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Posted at 7:54 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Daniel Snyder vs. Washington City Paper

By Cindy Boren

Updated: 1:50 a.m.: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has filed suit against the Washington City Paper and its parent company, The Post reports in Thursday's editions.

The latest developments in the story of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder's threat to sue the Washington City Paper, which was reported Wednesday in The Post:

Redskins Senior Vice President Tony Wyllie and Chief Operating Officer Dave Donovan joined WJFK's "LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes" on Wednesday afternoon and discussed Snyder's issues with the WCP story and illustration last November. Listen here.

Hogs Haven's Kevin Ewoldt details Snyder's complaint, saying that Snyder took issue with the allegation in the WCP story that he "got caught forging names as a telemarketer with Snyder Communications" and that his wife, Tanya, "was out selling [Snyder's] transformation" on a local newscast.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish human rights organization, called on the WCP to apologize to Snyder for a photo illustration that depicted him with devil's horns. "Public figures, including an owner of an NFL team, are fair game for criticism and even derision," Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center said in a statement distributed by the Redskins. "However it is inappropriate and unacceptable when a symbol like this--associated with virulent anti-Semitism going back to the Middle Ages, deployed by the genocidal Nazi regime, by Soviet propagandists and even in 2011 by those who still seek to demonize Jews today--is used on the front cover of a publication in our Nation's Capital against a member of the Jewish community."

Washington City Paper publisher Amy Austin published a letter to readers saying the paper will defend the case "vigorously" and that "we do not believe that using the court system to stifle or chill free speech is ever appropriate." WCP also posted its explanation about the illustration.

By Cindy Boren  | February 2, 2011; 7:54 PM ET
Categories:  Daniel M. Snyder  
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Comments

so snyder is going to claim anti-semitism but his team has a racist name

Posted by: slick3 | February 2, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

As the previous commenter states, the anti-Semitism argument is astounding in light of Dan Snyder owning a franchise named the Redskins. And the fact that the Simon Wiesenthal Center allowed itself to be a pawn to Snyder in this is just depressing.

Posted by: samplesample111 | February 2, 2011 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Good for you Slick.

Whether he be a Catholic or a Jew or a Protestant or an atheist, as a Club Level season ticket holder for 15 years, I've seen first hand what his management of the Redskins has done to this once-proud franchise. I have one year remaining on my contract. Hopefully the 2011 season will be null and void and I will get my money back.

Posted by: laud001 | February 2, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I did know of this article before Dan Snyder sued. Thank you WCP for such an enlightening article. I was a fool. I was hood winked into believing Snyder was an owner that actually cared about winning.
What an illusion... he only cares about making money. The blinders have been lifted forever!

Posted by: nbcmarine | February 2, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Rabbi Cooper, child please!

Posted by: jetnarongaolcom | February 2, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Rabbi Cooper, child please!

Posted by: jetnarongaolcom | February 2, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Dan Snyder has been allowed to make one ethically corrupt decision after another and still hold onto control of a once proud franchise is ludicrous.
I havn't supported any Snyder venture in years and McKenna's piece simply offers the reasons in a concise and amusing manner.
Dan Snyder is a horrible person and the scribbles made over a photo of him are not what points this out to me. It's unfortunate that Dan Snyder is trying to frame himself as a victim here because he is responsible for victimizing so many in his various positions of power.
Dan I do thank you for bringing so much attention to this relatively localized article. More people will see the great piece McKenna wrote thanks to you.

Posted by: damjammer | February 2, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Without reading the WCP article, I can't believe this is Snyder's response. It serves no one to go after the press like that. If he has a clear case of libel, fine. But it sounds like he hates hearing the truth about himself.

Anti-semitism? Unfortunately, that argument weakens other, valid claims of racial discrimination. Like, oh, I don't know, having an incredibly racist team name and symbol, perhaps?

Finally, I reject the notion that Snyder is free to do what he wants with the team he owns. It's not that clean. The ***skins are privately owned, but they are also a public interest. It isn't enough that he make a profit; he's a quasi-public servant as well. How's that working out for you, fans?

Posted by: richardcdouglas | February 2, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

This is the Snyder PR strategy in light of his attempt to intimidate a journalist -- to claim anti-antisemitism?

