City Desk

Dan Snyder Drops Lawsuit against Washington City Paper, Dave McKenna

Dan Snyder Drops Lawsuit Against Washington City Paper, Dave McKenna

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has just filed papers in D.C. Superior Court to dismiss his lawsuit against Washington City Paper and staff writer Dave McKenna over "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we published last November.

Since Snyder first sued over the story, City Paper and McKenna fought the case aggressively, eventually asking a D.C. Superior Court judge to dismiss it under the District's new law against "strategic lawsuits against public participation." And of course, we've also continued to write about the Redskins—which, of course, we'll keep doing.

Here's our statement on Saturday's news:

We are pleased that Dan Snyder has finally ended his gratuitous litigation against Washington City Paper and staff writer Dave McKenna.

From the beginning, we have believed that Snyder's lawsuit was a baseless one, designed to intimidate a journalist and a publication that have been among his most persistent critics. We've also argued—in our pages, and in court—that our article never said any of the allegedly libelous things Snyder claimed it did. As we defended ourselves, we got unprecedented support from loyal readers who donated thousands of dollars of their own money to help us protect our rights. And we were fortunate to have an ownership group who understood the stakes and stood by us. We're confident that the court would have seen things our way, too, thanks to the strong laws the District of Columbia has in place to protect free speech. But we're also glad that it won't have to go that far.

City Paper is a small news organization with limited resources, and defending ourselves against this lawsuit has cost massive amounts of time and money, well beyond the $34,308.91 that readers have contributed to our legal defense fund. Despite those costs, we are proud that we never wavered or allowed ourselves to be bullied, ultimately leading Snyder to dismiss his case. Though the District’s anti-SLAPP law says courts “may” have awarded us some of our litigation costs had we pursued them, we concluded that it wasn’t worth spending substantially more money, energy, and attention for what would have only been a chance of recovering a portion of what we've spent.

Today, we got what we wanted all along: dismissal of a case expressly designed to pressure us, and filed by a man who now apparently says he never even read the story in the first place. Now we're eager to get back to our business of covering the city's politics and culture—including its sports culture—without this distraction. And we hope the end of this case means Snyder can get back to focusing his energy on making our shared home team as good as it can be.

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  • SkinsFan01

    Here is hoping that Dan Snyder dies of AIDS..

  • Jack

    About damn time. Well done all. I'll put $20 on colon cancer for Snyder.

  • Bobby

    Congratulations! It was a great article, even more so knowing how mad it made him.

    I love the Redskins, dislike The Dan...

    What's your Twitter handle? I want to follow you just based on this whole fiasco...

  • Amy Austin

    @wcp is the Washington City Paper twitter handle.
    Thank you for your support.

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    Congrats to City Paper, Dave McKenna, and that pesky 1st Amendment guaranteeing the right to a free press.

    Eat excrement Danny Boy.

    Now to the business that matters -- tomorrow's game! Go 'Skins!

  • Bobby

    Thanks, Amy.

    And you all keep up the good work.

  • Chup

    I'm very happy to hear this news. I no longer have to write "I am Dave McKenna" on various blog sites in solidarity.

    However, I have to ask the Tater fans who continue to support the team -- why do you spend your precious time and hard-earned cash on The Danny? I hear the "I support the team, but not Snyder" all the time, but who really wins in that case? The Danny.

    Stop supporting him. Ignore his terrible team and perhaps you can get rid of him. Getting the stink out of the area will take longer ...

  • Southeast Ken

    This is good news for the Washington City Paper. However, I thought the City Paper didn't write articles on the weekend? LOL

    @Skinsfan1; that's a horrible thing to wish someone dies of AIDS. There's an old saying, when you dig one ditch, you had better dig two.

  • Ward Cl3aver

    Go Ravens!

  • Jimbo

    Fire Vinny. Check. Drop the lawsuit. Check. Now, just give two free tickets for life to the grandma that you sued, and you'll have proven that you get it - and we can get back to the business of rooting for the the team that Jack took to glory. End the bad karma Dan, fix the thing that irritates long time Redskin fans even more than the City Paper thing. Do the right thing. Again. You've shown you're capable of it.

  • John

    Well Well Well.....The Little Prick of a man who could never fill Jack Kent Cooke's shoes now admits he never even read this article that he was so offended and libeled by and screaming that the photo add on drawings where this David and Goliath battle is now over the the little guy (City Paper) now wins...??!!?? CP should sue this prick for every dime of legal expenses and I hope that all Redskin fans pick up a City Paper and take and wave all during the next game. Congrats to Dave McKenna and always remember.....WE ALL HATE DAN SNYDER.....!!!!!!

  • Skinsince72

    I am glad to see that this has all ended. Honestly, I walked away not feeling particularly good about either party. I read the "Cranky Fan's" article and it missed a few things. Under "C", it did not list charity, as in the charity Snyder has shown to the DC area (specifically schools). Under "F", it did not list family-oriented, as in flying players home to be with family in a time of need. I wondered why I did not see these since it was an A-Z profile of Snyder? I could only infer that the writer wanted readers to have an incomplete picture of Snyder. And that's ok. It's his first amendment right to do so. Heck, it makes for an entertaining read. To muddy it with positive traits would have confused readers.
    But here's to a new season and hopefully a new era. May the team and the owner give Mr. McKenna much good news to write about. That, I would like to see.

