Now that Dan Synder has officially filed suit against the Washington City Paper for a November 18 cover story by Dave McKenna, the Washington City Paper has decided to defend itself. Earlier today, the paper's editor, Michael Schaffer, joined SB Nation Radio on 106.7 The Fan to talk about the lawsuit and defend the paper against claims by Snyder that the story contained incorrect facts and attempted to defame Snyder's character.
"I'm a native Washington, a lifelong Redskins fan, and it's just sad when I hear you saying that the big story around here is a lawsuit," he said. "Instead of gearing up to take on the AFC champs, it turns out that the owner is gearing up to take on a local newspaper, and that just seems really sad to me."
Schaffer said the Redskins initially contacted "the fund that owns the parent company that owns the paper," not the paper directly, and confirmed that the Redskins said it wouldn't be "rational" for the paper to defend itself against a lawsuit.
"It's frustrating, because instead of it coming to me, where I could say 'Here, this is my guy, and let me tell you, we're rock solid,'" he said. "Instead, it was through this convoluted, whisper-down-the-lane manner."
Schaffer said the paper was careful to check the facts, calling the claims "a typical exaggeration," and dismissed the claim that the front-page photo, which showed Snyder with doodled horns on his head, was anti-Semitic.
"My take is, 'Give me a break,'" he said. "By that logic, every fifth grader who drew devil horns on his teacher is a bigot."
Schaffer was asked whether there was any concern about the tone of the article opening themselves up for this kind of litigation, and said that is part of what happens when you have a columnist like McKenna writing.
"Dave [McKenna] is a columnist, and like a lot of columnist, they trade in opinion. They obviously have to back up their opinion with facts ... but this is not a dry piece of prose. This is a columnist's work, and a very good columnist's work at that."
Listen to the full interview here.