NFL Owner Sues Reader's Sister Paper | Bleader

NFL Owner Sues Reader's Sister Paper


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What are we looking at?

A. The devil.
B. Some guy inked up a little to make fun of him.
C. Blatantly anti-Semitic imagery

If you agree that this is "precisely the type of imagery used historically, including Nazi Germany, to dehumanize and vilify the Jewish people and associate them with a litany of libels over the last 2,000 years," then you're of like mind with Daniel Snyder, principal owner of the Washington Redskins.

And, not incidentally, the guy pictured here with the horns drawn on him.

Late Wednesday, Snyder sued Washington City Paper for libel and asked for $2 million in damages. At the top of his list of grievances was this artwork, which accompanied a November 19, 2010, article in City Paper headlined "The Cranky Redskin Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder." Reporter Dave McKenna began, "We’ve been told a New Dan Snyder walks among us." And if so, he reasoned, it was appropriate to look back at the old Dan Snyder, who would be missed. This was the man "who left his mark, or stain, on more than just a football team. That’s the Dan Snyder who got caught forging names as a telemarketer with Snyder Communications, made a great view of the Potomac River for himself by going all Agent Orange on federally protected lands, and lost over $121 million of Bill Gates’ money while selling an 'official mattress' while in charge of Six Flags. That’s the Dan Snyder I’ve found to be the most fascinating and consistent man on the planet, responsible for the hilarious and/or heinous deeds outlined in the following pages."

The forging, the Agent Orange-ing, the mention of Snyder being "tossed off" the board of Six Flags, the notion that he "bragged" about his wealth coming from diabetes and cancer victims" — every one is a "falsehood," according to Snyder's suit. McKenna's November article didn't say Snyder bragged, but the idea was raised in a piece McKenna did on Snyder last July, and Snyder's been keeping score. He complained that since late 2009 City Paper and McKenna have conducted an "ongoing smear his business and personal reputation."

City Paper and the Chicago Reader are commonly owned by Atalaya Capital Management LP, based in New York, which is where Snyder filed his suit. Needless to say, Atalaya was named as codefendant. Hinting at ulterior motives, the suit portrays Atalaya and City Paper as in competition with important business interests of Snyder's.

Before filing suit, Snyder let it be known that's what he was thinking of doing. In response, City Paper publisher Amy Austin said he was welcome to write a "guest column" making his case, but she believed McKenna's facts were correct, and if Snyder went to court, "we have directed our counsel to defend the case vigorously."

Here's a link to McKenna's article and Snyder's suit, as posted by City Paper.

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