Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Dan Snyder's dumbass libel suit runs out of ways to die in this space.
Sad news, diehards. Happy news, everyone else. Starting tomorrow, we're rolling "We Are All Dave McKenna" into "wake up deadspin" so you no longer have to endure the full puissance of our Snyder updates. The vast majority of you hate this post. You've made your antipathy clear. At least one of you even sought me out in person to express disdain. Writing this post has been a joyless, thankless task. But goddammit, it's a necessary task! Which is why we'll continue to publish a link to McKenna's story (and often the Dan Snyder devil photo and an info tidbit with it) every morning. Because re-publishing the story and the photo is the whole goddamn fucking point. So look for it there, especially if you appreciate stupid fucking shit like freedom of the press and solidarity in the face of corporate barbarism.
To celebrate the end of the standalone McKenna era, we're bringing you a special treat: a paper written by Notre Dame econ and English double major Tim Bossidy for his First Amendment class. It's all about the Snyder lawsuit and why it's a pile of camel manure. Bossidy does a nice job assessing the merits of the suit. He also gets into a more arcane issue in First Amendment law: the SLAPP suit, which is meritless litigation intended to shut up critics. Here's an excerpt from Bossidy's paper about SLAPP:
It may seem at first glance that the modern legal system provides an incredibly robust protection for the press. This glance only seems to be affirmed by the fact that dismissal rates for libel cases were around 80% in federal courts from 1980 through 1996 (Logan 511-12). Unfortunately, as Logan writes, "These motions cost money, and it may be that such expenditures, or even the threat of incurring them, make media outlets of modest means reluctant to publish some accurate stories" (526). This is why it makes sense for Dan Snyder to file a suit he clearly has no chance of winning. This is the danger of strategic lawsuits against public participation. A SLAPP is defined by the California Anti-SLAPP Project as, "a civil complaint or counterclaim (against either an individual or an organization) . . . often brought by corporations, real estate developers, or government officials and entities against individuals who oppose them on public issues. . . While most SLAPPs are legally meritless, they effectively achieve their principal purpose: to chill public debate on specific issues. Defending a SLAPP requires substantial money, time, and legal resources and thus diverts the defendant's attention away from the public issue." ...
Fortunately for Washington City Paper, Snyder recently re-filed his suit against the publisher, the paper, and Dave McKenna (the investment fund is no longer listed as it was in the original suit) in Washington Superior Court. The District of Colombia enacted an anti-SLAPP law last year.
And here's Bossidy's full paper. It's worth a read:
Please stop Dan Snyder from SLAPPing the little guy and donate to the City Paper's legal defense fund.