Nice Newspaper You Got Here; Be a Shame If Something Happened

Since I read this on Friday...

"Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation and defend himself and his wife against your paper's concerted attempt at character assassination. We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of the litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper."

...I've been trying to understand why Daniel Snyder thought it was a good idea to essentially spell out his plan to extort an apology out of the owners of Washington City Paper. My old boss David Carr implies its the kind of amateurish that will hurt Snyder's case:

Neither Mr. Snyder nor his executives ever got in touch with the newspaper or its editors, preferring to try to exercise leverage on the hedge fund that owned it. The effort to cut out the middleman and apply direct pressure on the ownership reflects a level of aggression that would have come in handy on the field during yet another hapless Redskins season. 

 It is not, however, the kind of tactic the courts will look kindly on now that Mr. Snyder has filed a suit in New York courts seeking $2 million in general damages in addition to unspecified damages and court costs. 

The law, in New York and elsewhere, takes a dim view of threatening to put somebody out of business for the exercise of First Amendment rights. "Judges want cases to get resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Stuart Karle, former general counsel to The Wall Street Journal and an experienced First Amendment lawyer. "One of the first things any judge will look at is that letter, and they are likely to be very skeptical of the motivations behind Mr. Snyder's efforts to litigate this case."

Again with the full disclosure: My life was permanently altered (for the better) by my time working as a Staff Writer for City Paper. David Carr, who was the editor at the time, did a lot of the altering. It was a lot of fun, but not very pretty. Perhaps more importantly, I've been a Cowboys for almost 30 years.