Star Tribune spikes op-ed critical of Amy Senser

Categories: Media beefs
amy senser.JPG
Amy Senser is still walking around free, and Anna Prasomphol doesn't like that.
Amy Senser is still walking around a free woman three weeks after the hit-and-run accident that killed Anousone Phanthavong, despite Senser's having confessed to the crime through her attorney.

As investigators assemble a case against Senser, wife of restaurant owner and former Vikings star Joe Senser, the case has been left to be tried in the court of public opinion. Last week, Star Tribune columnist Gail Rosenblum wrote a piece defending a slow, deliberate investigation into the accident.

In response, Anna Prasomphol, owner of the True Thai restaurant where Phanthavong was the head chef, wrote an Op-Ed of her own and submitted it to the Star Tribune. The Strib never responded, so instead Prasomphol self-published the piece. In the column, Prasomphol mourns Phanthavong's death -- and attacks local media figures for demanding that Amy Senser be given the benefit of the doubt.

AnnaPFieser.jpg
Anna Prasomphol, owner of True Thai, felt like she needed to stick up for "Ped."
Rosenblum's column first quotes from Minnesota State Patrol spokesman Eric Roeske, who's spent much of the last few weeks explaining, and reexplaining, that proper investigations take time. Even Jim Schwebel, the attorney who filed suit in the Phanthavongs' wrongful death lawsuit against the Sensers, acknowledged a thorough investigation is best.

After laying out this reality, Rosenblum chose to switch directions at the last minute, pleading for a bit of sympathy for Senser, who's come under so much criticism:

And while no one is suffering more profoundly than Phanthavong's family, there is grief aplenty for Amy Senser, whose privileged life got her one thing for sure: Her photo plastered across news sites from coast to coast.

She gets to live, yes. But her life likely will never be the same.
For her part, Prasomphol is sick of local media taking the point of view of the Sensers, and not the Phanthavongs. She writes that coverage has been from that perspective since the Sensers admitted it was Joe Senser's Mercedes SUV, driven by Amy, that killed Phanthavong.

Yes, [Rosenblum] mentioned Ped, but like all the other local media she just repeated what I had written about him in my blog. Until they held a press conference two weeks after Ped's death, not one Minnesota news person bothered to interview Ped's family.
Also coming up for criticism are WCCO's Esme Murphy -- technically a colleague of Joe Senser's, though Joe announces college football games and Murphy anchors a weekend morning show.

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Esme Murphy and Bob Collins are targeted in Prasomphol's column.
"[Murphy] said that she could not defend a hit and run," Prasmophol wrote, "but then spent the rest of her post defending the Sensers' right to a fair trial."

The last local media figure Prasmophol takes on is MPR blogger Bob Collins, whom she says has taken to jumping into  the comments section of his blog to argue with anyone who defends Phanthavong.

Just as Rosenblum's column took a twist at its end, so does Prasmophol's -- only in this case, it is a bitter turn. Prasomophol writes that she's too angry to leave all the talking to the lawyers.

I will keep talking about this because I miss my friend Ped, and I am angry that the woman who admitted to driving the Mercedes SUV that dragged him forty feet up an off-ramp still has her drivers license, and is still free to go about living her life. The media can feel sorry for her all they like, but some day the Phanthavongs will have their day in court and I will be there every day to see that they receive the justice they deserve.


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14 comments
Madia
Madia

Yes, the media does seem to be favoring the Sensors.  Time to be held accountable for what you did -- feel sory for the Phanthavong family -- seems few care about their loss....  the media sure doesn't.

Augopher
Augopher

I pray to the baby Jeebus that Amy rots in jail and the legal fees bankrupt the Sensor empire. P.S. - obviously, a boycott of the Sensor restaurant is necessary.

patriot1
patriot1

I used to be a carpet cleaner. I remember cleaning the Sensor's carpet about 17 or 18 years ago at their home in Edina. When I arrived, Joe was just leaving and Amy was just arriving, he told me to deal with her, he appeared to be in a big hurry. I remember that she was very nice, she seemed very professional and business-like, but very nice nonetheless. It's very unfortunate that this happened, it's tragic for all involved. We don't know what happened for sure, I guess more and more details will come out as this case unfolds. My heart goes out to the family of this poor man.