The ham-fisted and transparent tactic is entirely consistent with the character of Mr. Snyder laid out in that Washington City Paper article.

Does the The Simon Wiesenthal Center realize what they are wading into, who they are defending and how it demeans them to do so? How sad that they would be somehow cajoles to comment on this matter.

How pathetic that Snyder would use accusations of antisemitism as a defense.

You shame yourself more than an article ever could.

Posted by: IMshort | February 2, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Snyder already defamed himself for giving a 100 mil contract to a beached whale whose name is rhymed with Aintsworth.

Posted by: RedCherokee | February 3, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Antisemitism! Indians everywhere are shaking their heads.

Posted by: boo4hi | February 3, 2011 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Remember those irritating calls interrupting the dinner hour from cell phone marketers extolling the virtues of say, a switch to MCI - those desperate folks worked for Dan. They met quota by switching your phone company to MCI, without your consent. That's the noble way, amongst the many, that he made hi billions - it's called "slamming" in the exalted field of telemarketing, and the State of Florida found his company guilty, guilty guilty of it. Our own Li'l Dan - no encyclopedia salesman, he!

Posted by: flynnie321 | February 3, 2011 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Rabbi Cooper should rethink his stance. Right now he appears to be of the ilk of Race Bait, Inc. CEO Al Sharpton, always looking to scream "racism" in search of a market for his "services."

Posted by: alexandria6351 | February 3, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the claim that Snyder "forged customer names" to switch their long distance providers, that's exactly what his company was alleged to have done while he still owned it and why it paid a multi-million dollar fine and cease operations for 10 years in Florida to settle the case. According to this Florida Attorney General news release dated April 2001, '"In the case of Snyder Communications, our investigation revealed thousands of instances in which the marketing agent's representatives forged customers' signatures to switch them to GTE long-distance," [Attorney General Bob] Butterworth said.... Under the Snyder/Verizon agreement, Snyder Direct Services, the division of Snyder Communications which marketed GTE’s long-distance in Florida, will shut down and forever cease all operations in Florida. Snyder Communications has in turn agreed to suspend all in-person solicitations of long-distance customers for 10 years.'
http://myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/pv/939A11BD0EA5CAB485256A390047D9C9

Posted by: markopc | February 3, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Anti-semitic? What a baseless charge. Amazing this creep plays the victim card when he can't take the heat. Change the name of the team if you feel so strongly about images that might offend. And the Weisenthal center just lost all credibility sucking up to this jerk...pathetic.

Posted by: dbunkr | February 3, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

When in doubt, play the racism or anti-semitism card. Unbelievable. Snyder's being vilified because he's been a lousy owner. If the Skins were winning under his regime, he could grow a long beard and dress like one of those orthodox mourners at the wailing wall and no one would care.

Posted by: randysbailin | February 3, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

LET'S MAKE A "DEAL". The newspaper guy resigns and Snyder sells the team. Everybody wins.

Posted by: golfwise | February 3, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

This guy (Snyder) has got some grapes. Antisemitism...whatever.

Posted by: carterm1 | February 3, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Dave Donovan...has he ever been associated with anything but odious actions on behalf of the 'Skins? Hard to grow up loving a team....that hates our local media and uses lawsuits to stifle free speech, get old ladies to pay up on their season tickets, etc...while losing, year after year after year.

Posted by: chop1 | February 3, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

FYI- Dave McKenna wrote the Robert Plant review for the Post today. Interesting.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | February 3, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Nothing interesting about that skins_fan_22, McKenna has been a guest columnist for the post doing music reviews for quite some time now.

Posted by: keino83 | February 3, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The princile that truth is an absolute defense to libel is older that even the Constitution. It was famously established in King vs. Zenger in the Colony of New York in 1735. While Snyder is an inventive swindler, he knows nothing of the law, as proven by his many smackdowns by the courts, but his lawyers should know that filing an obviously frivolous lawsuit can get them sanctioned and even disbarred.

Posted by: mcstowy | February 3, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

He's alleging libel and defamation for a series of articles dating to 2009. The antisemitism is just a piece of ammunition. The real purpose behind all of this is that the columnist / writer decided to involve Snyder's wife.

If my wife was mentioned in an article that was 100% negative and 100% defamatory...detailing all of my mistakes...I would CRUSH that person if I had the means. It's funny watching all of the other local writers and radio hosts defending this - only b/c its one of their own.

