Dan Snyder has ended his quest to sue the Washington City Paper and writer Dave McKenna for an article published about the Redskins owner last fall.
Snyder dismissed his lawsuit, which he filed April 26, on the eve of his team's 2012 season, according to a press release issued by the team Saturday night.
“The lawsuit was pursued as a means to correct the public record following several critical factual misstatements in the Washington City Paper article.” said team spokesman Tony Wyllie in the release. “In the course of the defendants’ recently filed pleadings and statements in this matter, the Washington City Paper and its writer have admitted that certain assertions contained in the article that are the subject of the lawsuit were, in fact, unintended by the defendants to be read literally as true.
"Therefore, we see nothing further to be gained at this time through continuing the lawsuit. We prefer to focus on the coming football season and the business at hand.
"We remain committed to assisting with responsible reportage of the team and the many people involved in our organization, including Dan Snyder, and the principle that the truth and the facts matter in responsible journalism has been vindicated."
The Washington City Paper responded Saturday night with a lengthy statement of its own:
"We are pleased that Dan Snyder has finally ended his gratuitous litigation against Washington City Paper and staff writer Dave McKenna.
"From the beginning, we have believed that Snyder's lawsuit was a baseless one, designed to intimidate a journalist and a publication that have been among his most persistent critics. We've also argued -- in our pages, and in court -- that our article never said any of the allegedly libelous things Snyder claimed it did. As we defended ourselves, we got unprecedented support from loyal readers who donated thousands of dollars of their own money to help us protect our rights. And we were fortunate to have an ownership group who understood the stakes and stood by us. We're confident that the court would have seen things our way, too, thanks to the strong laws the District of Columbia has in place to protect free speech. But we're also glad that it won't have to go that far.
"City Paper is a small news organization with limited resources, and defending ourselves against this lawsuit has cost massive amounts of time and money, well beyond the $34,308.91 that readers have contributed to our legal defense fund. Despite those costs, we are proud that we never wavered or allowed ourselves to be bullied, ultimately leading Snyder to dismiss his case. Though the District’s anti-SLAPP law says courts “may” have awarded us some of our litigation costs had we pursued them, we concluded that it wasn’t worth spending substantially more money, energy, and attention for what would have only been a chance of recovering a portion of what we've spent.
"Today, we got what we wanted all along: dismissal of a case expressly designed to pressure us, and filed by a man who now apparently says he never even read the story in the first place. Now we're eager to get back to our business of covering the city's politics and culture -- including its sports culture -- without this distraction. And we hope the end of this case means Snyder can get back to focusing his energy on making our shared home team as good as it can be."
Snyder admitted earlier this week in an interview with the New York Times that he had not read the entire article in question.
When asked how he could sue without reading the article, he responded, "Because I heard all the details. But the entire piece? I’m not going to read that."