Even the most casual follower of the NFL is familiar with Dan Snyder’s propensity for coaching changes, free agency busts and long history of butting heads with all manner of Beltway media outlets (save for those he owns) since he became owner of the Washington Redskins. That said, Dave McKenna’s “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder” in the November 19, 2010 City Paper was a rather exhaustive recitation of the petulant boss’ many crimes against common deceny, including, but not limited to selling a defunct airline’s stale peanut supply to fans, bullying a grandmother and calling cancer patients, an emerging “market segment”.
Snyder, perhaps believing a shitload of money either means he’s above critique or somehow entitles him to play God with the lives of persons he’s not even paying, has threatened City Paper’s parent company with legal action unless they serve up McKenna’s head on a platter. On Tuesday, City Paper publisher Amy Austin responded ;
We have offered Snyder the opportunity to publish a guest column responding to the article, we proposed that he meet with our editor to discuss his concerns, and we invited him to provide information demonstrating that what we published was false. If we were to conclude we got something wrong, we would correct it. We also emphatically reject the suggestion that we stop reporting on Snyder or that we pull McKenna, who has written for City Paper since 1986, from reporting on Snyder and/or the Redskins.
It’s extremely unfortunate that Snyder believes that it is appropriate to threaten City Paper with litigation because he objects to our coverage. As a 30-year old newspaper and vibrant website committed to both in-depth news reporting and full-throated commentary, we do not believe that using the court system to stifle or chill free speech is ever appropriate. In this case, it’s especially shabby: As a well known public figure, Snyder has more than ample ability and resources to respond to coverage he does not like, including through his significant public relations apparatus. Lest there be any doubt, we have offered him a forum to do so in our pages, and that invitation stands. Should he elect to actually file a lawsuit, we have directed our counsel to defend the case vigorously.