Dan Snyder sues newspaper for libel over story around Six Flags board

Posted Friday, February 4, 2011 11:46 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Dan Snyder filed a lawsuit against Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly in the nation’s capital, and its parent company, Atalaya Capital Management, alleging the newspaper committed libel on a number of fronts, including an assertion related to his departure from Six Flags’ board room. The story claims he was “tossed off” Six Flags’ board, one of four specific items Snyder’s lawyers list in his complaint as untrue.

Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

Friday, February 4, 2011 12:39 PM

Wow. In summary, City Paper supposedly writes a number of defamatory articles about Snyder over the years, Snyder threatens City Paper to make it right or he will sue, City Paper responds giving Snyder every chance to offer proof their publications were false, Snyder responds asking for any and all documents in their possession pertaining to Snyder, then files suit.

I haven't read any City Paper articles on Snyder, but if they contain the falsehoods that Snyder claims, shame on them. However, Snyder is seemingly strong-arming the paper, I'm assuming with the intent of protecting his reputation; if he can't prove the articles are false (or have no intention of doing so), shame on him.

Of course none of it is this black and white...but I'm interested to see how this plays out...

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Friday, February 4, 2011 12:46 PM

The legal standard for libel isn't always easy to prove. You have to first prove that what was said isn't true, and he probably has that. Then you have to prove that what was said caused harm, and I'm not convinced of that. You also have to prove blatant disregard for the truth, which is also not easy because the paper can simply say it was following its sources (though it helps to indicate that in the reporting, as in, "Sources say").

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Friday, February 4, 2011 1:00 PM

Here's the editorial referenced in the article above. I don't know much about most of the items they list, but I did find this description of the SFNO situation a wee bit simplistic and misleading:

Hurricane Katrina: Storm that Snyder used as an excuse to get out of the 75-year lease Six Flags had with the city of New Orleans. Snyder took over the company shortly after the storm inundated much of the city; he immediately let it be known he wouldn’t be coming back. “If any company is trying to figure out an exit strategy, they are,” New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said of Snyder’s abandonment. Six Flags never reopened. Snyder rented the park to the Department of Homeland Security. Last year, the city fined Six Flags $3 million for breaking the lease and took over the property.

Like, as if Snyder himself is personally responsible for all (or any) of the circumstances surrounding the park not reopening?

Last edited by birdhombre, Friday, February 4, 2011 1:01 PM
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Friday, February 4, 2011 2:20 PM

Haha.. I read the title as "Dee Snyder" and wondered WTF he had to do with Six Flags

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Friday, February 4, 2011 2:38 PM

Well, there's the whole Twisted Sisters/Twins thing...

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Friday, February 4, 2011 2:47 PM

Dee had heard about SFKK using the name Twisted Sisters, and decided he wasn't going to take it any more... :~P

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Friday, February 4, 2011 3:05 PM

^ You sure that wasn't Amy Winehouse? ;)

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Friday, February 4, 2011 6:03 PM

Dude's team has arguably the most offensive name in professional sports and he's throwing fits over a little libel?

And yes, I know those are two different things. Just sayin'.

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