City Desk

Snyder Sues

It's Super Bowl week, but instead of preparing to take on the AFC champions, Dan Snyder is taking on a newspaper article. Several months after he was the subject of a Washington City Paper cover story, the owner of the Redskins has filed suit over our coverage.

Snyder's suit was filed late Wednesday—curiously, in New York, rather than in any of the Washington-area jurisdictions where City Paper circulates.

Earlier in the day, City Paper publisher Amy Austin published a letter to readers defending columnist Dave McKenna's reporting. The Snyder suit specifies four alleged misstatements in the story, and also claims that a cover illustration depicting Snyder with horns and a goatee was anti-Semitic. We expect the claims to be defended vigorously. We've also made clear that we think the allegation of bigotry is sensationalistic and absurd.

The bottom line is: It's sad that Snyder, who has such a public relations apparatus at his disposal, has chosen to turn to litigation instead—especially in a court deep in Giants country.

Read Snyder's full complaint after the jump.

[scribd id=48071919 key=key-2id72z058667h1f8o3hy mode=slideshow]

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  • old man


    Please figure out a creative revenue raising way for folks that appreciate WCP and read it daily to show their support besides patronizing your advertisers and clicking all your articles as much as they can.


    admirer of alt-weeklys

  • bilben

    I hope City Paper's lawyers move to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction in New York. And why did he sue there? Because if he sued in Washington, where the case really belongs, he couldn't find a jury of 12 citizens who would give him one dime!

  • M H

    CP has gotta do these two things:
    A. Start a Legal Defense Fund. I pledge to contribute $130, one dollar for each tree Snyder cut down at his palatial estate. Others could contribute amounts in a similar way: One dollar for each team loss since Snyder bought the team (that's way over a hundred bucks) etc. It will not match Slimeball's millions, but you gotta start somewhere!
    B. Regarding anti-Semitism, point out that Ted Leonsis and of course Abe Pollin are/were both well-liked Jewish sports team owners here in DC. Do an editorial entitled "CityPaper loves Jewish DC Sports Team Owners" or ask readers to write in on how they like both of them.

  • Jeff B

    Irregardless of what you think of Dan S., the CP has the shoddiest reporting. They chronically shirk their responsibility for the BS they put out. Time to reckon.

  • Ohhhh Danny

    This is just another entry in the original story. A few things:

    Dave Donovan, the skins "counsel" is also the COO so he can claim "client priveldge" is classic Snyder idiocy. These guys are bullies and despise Redskins fans. They own the team, not the heritage or fan support.

    Two, classic that he claims this has anything to do with his religion, but it's fine to say "Redskins" is not defaming American Indians. Ironic, huh?

    Third, there is enough evidence (look at the Florida coverage of Snyder Communications and forgery fines) to prove this is true, and they WERE found guilty of a crime, so what's the issue with pointing it out?

    Forth, Donovan threatening to cost them a lot of money defending litigation proves he doesn't know shit about the law. The first letter he sent tanks their whole case.

    And finally, hell yes I'd contribute to a defense fund. The discovery process alone is worth the cost of this whole thing. A lot of DC lawyers have offered to help pro-bono too, so it would be a fantastic journey into his past and ON THE RECORD this time!

    Typically, Danny does not think two steps ahead. He just fires from the hip (with David Donovan in his pocket) and doesn't think a second about steps 2-3-4 down the road. He's truly an idiot.

  • Dieselesque

    I would like to see the Redskins become a publicly held corporation with the shareholders being comprised of citizens/ fans. This lawsuit is not a surprise at all. He's the Hosni Mubarek/ Robert Mugabe of NFL owners-there is certainly nothing anit-Semitic about those comparisons- REVOLT (boycott)!

  • Dieselesque

    I would like to see the Redskins become a publicly held corporation with the shareholders being comprised of citizens/ fans with wishes of having a stadium in the District. This lawsuit is not a surprise at all. Danny Boy is the Hosni Mubarek/ Robert Mugabe of NFL owners-there is certainly nothing anit-Semitic about those comparisons- REVOLT (boycott)!

  • rick

    The trial will look alot like the final episode of seinfeld I can see it now their will be the little old lady he sued after selling her tickets,some guy that git sick on 1 year airline peanuts,some kid that only had 7.67 cents and couldent get in to mini camp becuase Snider was the first ever in the NFL to charge 10 bucks,the lady that had to trash he sign to her husband in iraq becuase of Snider's sign ban ,the coach with the melted ice cream on his desk YADA YADA YADA LMAO

  • rick

    The trial will look like the final seinfeld episode, the coach with the melted ice cream ,the old lady he sued after he sold her tickets, the kid with 7.67 cents that couldent get in to mini camp becuase snider wanted to be the first ever in the NFL to charge 10 bucks ,some guy that got sick on 1 year old defunked airline peanuts,the lady that had to trash her sign to her husband in iraq due to a first ever sign ban ,the nanny that sued and won foe her back pay yada yada yada LMAO

  • atom ant

    Go City Paper!