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  • Nikki

    Please. Snyder has been way too much of a prick in public to ever convince anyone that we have somehow missed all of his "good" traits. If he would spend more time displaying his good traits and less time acting like a prick, he wouldn't find himself in situations like this. You don't get to complain about incomplete pictures of Snyder when Snyder himself only displays the prick side of his personality.

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  • Robert Hanson

    "we hope the end of this case means Snyder can get back to focusing his energy on making our shared home team as good as it can be."
    Maybe it would be better for the team if you could keep him occupied with lawsuits so that he CAN'T focus any energy on the Redskins......!

  • Kasigi Yabu

    @ Skinsince72

    There is only one thing that I want from DS - SELL THE F'ING TEAM...

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  • Richie Jamewskie

    Which is it? "City Paper ... admitted ... assertions unintended ... to be true" OR "we are proud that we never wavered"?

  • Mike Madden

    @ Richie Jamewskie --

    We've been saying all along that our story never said the things Snyder's lawsuit claimed it did. See this letter from our publisher, Amy Austin, in late February, shortly after the first lawsuit was filed and a few months before he re-filed in D.C.:

    If Snyder wants to say now that this means we've "admitted" something, in order to save face after losing a legal battle with a small weekly newspaper, that's up to him. Anyone who's been following the case knows who won.

  • Jane

    "we hope the end of this case means Snyder can get back to focusing his energy on making our shared home team as good as it can be."

    Am I the only one reading that is a beautiful, brilliantly back-handed insult? Because I love it.

  • Anthony Scott

    All the litigation in the world isn't going to change Dan Snyder's perpetual is: he is a tiny man-child.

  • Jimbo

    Good to see all Danny Boy did was cost the paper money and fill the pockets of lawyers. Good job idiot.

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  • Richie Jamewskie

    I wonder how many times I have to use "colorful language" before I can use "characteristically colorful language" as an excuse.

  • gina a

    Excellent news WCP-Dave McKenna is bar none the best sports writer in DC and I am glad that this nonsense from Snyder-Whiner is finally over. Unfortunately, Dan lost me as a lifelong redskins fan for basically all the reasons listed in McKenna's article. I am the original cranky fan. But it looks like this positive karma act by Snyder finally got the redskins a win, but I bet it won't last. Congratulations to Washington City Paper!

  • Vale

    Well put Mike. How can Snyder be taking credit for the CP "admitting" that the story involved hyperbole? That was the whole point of the article and the crux of CP's defense in the lawsuit. What nerve!

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  • Earth Round, Not Flat

    Congrats to Dave McKenna and the Washington City Paper. You may have lost some bucks and wasted a lot of time on this unjustified litigation, but your reputation is the clear winner in this stupid imbroglio.

    It must suck to be Dan Snyder -- so much money, and such an unliked and unhappy man. And to now claim he didn't even read the article over which he was suing the WCP in the first place? Yeah, right.

    I hope that even more people will now find and read the original article to further expose this man's tragically narcissistic, duplicitous and greedy character. I hope he reads these comments, too: Boo on you, Dan Snyder, boo on you.

    P.S. It's time for fans to demand community ownership of NFL teams, a la the Green Bay Packers. After "the Snyder years," Redskins fans deserve something much, much better.

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  • mbc613

    HOORAY!!!!!! Congratulations to the AMAZING WCP -- I hope you guys are popping the champagne today!

  • Richie Jamewskie

    If Dr. Frankenstein got caught saying "Dan Snyder ... got caught forging names as a telemarketer with Snyder Communications" he would probably say "What's the matter with you people? I was joking! Don't you know a joke when you hear one?"

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  • DamnDan

    Good, still don't like the little Jack-Wad. That lawsuit reminded me of "People Vs. Larry Flint".

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  • Stacey

    Congratulations! Here's hoping that a generous private donor steps up to the plate to assist with the legal bills. Maybe some Dallas Cowboys fans could be persuaded to pitch in, too. :o)

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  • Michael Williams

    To Dave; good to meet you at the high school game and I am delighted to learn of the news about the suit being dropped. I know this is a tremendous burden lifted from your shoulders. Keep up the good work and stay true to your principles.

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  • GhostOfJimZorn

    My tortured ghost can now rest in peace, and no longer haunt the hallways at Redskins Park.

    Wait a minute, I'm NOT dead yet...

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  • Ashley

    Dan Snyder is nothing but a child in disguise.

  • Just Dave

    Dan Snyder should be sued for acknowledging City Paper as a legitimate media outlet. I would imagine The Onion is pleased that lawsuit failed.

  • henryonhillside

    I must say, as a Vikings fan who has cordially hated the Redskins since the days of Sonny Jurgensen, I love this Snyder guy. I wish him many more years as owner of the franchise.

    And as a lover of a robustly free press I offer congratulations to the City Paper.

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