On Tuesday, we brought you word that Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder decided to use the Washington Post op-ed pages as a venue to remind everyone that he's suing the Washington City Paper for cataloging how awful he is in Dave McKenna's "Cranky Redskin Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder" -- an article that wouldn't have gotten the attention it has if Snyder had sucked it up and done nothing.
I have a pretty dim view of Snyder's decision in terms of P.R. -- and I am not alone in that regard. Nor am I alone in the belief that the legal claims are worthy of disregard. For example, Snyder had contended that the City Paper literally implied that he used Agent Orange defoliant when McKenna wrote "going all Agent Orange on federally protected lands." Snyder doesn't understand metaphor, he doesn't understand the "Streisand Effect," and he doesn't understand that Washington, D.C. has tougher laws to prevent Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation than New York, where he has moved the trial from. What kind of advice is he getting?
Actually, that's a funny story! Here's a tidbit you can dig out of Paul Farhi's article about Snyder's suit in today's Washington Post:
The shift in strategy follows the addition of Lanny Davis, a veteran Washington lawyer and longtime friend of the owner, to Snyder’s legal team.
Davis was most visible as former president Bill Clinton’s defender during Clinton’s impeachment trials and has more recently advised controversial clients here and abroad. Davis said he began offering advice to Snyder after the lawsuit was filed, but that Glaser, the lead lawyer, is handling the actual litigation.
Wow! Dan Snyder is going all Laurent Gbagbo on the legal system!
Ha, ha. Okay, before I get sued by Mr. Metaphor Misintepreter, let me explain. The last time Lanny Davis -- who is one of the most unpleasant and bilious men circling the drain of politics today -- made news, it was because he had been retained as a flack for Laurent Gbagbo, the Ivory Coast strongman who lost an election, refused to step down, and then got all mass-murdery on his countrymen:
The columnist and former special counsel to Bill Clinton specializes in lobbying for controversial corporate and foreign clients, particularly those seeking Democratic representation in Washington. But even for Davis, taking on Ivory Coast leader and flagrant human rights violator Laurent Gbagbo as a client, as he did this week, seems to cross some kind of line.
Gbagbo, president of the African country since 2000, last month lost what international observers said was a fair election. But instead of relinquishing power, Gbagbo had his allies overturn the election result and has been violently suppressing the subsequent opposition protests. Gbagbo's military police reportedly killed dozens of opposition marchers last week, and scores of people have disappeared in neighborhoods that voted for Gbagbo's opponent -- thought to be the victims of death squads.
Davis held a press briefing on December 20, 2010, in which he stated that Gbagbo "opposes violence," which was a pretty weird thing to say about a guy who ordered goons to commit "mass killings," drag people from their homes and prevent families from picking up the bodies of loved ones from morgues, according to the AP. He decided to resigned nine days later, when Gbagbo allegedly refused to answer phone calls from President Obama.
So, of all the P.R. flacks in the world, why on earth did Snyder choose Lanny Davis who is best known for repping odious dictators and lobbying for unlawful coups d'etat? Who knows? Match made in heaven, I'd say.