  • Shanohan

    Oh Danny boy, the fans, the fans are crying
    From Frostburg State, down to Virginia's south side
    The season's gone, and the playoff teams are vying
    'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.

    But come ye now, that libelous City Paper to sue
    with pockets flush and lawyers held in tow.
    From A to Z, Dave McKenna has been right about you
    Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, you need to go.

    Along the canal, when all the trees were falling
    So the Potomac manse would have a better view
    Joe Gibbs returned, but the team was still appalling
    With Jim Zorn and Fat Albert yet to ensue.

    I hope to hear, that you own the team no more
    And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
    If not get ready, for another season-long snore
    I'll simply sleep in peace until owner you cease to be.

    I'll simply sleep in peace until owner you cease to be.

  • Woody

    If there comes a need for a City Paper Defense Fund, count me in.

  • Brendan

    Please start a donation page to seek donations for the legal battle! I would gladly donate!

  • Hahaha

    I bet the NFL is delighted this is going down during Superbowl week, too!

    Danny and Donovan just don't think!!!

  • Eric B.

    Why are horns drawn on a pathetic team owner, who happens to be Jewish, anti-semetic, bob? What would you call horns drawn on ANY person of any different color or religion, bob? Anti-person?

    The Snyderman doesn't care about anybody or anything but his bottom line? Sadly he can't see that he is killing the very thing that keeps that bottom line going, the support of his Fan-base!

    I reached my limit this year, finally! The ONLY thing I can wish for the little general is a hasty retreat out of DC. It won't be long before there will be TV/cable blackouts of Skins games. Can you feel the empty seats Danny Boy?

  • ronald harris

    I don't particually like Dan Synder but I dislike City Paper even more.

  • Eddy

    City Paper's defense is that because the editor that approved the picture is Jewish it's OK ? So...what if they were not Jewish...does that still make it OK. What an idiotic defense. So if a black editor approves a black athlete in shackles as a cover's OK ? But a white editor would get in trouble. Point is that being Jewish they knew what it meant....and that makes it worse in my book. They were not ignorant to what it meant. It was defeinitely done on purpose and now they go and hide behind the first amendment. OH..a child drew it's OK. Mckenna's is obsessed with's disturbing that a grown man wastes so much time on another man. Write something about real issues. Let's start digging in the closets of owners and employees of the paper. Don't throw stones because you may not like what you get back.

  • C

    Yo Bob! (Comment #22 2/3/11 at 9:27am) You must be Snyder, or at least someone who has his nose buried up his ass. Considering that the WCP artist AND editor are Jewish, and saw nothing wrong with what they did, who the f#@k are you to compare the pic to a racial depiction of black folks?!
    If you actually read the article, and knew anything about Snyder's history, you would see that there is nothing in the article that hasn't already been said or published in some form or another. All McKenna really did was slap some research together and report the truth. And why is it that this lawsuit was filed in New York? Is Snyder afraid of losing here in DC?
    Bob, your a little biotch just like the guy who's ass you're kissing!!!!

  • Alice

    Thank you City Paper!! Good luck fighting the good fight. And I know I speak for a lot of Skins fans here - if you set up a legal fund, I'd be happy to contribute.

  • Victor


  • Eric

    Hey Donald/Bob, a jewish guy drew the cartoon. Not a "goyam" You F'ing idiots.

    Dan Snyder is abusing his power here.


    Walk like an Egyptian.

  • Jerry

    Dan just doesn't get it. He already lost, and he is about to lose really big time now. I have already seen alot of ticket holders dumping tickets. Who wants to be a redskin fan now..

  • Christopher Hanley

    Dan Snyder is Jewish? You're kidding. The Jews I know are nice, civic-minded people with a sense of responsibility for their actions. Wow. What a disappointment. Are you sure?

    Seriously, I hope this nonsense gets thrown out of court. Trying to shut down newspapers(or reporters) is something out of the Blagojevich notebook. Kick him!

  • TheHermit

    Snyder's outrage is rich, myopic and ridiculous, considering that despite years of requests and personal pleas from Native Americans and native Washingtonians to Snyder to change the name of the Washington football team, he refuses to change the name of the "Redskins." While this might have been an "accepted" term in Jim Crow 1911, in the 2011 Obama era it clearly is not. The term is derogatory by any standard.

    If he's honest with himself all this brouhaha about his perceived slight will be met with reflections of his own transgressions of an entire people "on whose backs" he continues to profit.

  • Washington Thinskin

    Dear Judith Lockhart, John Walsh, Patricia Glaser, and G. Jill Basinger,

    When your kids ask what you do at work, do you say "I file bullshit lawsuits for a spoiled rich guy who thinks his farts don't stink"? I'm sure Snyder spends plenty of money with you, but really -- is this why you went to law school?

  • WA Peterson

    Thanks to Dan Snyder's legal action, I'm a new CityPaper web reader, and would never have been aware of the paper or had the chance to enjoy the McKenna article.

