Snyder published an open letter to fans that will appear in the print editions of The Washington Post tomorrow, Tuesday April 26, with an early version published on tonight. Here are the first two paragraphs of Snyder's letter.
"On Tuesday I am refiling my lawsuit against Washington City Paper, a tabloid paper that published false and reckless charges about me in November 2010. The case needed to be refiled in Washington, not New York, for legal reasons; the rest of the complaint is essentially the same.
"I expect to be criticized once again for pursuing this lawsuit. I originally filed it for one reason: The paper refused to issue an apology and retract false and damaging attacks on my integrity. If it had done so, there would have been no lawsuit."
Snyder points to the fact that his father, but not he, was a journalist and the the City Paper's writer (Dave McKenna) failed to meet Snyder's standard of acceptable journalism.
In Snyder's latest attempt, he points to The Paper's refusal to retract McKenna's statement that this is “the same Dan Snyder who got caught forging names as a telemarketer for Snyder Communications.”
Snyder does not explain why a story written as humor from beginning to end would be taken seriously by anyone with the authority to place him at legal risk. Moreover, Snyder's suit brings to the foreground the business practice that moved the State of Florida Attorney General to shut down Snyder Communications operation in that State where, as they put it, "our investigation revealed thousands of instances in which the marketing agent's representatives forged customers' signatures to switch them to GTE long-distance"
Snyder's point, that these were allegations to which his company admitted no wrong-doing, is splitting hairs. Snyder Communication payed $600,000 as their portion of the fine and agreed to cease doing business in Florida.
So Snyder bases his hopes on a jury feeling sympathetically about his annoying telemarketing firm engaging in questionable practices on the shady side of the law?
Thankfully, Snyder makes no reference to the devil picture he cited as evidence of antisemitism. I'd like to see tomorrow if his suit includes that allegation. If he dropped it, he will not have to explain why City Paper's copy editors who, like Snyder are Jewish, did not view the doctored image of Snyder as as anti-Semitic.
I cannot speak to any business dealings that may have been affected by McKenna's forgery statement. Snyder has to present any such harm during a trial. The man on the street does not base his feelings about the Dan on any such thing. They base it on a long string of gaffs in the way Snyder runs the Redskins and in his dealings with employees and the press, like suing The City Paper.
We've already said that winning games and sharing an official beer of the Washington Redskins with Dave McKenna would do more for Snyder than suing McKenna's paper. I suspect that the true intent of the suit is to freeze criticisms of Snyder. It's not working. McKenna continues to cover Snyder and the Redskins for The City Paper. His story Monday reported on Larry Weisman's separation from Redskins.com.
Link to The Washington City Paper Legal Defense Fund