Feb 7, 2011

Do Football Fans Support Attacks on Press Freedom?

Superbowl is over and disgruntled fans who were denied their seats are mostly back home, still grousing. What did these fans expect from the business owners? Fairness and consideration? David Carr reports on a threat to a Washington newspaper:

Back in November, when Daniel M. Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, was pilloried at length in a piece in the Washington City Paper, a local weekly, he had a number of options: He could have ignored the article, contacted the newspaper and asked for equal time or corrections, or he could have used his bully pulpit as the owner of both a pro sports team and a number of local radio stations to respond.

Mr. Snyder chose none of the above, instead commissioning David P. Donovan, the general counsel of the Redskins, to write a letter to the owners of the newspaper that included the following paragraph:

“Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation and defend himself and his wife against your paper’s concerted attempt at character assassination. We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of the litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper.”...

The article was an instant cult classic among long-suffering Redskins fans...

Neither Mr. Snyder nor his executives ever got in touch with the newspaper or its editors, preferring to try to exercise leverage on the hedge fund that owned it...

Something to think about as you stake out a position for the upcoming strike/lockout? Frugal Ben Says: As long as it's free, enjoy your football on your big-screen TV. Forget about the "Who's supposed to pay for producing all this content?" argument. Let 'em suffer like the newspapers! Eventually the owners, like the publishers, might get it right. Donating your dollars to these guys by going to the stadium makes you a sap. More from football blog

No comments: