There's no question Redskins owner Dan Snyder had a few problems with a cover story about him in Washington's City Paper in November.At the moment, in fact, Snyder is fighting mad. Snyder has objected to the article that detailed some of his controversial actions as team owner and other reports about him in the weekly publication, and has threatened legal action against the newspaper. He also is seeking the dismissal of the article's author, staff writer Dave McKenna.Snyder took his complaints about the Nov. 19 article to Creative Loafing Inc., the Tampa-based company that owns City Paper and five other "alternative" papers around the country, and to CLI's parent, Atalaya Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund. Atalaya bought CLI for $5 million in a bankruptcy proceeding in August 2009.
Allow me to state my prejudices up front. Washington City Paper is basically responsible for my career. I worked with Dave McKenna, and I'm a fan. He's a crotchety and penetrating sports writer with no interest in hanging out athletes. In other words, he's exactly my kind of writer.
With that said, I'd really like to know what, precisely, Snyder thinks is unfair. You can read the offending story here. I loved it, and found it pretty well reported. Moreover, it was hilarious and made me sympathetic to Redskin fans.
There also should be no doubt about the exact nature of Snyder's complaint:
City Paper, whose articles about Snyder included an unflattering Nov. 19 cover story, released a letter from Snyder's attorneys to Atalaya that suggested the company would be in for an expensive fight if it didn't accede to Snyder's objections."Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation," said the Nov. 24 letter, which was written by David Donovan, the Redskins' chief operating officer and general counsel, and posted on City Paper's Web site Wednesday afternoon. "We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper."
Snyder went on to solicit a letter from the Simon Weisenthal Center claiming the cover illustration was anti-Semitic. This from the owner of a team called the Redskins.
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