Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s ability to lasso the Simon Wiesenthal Center into accusing Washington City Paper of anti-Semitism for the image to the left has been one of the strangest things about the whole affair, which has seen a multibillionaire sue a weekly alternative for its gadfly sportswriter Dave McKenna’s brilliant polemic, “The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder.” The charge is absurd, as other Jewish groups acknowledge (the image is plainly a juvenile scribbling, not a conjuring of medieval stereotypes concerning Jewish perfidiousness). Snyder is not a big donor to the Center or indeed particularly active in the national or local Jewish communities. Yet the Center’s charge remains unretracted, my request for clarification lodged two weeks ago unanswered. What gives?
A theory. Yesterday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center awarded its annual Humanitarian Award to Tom Cruise, apparently a long-time supporter of (read: Donor to) the Los Angeles-based organization. And who is Tom Cruise close friends with? Dan Snyder, that’s who. The two have done business deals. But they are actual friends: Despite the end of their professional relationship in 2007, in 2009 Cruise was on the sidelines for the Skins’ embarrassing loss at Detroit (arguably even more embarrassing than the Skins’ 2010 loss against Detroit).
Does Cruise have something to do with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s seemingly inexplicable involvement? I obviously don’t know, although until the Wiesenthal Center calls me back and tells me that they still stand by their charge or no longer do so, I am going to question whether he does. What I do know is that Cruise and Snyder deserve each other, and Redskins fans deserve neither.
Wiesenthal Center Honors Actor Tom Cruise [JTA]
Related: The Cranky Redskins Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder [Washington City Paper]
Earlier: Wiesenthal Center Out of Bounds on Snyder
AJC Dismisses Synder’s Anti-Semitism Charge
Dan Snyder Is Not a Wiesenthal Donor
Snyder Tries, Fails To Explain Lawsuit