'Mnpl StPaul' Columnist Quits Over Garrison Keillor Cover Story

  • by December 26, 2019
Mpls. St. Paul Magazine angered a columnist with its plans to run a January cover story about disgraced writer and public radio personality Garrison Keillor.
The columnist, Nora McInerny, quit the magazine in protest. That's unfortunate, if it means losing a way to reach the publication's 270,000 monthly readers. McInerny, who also is an author, podcast host and founder of a nonprofit group, has written for the magazine since September 2018, the Star Tribune reported.
"This coverage is a privilege afforded to a certain kind of man," McInerny said in a Twitter thread about her decision to quit Mpls. St. Paul in protest. She also described Keillor as a racist, misogynist and bully.
In 2017, Minnesota Public Radio terminated its contracts with Keillor after learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him, and conducted an internal investigation into the matter. The scandal rocked Keillor's fans who identified him as the folksy host of the radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" for more than 40 years.

The magazine anticipated backlash to the Keillor profile, which appears in a group of stories with the heading "Hindsight 20/20." In the piece, writer Steve Marsh says the publication could have focused on a woman "whose creative career has been stymied by sexual harassment," but also wanted to acknowledge readers who weren't ready to lump Keillor in with other men accused of sexual misconduct.
EIC Jayne Haugen Olson offered McInerny a chance to respond in a subsequent column, but she decided to quit instead.
“I was given 24 hours to provide my point of view," McInerney said on Twitter. "That tells me a lot about the organization. There are other places I can write.”
That's true, but Mpls. St. Paul's editors aren't obligated to seek her opinion on everything it publishes. If offered another opportunity to comment on the Keillor profile, McInerney should accept it. Why silence herself in protest when she should be howling?



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