John Feinstein dropped by CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show on Thursday night to discuss Dan Snyder’s latest fiasco.
“Only Dan Snyder and the people who work for him could turn the launching of a local radio show into a national story and a national embarrassment,” Feinstein began, “but Snyder has been doing that consistently for a long time now – on and off the field. The local radio station that he owns in D.C. wanted to launch a local show to compete with the other sports talk radio show in D.C., which, as you know, is CBS-owned and has a very successful local morning talk show.”
So, Snyder hired Jason Reid – one of Feinstein’s former colleagues at the Washington Post – to serve as co-host of the new show.
“Jason has, at times, been critical of Washington’s management,” Feinstein said. “Gee, why would you be critical of a football team that has won two playoff games in 16 years and was 4-12 this past season? People were a little surprised that Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen approved this hiring of Jason Reid because he had been a critic of the team.”
Well, the show was supposed to launch two weeks ago, but three days before the launch, Snyder pulled the plug.
“There is a conspiracy theory that Sndyer and Allen had let Jason Reid quit his job at the Washington Post in order to get him out of the Post, and then just before he was supposed to go on air, said, ‘Sorry, you’re not going on air,’” Feinstein explained. “Now the show is supposed to debut on Monday, and my guess is that Jason Reid has been read the riot act and (been told) you better be damn careful about what you say about Mr. Snyder – as he likes to be called – once you get on the air. It’s apparent that criticizing Snyder and Allen is off the boards. And everybody – everybody on that station – takes up in defense of the offensive team name.”
This, however, is nothing new for Snyder, who has a history of controlling media and buying out places or publications that are critical of him.
“He tries to be a bully,” Feinstein said. “He’s tried to freeze out reporters that didn’t write and say the things that he wanted written and said. He has personally attacked me on a number of occasions, which is fine. I’m a big boy. I can take it. But he’s a bully. And he thinks that being very rich, which he is, gives you the right to treat people as badly as you so desire.”
Feinstein said that Snyder is more sensitive than the average NFL owner.
“I think he is,” Feinstein said. “Everybody’s sensitive. I don’t like being criticized. None of us do. But I think he has developed this honest belief – he’s very unpopular with the other owners, this isn’t just a media thing – but he’s developed this belief that money equals who you are. It’s a class system with him. I’m rich, so that means I’m better than other people. He could get away with all of this if he put a good product on the field. But because he’s put a terrible product on the field for so long, the whole town has turned on him.
“People who have been lifelong fans of the team – if the team starts winning, maybe they’ll turn around,” Feinstein continued. “But I know many, many people who are lifelong fans of the team who have stopped going to the games. They’re begging people to buy their club seats. And a lot of people have given up on the team – not so much because they’re losing. The losing frustrates them. But because they’re losing and because the owner is such a dislikable person.”