Star Tribune: We didn't "spike" hit-and-run op-ed critical of Amy Senser, it's "still under consideration"

Scott Gillespie, Strib opinions editor, says he didn't spike Anna Prasomphol's piece.
Scott Gillespie, Strib opinions editor, says he didn't spike Anna Prasomphol's piece.

Amy Senser is getting a lot of criticism for the hit-and-run accident that killed Anouone Phanthavong, and yesterday, figures in the local media came up for some criticism too.

The harsh feedback came thanks to an Op-Ed column by Anna Prasomphol, owner of True Thai restaurant, where Phanthavong had worked as head chef. Prasomphol faulted the Star Tribune's Gail Rosenblum, WCCO's Esme Murphy, and Minnesota Public Radio blogger Bob Collins for what she as coverage friendly to the Sensers.

Prasomphol said she posted her writing to her blog at True Thai after her submission to the Star Tribune didn't get any response. City Pages reached out to Scott Gillespie, opinions editor at the Strib, who said the paper actually hasn't made any decision on the column yet, and might still end up running it.

Gillespie said he first saw Prasomphol's column when it came in as a submission last Thursday, at the end of the day, and that it was one of the many submitted opinion pieces the paper receives.

"It's true that we haven't gotten back to [Prasomphol] yet," Gillespie said. "We don't get back to everybody. We're not able to do that."

Prasomphol said local media was being too easy on Amy Senser.
Prasomphol said local media was being too easy on Amy Senser.

Gillespie said the Star Tribune was considering the column, though he did say it comes in much longer than the typical Op-Ed piece, and there were "some areas we were going to want to look at." But even now, with Prasomphol having posted the column, he said it might still appear in the Star Tribune.

"I'm not going to spike it because of your item," Gillespie said, referring to our Blotter post from yesterday, "or her blogging about it. We'll work with her like we would with anybody if we think that the commentary would be valuable for readers."

Prasomphol's piece went after Gail Rosenblum's column, which offered sympathy to Senser for having "her photo plastered across news sites from coast to coast."

Gillespie said that he doesn't share Prasomphol's view of local coverage being favorable to the Sensers, nor does he have much an opinion either way on how the case has been played in local media.

"I read Gail's column which I thought was an interesting perspective," Gillespie. "I think the news coverage that [the Star Tribune] done has been very straightforward... and Gail's column is Gail's opinion.

Gillespie said Prasomphol's commentary was "intriguing," and that the Star Tribune often runs columns that criticize the newspaper's coverage of an issue.

"Now," Gillespie said, "I don't know exactly what form this might take. I don't even know if we'll end up running it for sure yet, but we certainly haven't spiked it."


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