Radio Station Parts Ways With Host Who Interviewed Biden After Debate

A Philadelphia radio station has cut ties with a host who admitted to using predetermined questions provided by Joe Biden’s team in an interview after last month’s presidential debate.

“On July 3, the first post-debate interview with President Joe Biden was arranged and negotiated independently by WURD Radio host Andrea Lawful-Sanders without knowledge, consultation or collaboration with WURD management,” Sara M. Lomax, president and CEO of WURD Radio, said in a statement Sunday.

“The interview featured pre-determined questions provided by the White House, which violates our practice of remaining an independent media outlet accountable to our listeners,” she continued.

Lomax said the station and Lawful-Sanders had “mutually agreed to part ways, effectively immediately.”

As Pennsylvania’s only independent, Black-owned talk radio station, Lomax said, WURD Radio takes its independence and its audience’s trust seriously.

“WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other Administration,” she wrote, adding that “mainstream media should do its own introspection to explore how they have lost the trust of so many Americans, Black Americans chief among them.”

Lawful-Sanders also shared in a Facebook video on Sunday that she had resigned from WURD Radio effective immediately. She thanked the station for giving her a platform and said she was grateful to listeners.

“Life is moving. Things are shifting and changing,” she said. “And in a day or so, you’ll hear more.”

On Saturday, Lawful-Sanders was asked on CNN if she had received questions from the White House or Biden campaign ahead of the interview.

“The questions were sent to me for approval. I approved of them,” Lawful-Sanders said. “I got several questions, eight of them. And the four that were chosen were the ones that I approved.”

The interview was one of two Biden gave last week after his catastrophic June 27 debate performance, which set off a maelstrom within the Democratic Party questioning his ability to win against Donald Trump in November.

The White House and the Biden campaign have been on damage control, dismissing growing concerns over his fitness. His team has faced criticism for curating the president’s public appearances.

A spokesperson for the Biden campaign, Lauren Hitt, told The New York Times it’s not uncommon for the campaign to share preferred topics ahead of time but that interviews were not conditioned on acceptance of the questions.

The Trump campaign has operated similarly, The Washington Post reported. Last month, Virginia’s 13NewsNow noted that Trump had canceled an interview with its reporter after asking what questions the journalist planned to ask.

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