While one DC publication found a small roster of ex-Redskins staffers willing to provide intimate details of owner Daniel Snyder’s courtship of head coach Mike Shanahan (“we were just like four college roommates drowning their sorrows with alcohol after our team lost. The difference was, one of our college buddies was the owner of the team..and he called an ex-coach to make him feel better.”), another local periodical can celebrate the end of a protracted legal battle with Snyder (“Dan Snyder : As Thin-Skinned As He’s Senseless”, Feb. 2, 2011). From the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi :
City Paper has maintained that Snyder’s lawsuit was meritless and an attempt to stifle criticism of the Redskins’ owner. It stood by the story and David McKenna from the beginning.
“This is a great day for free speech,” said Michael Schaffer, City Paper’s editor. “This is a great day for the citizens of D.C., which has a legal system that protects them from being bullied by people who don’t like what was said.”
In his original lawsuit, Snyder said he was defamed by several parts of the article, including the suggestion that he had been kicked out as chairman of the board of the Six Flags amusement park chain and had gone “all Agent Orange” by cutting down a stand of trees on federally protected land that blocked river views from his Potomac mansion in 2004. He also objected to the story’s assertion that he had been “caught forging names” on consumers’ long-distance phone contracts while he headed a marketing firm, Snyder Communications, before taking over the Redskins in 1999. He denied all of those allegations.
Snyder also said that the story insulted his wife, Tanya, a breast cancer survivor who has been active in efforts to promote awareness of the disease, and that a photo illustration of him with horns and a goatee was anti-Semitic.
While Farhi points out Snyder recently admitted he’s never actually read Dave McKenna’s entire article, he can do so whenever he’s got a free moment. City Paper continues to feature McKenna’s nearly 10-month-old “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide To Daniel Snyder” on the front page of the weekly magazine’s website.