will love the fact that the B&G win the SB but still not love nor even like Napoleon. Ask the Yankee fans whose team won several World Series but still had a sour taste in their mouths for George. It is a contradiction that sports fans are allowed.
And to paraphrase another posting here, the B&G will NEVER win an SB with Napoleon calling the shots.

Posted by: chopin224 | February 11, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't think wining the superbowl will null and void every that happened on the cranky fans guide to the Redskins. I'm pretty sure over 75% of the items on the list had nothing to do with the Redskins having a poor record since he's been the owner.

Posted by: jbanks979 | February 11, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Meester Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins has never learned the Steinbrenner Rule:

Give Professional players, Coaches, Scouts, and Managers the money and tools and freedom to do their jobs, and then compete for championships.

Corollary 1: Don't say anything and don't get involved in day to day decisions, and give people enough rope to hang themselves.

Corollary 2: If you win, you may not be admired or loved, but you will be Respected.

Lemma: Failure to follow the Steinbrenner rule, and Corollaries results in epic failure, universal derision, and "psychological nudity" revealed for all to see.

Posted by: rhall2 | February 11, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Write this in stone....the redskins will NEVER win a Super Bowl as long as Dan Snyder is the owner.

Posted by: NatsSince1967 | February 11, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Washington held hostage.

Posted by: VAALEX | February 11, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Ah to be in Green Bay where many of the fans have shares in owning the team. Hey wait a minute. The danny is all about money and his ego. Maybe we fans could mount a hostile takeover. Buy him out and send him packing to Six Flags.

The danny in his tenure has turned a once great organization into one of the true laughing stocks of professionl sports. As a long time season ticket holder I am just about numb to the danny and his dealings. I am almost to the point where I don't care.

If we can't buy him out I say we organize a fan boycott of everything but game tickets. Do not buy anything at FedEx, the Redskins stores, etc. Maybe we could go even so far as stop listening to his radio station, ESPN980. Boycott anything the danny has his grubby fingers in except the tickets. Let's still go and cheer on the team but not buy anything else. And I mean anything else!

Posted by: gman2 | February 11, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"Hosni Mubarak is more popular than Dan Snyder?

Posted by: Aerowaz | February 10, 2011 4:43 PM "

Duh - Mubarak left some hope - Danny squashes it each year!

Mubarak lost his absolute rule in the end, do you think that mass protests could work with Danny? Not any more likely than it was to dethrone Richard Nixon!

Oops, wait a second, mass protests, ticket bonfires and widespread demands for public control of the team soon-to-be-previously-called-the-Redskins! Hmm - I'd drive back home for the fun - just save some crabcakes and hot links for me!

Posted by: fr3dmars | February 11, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Listened to Dan's station, ESPN 980 "discuss" the lawsuit this morning. Most of the discussion I've heard on 980 and even on 106.7 The Fan seems to center around whether this is a good PR move, rather than the actual merits of the article. From what I can tell from reading this article through a couple of times, the only newly published info in the whole article pertains to McKenna's reaction to Mrs. Snyder's saying on a broadcast that Dan was a changed man with better advisers all around. Other than that, and the childish devil-horns and beard on Snyder's photo, everything else was previously known information.

Wylie, Snyder's new PR guy, has repeatedly said that McKenna called Dan a "criminal," a word which does not appear in the article--it does refer to the settlement Snyder Communications made when accused of illegally changing long distance carriers for phone customers. I think the wording of that section, which implies alternately that Snyder or his company did the deeds in question, could be better. Wylie also claims that Mrs. Snyder was mocked as a cancer survivor and as someone who is raising awareness of the disease. Mrs. Snyder is NOT mocked in any way regarding either of these things.

I would just like to see folks saying that the McKenna article is just a COMPILATION of previously published items about Dan Snyder with a couple of new observations and a juvenile illustration thrown in. I see comments that assume that McKenna DID make some of this stuff up and DID mock Mrs. Snyder's cancer experience. Since a lot of this is playing out on sports talk radio, the fact that many of the local hosts lack journalistic training and so don't do good followup questions, and the fact that one of the two stations is OWNED by Mr. Snyder is leading to opinion overtaking factual analysis.

So far, however, despite Snyder's station ownership and the poor overall work by the radio guys (you get better analysis in the comments here and on City Paper), public opinion is running against the wisdom of Snyder's suit. Still, I wish people would recognize that the suit is full of false claims. I bet SOME of the EPSN 980 guys would like to speak to the actual claims instead of the PR issue, but it'd be their jobs if they did, because to address the claims would be to REALLY look at Mr. Snyder's character.

Posted by: preacherskid | February 11, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

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