    Hopefully, some enterprising attorney will file a similar libel and slander action against the Redskins on behalf of all Native Americans for Mr. Snyder's use of a racial and deragotory term on all of his team related items.

    Mr Snyder is in a glass house on this one and he's throwing stones.

  • mkalyan

    1) McKenna's article never attacked Mrs. Synder or even mentioned breast cancer. Snyder (through his attorney, and in a recent interview on ESPN) mentions that his wife has been made fun of for her work with and for having breast cancer.

    What he hasn't commented on is the fact that, as the article mentions, Synder himself (I capitalized a word in the upcoming quote for emphasis) "... told host Jeff Greenfield that his business depended on coming up with “$5 million niches” that he could sell goods and services to. Asked for examples of his methodology, Snyder said, “We were looking at trend lines. We saw that the aging baby boomer demographics were coming on strong. That meant there’s going to be a lot more diabetic patients, a lot more CANCER patients, etc. How do we capture those market segments?”

    Dumbass and hypocrite

    2) Synder's attorney filed the lawsuit in New York because that is where the company (Atalaya Capital Management) that owns Creative Loafing (who owns City Paper, and is based in Tampa, FL) is located. I guess he figured that it would be a better location in case he actually won since Atalaya is an investment company and has bigger pockets than City Paper itself. What Synder may not realize is that the courts in New York are generally more favorable to publishers since it is one of the hubs of publishing in the world.

    3) In order for Synder to win the lawsuit as a public figure, HE (burden of proof is on him) must prove that not only were the allegations FALSE, but that malice was involved (that City Paper had to know that they were false and proceeded to publish anyway).

    4) His lawsuit pretty much says that (paraphrasing here) that he has deeper pockets and will use that to drag the lawsuit out and burden City Paper with the legal fees. City Paper, as many other media outlets, carries libel insurance and will pretty much only have to pay a deductible.

    5) Lawsuit also says that Atalaya is in cahoots with City Paper to publish this article because they have competing business opportunities/interest with some of Synder's companies. Atalaya has no editorial control over what CIty Paper publishes.

    What a petty, petty man. I hope City Paper countersues. Viva La CIty Paper!

    Great article here that refutes the claims in the lawsuit:

  • Randy_Hawkins

    Yep Yep (aka Snyder minion):

    Don't you have a message board to take care of? Mainly ExtremeSkins? I haven't been over there since this latest Snyder fiasco, but I'm sure they're marching to the beat of the Snyder drum hook, line, and sinker.

  • Danny Word

    Here's a suggestion how Danny 'Napolean" Snyder can really make life difficult for The City Paper. Rather than suing the paper,implement the very same business plan he used for the Redskins - just buy the City Paper too and run into the ground, just as he has done with our beloved Redskins. I'm sure he can chase away as many fans of the paper as he has done with our beloved Redskins. Hey, maybe Danny could rehire Vinnie to be the City Paper's Editor-in-Chief. Time to get over it all Danny! We are so over you!

  • lexie

    Two questions:

    1. If Snyder lives in VA and the City Paper is published in DC, why can a NYC court even accept his suit? Does this mean we can all decide to file our lawsuits where we like the judges best?

    And about this nonsense: "Your editorial cartoon is revolting. Only a degenerate moron publishes a cartoon of a Jewish businessman with horns."

    2. So, does that mean that all those Tea Party signs featuring Obama with horns are bashing him for being a Jew? Hm.

  • Watkins

    As an outsider from Dallas (also with a eccentric yet moronic owner) that learned about this genius article from Deadspin, is the picture that appears on the article now the original? According to the law suit, Snyder's lawyers go to great lengths to explain that their were dollar signs all around him. Either way, the people of Dallas support the article and quite frankly, I'm willing to bet many here wish a reporter had the balls to take on Jerry the same way.

  • jeepgirl

    There is simply no way this article is anti-Semetic.
    I have a lot of Jewish friends and they aren't bottom dwelling greedy bloodsuckers who nickel and dime to death, have no manners or conscience, suffer from "little man disease", and bitter vindictiveness.
    Bravo City Paper. I predict the legal action will be dismissed.

  • wigsplitter

    Every time a jew sues its got something to do with anti semitism. As a fan Ive endured almost 20yrs without a dominating team. I stopped spending my money on merchandise when Cook's son didn't get the team and after this latest stunt by snyder Ill be watching the ravens for now.....SNYDER your a midget punk who needs his fuckin teeth knocked out....You bitch

  • mike

    CP / McKenna - i hope you guys will respond i to Snyder's piece in WaPo today on refiling in DC:

    Specifically, elaborate on the forging names/Snyder Communications issue. This is the only example Dan gives in his op-ed, so it would be nice for you guys to clearly refute him publicly and explain what you meant on that particular piece in the article.


  • jim

    Hope you get your butt sued off. Anyone dumb enough to write or publish that crap deserves what they get. Being a "little guy" doesn't make you bullet proof. You were expecting a Pulitzer?