Washington City Paper Launches Legal Defense Fund

02/04/2011 09:38 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been insisting today that all he wants from the Washington City Paper, an organization that neither he or his representatives have ever contacted, is a retraction (of Dave McKenna's accurate stories) and an apology (for writing things that made Dan Snyder sad). Oh! Plus he wants millions of dollars, in punitive damages!

Snyder's suit is a stupid mistake, guaranteed to make the world think even less of him than they do now (if such a thing is possible), but it's still something that the City Paper has to take seriously. After all, Snyder's legal team made this veiled threat to Atalaya Capital Management (the hedge fund that owns the organization that owns the paper, and the only organization Snyder has thus far contacted): "Indeed, the cost of litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper."

That's not much of a threat, for many reasons outlined here, but the City Paper has nevertheless launched a legal defense fund, which you can visit online here. In their open letter, the City Paper writes:

We think the value of our paper will survive this lawsuit, and we intend to fight it vigorously. We have truth on our side and, as the last few days have made clear, we are grateful to have the public on our side as well.

Today, we're announcing the Washington City Paper Legal Defense Fund: Your chance to stand against Snyder's lawsuit, and with City Paper. This isn't really about the money. (Though the money definitely helps--this case will be expensive, even though we're well-prepared to fight it.) Whatever we raise will be used to pay our legal costs, and whatever we don't spend fighting Snyder's lawsuit, we'll give to a local charity in the spirit of this fund. This is about showing Snyder you support our right--and anyone's right--to write the truth about him, or any powerful public figure, even if it's not flattering.

Please don't send us money you can't afford to spare; we know what the economy is like, and we value your moral support just as much as your financial support. City Paper is not a non-profit organization, which means contributions to our legal defense fund are not charitable donations and are not tax-exempt for federal, state, or D.C. income tax purposes.

You can declare your support or donate by clicking here.

Now, of course, should I take a side in this matter? Yes, I should. But if you are interested, for some reason (maybe you're demented), in helping out Dan Snyder, there are all kinds of ways you can do that, too. For instance, you can be a "member of the media" who needs to "preserve access to Dan Snyder" by writing all kinds of complimentary things.

But if you are not in that position, rest assured, Dan Snyder has all kinds of ways that you can give him money. The easiest is to "be a Redskins fan" and "wait to be gouged" while "simply existing." Plus, I think the Redskins website has a shop or something. Whatever you buy from the team online, it's a lot better than the beer they will sell you while standing in line for the urinals.

Previous contributors to Dan Snyder's various commercial enterprises can boast of having taken home heavily marked up 9/11 commemorative swag and peanuts bought on the cheap from bankrupt airlines that were probably close to going rancid. And urinal beer! Urinal beer.

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