Posted by: jmicrodoc | February 3, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

the article is right. prepare for another decade of mediocrity and controversy.

as long as Snyder is the owner, The Skins will never be a good football team.

Posted by: datruth21 | February 3, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

jmicrodoc

Is this Donovan, or just some flunky in his office?

There is not a single false statement in the article. A look at the lawsuit itself does not identify a single false statement, other that those that the suit itself l;ies about. I see a big Rule 11 sanction for Snyder ahd his so-called lawyers (they may not be for long, as they are risking disbarment by filing a suit with no basis in law or fact as a blatant attempt to abuse the judicial process to intimidate the paper and the reporter) in the near future.

Posted by: mcstowy | February 3, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

jmicrodoc clearly works for the Snyder

i think what McKenna is doing has a long history dating back to Demosthenes and Cicero, i consider his stream of anti-Snyder articles his own Phillipics

Posted by: cotelloer | February 3, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

PS. totally thank you, Snyder, for suing him; otherwise, I would never have known about them.

Posted by: cotelloer | February 3, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The forgery claim is not saying that Dan Snyder personally forged contracts. It was proven that his Snyder Communications Co did forge (a lot of) customer agreements while they were "Slamming" customers back around 2000-2001. The now completely illegal practice of switching someone's long distance service without them knowing it. That is how he made his money.

It is common practice to use the CEO/Figure Head of a company when talking about something. How many times have we all heard Bill Gates is up to this or that when talking about Microsoft. Or Jobbs is planning this when talking about Apple. This is a baseless law suit in a bullying attempt by an embarrassed rich guy.

Posted by: renhoekk2 | February 3, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of crap. Pulling the "anti-semitic/race card" for adding horns to the illustration. I agree it may be disrespectful but throwing around the "race card" yet again is a stretch. It sounds like the "liberal twits" calling out those that oppose their narrow minded views "racist" at the drop of a hat. I think that discredits the whole argument. Nice try......

Posted by: bucsdad1 | February 4, 2011 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Snyder has about a 1% chance of prevailing in court (roughly the same as the Redskins ever going to the Super Bowl under his leadership). There is little if any legal merit to his suit, and thus it has a high chance of being considered a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation.

As a public figure, especially a self-chosen one, Snyder is a valid target of public criticism, as the WCP has published; he is as legally open to this dissent as Obama is. Sketching a devil face on his photo is as legal as doing the same on a photo of Obama or George Bush, both of which have been done repeatedly.

I predict (and sincerely hope) this is the beginning of the end for Snyder as Redskins owner. Hopefully, this bullying tactic will echo throughout the sports world and only increase everyone's awareness of Snyder's petty immaturity.

Posted by: Andrew53 | February 4, 2011 7:16 AM | Report abuse

While Snyder should definitley not be pursuing this, he may have a point, though, McKenna is still correct 99 percent of the time in his article.

McKenna suggests that Snyder and his wife got together and agreed that she would serve as a PR spokesman for him and his new image. At least that is how it sounded in the article. In reality McKenna has no idea that was her intent when she said those words suggesting Snyder had better people around him. McKenna used the quote to suggest something he did not try to prove. We can guess all we like, but no one knows Snyders wifes intentions and whether her answer was real, or orchestrated in the name of improved PR. McKenna needs to prove Mrs. Snyders intent before he prematurely assumes it.

McKenna made it sound like Snyder is so evil that he makes his wife do his PR work. This could be true, but McKenna did not base it on anything factual, just that Tanyas quote contributed to the theme of Snyders alleged reform, and McKennas own story.

Posted by: fthomasclem | February 4, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I was something of a Snyder defender before all this. I'm just really starting to come to the conclusion that despite the dangers of it, we need an ownership change. The man just doesn't get it.

Posted by: corky1031 | February 5, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow! FOUR ATTORNEYS AND TWO LAW FIRMS TO DRAFT MR SNYDER'S LAWSUIT...I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THAT IN ABOUT AN HOUR, WITH THE HELP FROM MY DOG, CALLIE.
CAN ANYONE DEFINE SPECIOUS?

Posted by: billbrout | February 8, 2011 6:35 AM | Report abuse

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