KarmaKnows
KarmaKnows

You commit a hit and run, you go to jail. This didn't happen for...21 days! It's not just money, lawyers, rich, power, media...it's also law enforcement, and Mike Freeman not doing his job! Prosecute, enforce the law, no matter who it is!

Bill Kahn
Bill Kahn

I guess some might find it irrelevant and trivializing, but I've eaten many meals at both Joe Sensor's and True Thai (from back when it was Pataya) and the atmosphere of each place tells a story as well. The former is close to where I once worked and the frequent choice of some for a celebration. The latter is close to my home and a treasured option for fantastic food experiences for just about everybody I know and care about. 

There is certainly a culture reflected in each eatery, but the one I embrace and cherish most lies in the Seward neighborhood where Amy Sensor killed Anousone Phanthavong, who likely prepared a red curry with kabocha squash and other favorites for me, my friends and family; I don't know who fried my last Moog Burger, but I know that nothing as wonderful could come from that sports bar in Roseville, as much as I still crave artery clogging burgers and fries.

I did not know Ped except from his food, but to equate the suffering of the Sensor family with those who mourn the death of this man is to turn the world upside down. 

If Ms Sensor were to detail her part in all of this and come to some sort of plea arrangement with the county attorney and to a settlement with Ped's family, we could all have done with the media bungling and take account of what has been lost by us all. She, her family, and the rest of us can then move on without having to watch or be a part of this circus.

Duke Powell
Duke Powell

While I have not read, or heard, anything about Esme Murphy's reporting on this incident, MPR's Bob Collins has given his readers an objective view of the situation.

No Bias
No Bias

Personally, I am praying for the Senser's. Despite how drastic this was, it is true that everyone makes mistakes. This is so out of character for Amy, and if you were in her situation, you may have done the same thing. She was paralyzed by fear and admitted to her attourney that she commited the crime. I'm tired of the hate on both Amy and the Star Tribune. The media is doing the best they can to bring you the non-biased facts. The comments about the case being racist and elitest are truely ridiculous, everyone needs to take a step back and evaluate yourself before you judge Amy or The Star Trib.

mYtY
mYtY

Call it what it is:  a good example of racism in our media and legal institutions. 

EmptyH
EmptyH

I can't find the details in old news articles online now, but I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that Koua Fong Lee was not allowed to walk free uncharged for weeks after his accident back in 2006

Mn Voter
Mn Voter

Although I have only eaten the wonderful Thai food, I'm distressed. Anna Prasomphol, owner of the True Thai restaurant where "Ped" Phanthavong was the head chef, wrote an Op-Ed of her own and submitted it to the Star Tribune. The Strib never responded. This is typical of the Strib. If it had been the rich bitch being run over and left to die, the Strib would be all over poor "Ped". I bet the law enforcement community would have him in jail waiting for trial and already charged with "fleeing the scene of a fatal accident". boycott the strib, WCCO, MPR and all the local elite media. WCCO needs to fire Joe Senser and Esme Murphy. Ped was a hard working citizen and deserves justice - NOW.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

This is why I don't read the Star and Tribune anymore.   They print any nonsensical drivel Katherine Kersten spews out but they won't publish this article?   I now see why a boycott of Joe Sensers is a great idea.   How many people are sick and tired of the two Americas?    Rich people don't get treated the same by the American justice system.   Fuck the Sensers and fuck their media enablers.    I hope the people will take it out on these fucking scumbags.  

srsly
srsly

well i hope that bitch rots in jail

JT
JT

Personally, I am praying the Senser's get what they so deserve after such a cowardly and horrific act.  Accident or not, you don't just trample a human being and flee the scene.  To hear that the man was left for dead several blocks from the U of M medical center is a tragedy.  She should at the very least, be cuffed and sitting in a jail cell waiting for trial.  If she walks free, you know the justice system here is a joke and a waste of time.  For Ped's family, I hope the Senser woman rots in jail, even thought I know that gives them no peace of mind.  RIP Ped, you will get your justice one way or another.

Bilky
Bilky

I understand your need to defend your friends or family, as you clearly know the Sensers. However, it is clouding your judgement. You ARE Biased. Once you hit someone, it's on YOU to do the RIGHT THING - RIGHT AWAY. Driving away was cowardly. Stop defending the cowardly actions of your friend.

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