Newspaper criticizes Dan Snyder. Snyder files error-ridden lawsuit. Other media outlets criticize Snyder’s lawsuit. Snyder goes on the radio to defend himself from criticism. While on the radio, Snyder makes another error.
During an interview on ESPN 980's The John Thompson Show this afternoon, Snyder said the following: “Someone calls you a criminal, someone makes fun of your wife who's battling breast cancer, shame on you.”
He repeated the claim during an interview with ABC7's Britt McHenry.
"When someone calls you a criminal and someone makes fun of your wife, who's fighting breast cancer and is a national spokesperson for the National Football League on breast cancer awareness, you sit there and you say, 'Enough is enough. What's right is right, what's wrong is wrong,'" Snyder told McHenry.
The “someone” in question is Washington City Paper sports writer Dave McKenna, who wrote “The Cranky Redskins’ Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder,” the article that prompted Snyder’s lawsuit and is a general thorn in the side of the Redskins' owner.
The Facts Machine is looking at the second half of Snyder's two part accusation --- that McKenna made “fun of [Snyder's] wife.”
Here’s what McKenna’s story said about Tanya Snyder:
His wife, Tanya Snyder, is out selling the transformation, too. Last week she went on local TV [TBD's SportsTalk] to tell an interviewer that he is now surrounded by “better people,” and that he’s “grown and he’s evolved.”
Well, maybe his wife can find evidence of Snyder’s growth and evolution. I can’t.
Those are from the first and second paragraphs of the story. Tanya is not mentioned again during the piece. Does that qualify as making fun of Tanya Snyder? No. Does it qualify as making fun of Dan Snyder. Yes.
What about the rest of McKenna’s Snyder-centric ouevre at City Paper? An online search of City Paper’s archives shows the owner’s wife cropping up three other times: in a letter to readers about the lawsuit, in a lament by a City Paper writer who happened to share Tanya Snyder's name and whose Google search results are corrupted by the overlap, and as an aside in an article about the benching of Donovan McNabb. The aside is difficult to criticize: McKenna notes that proceeds from Tanya Snyder's promotional campaigns with the NFL could help raise money for cancer research.
Over at D.C. Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg covered some similar territory when Redskins PR guru Tony Wyllie made similar comments Thursday. He points out, correctly, that breast cancer was never mentioned in the interview referenced by McKenna (which aired on TBD’s SportsTalk).
With Snyder repeatedly citing his wife in interviews today, they're doubling down on a falsehood. Maybe by bringing her up, Snyder hopes the public will believe he's defending his wife's honor rather than just filing a SLAPP. He's not. Her honor was never threatened. It’s as flimsy as his legal complaint appears to be. It’s Total Malarkey.