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Philadelphia radio host who interviewed Biden leaves station

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Philadelphia radio host who interviewed Biden leaves station



New York
CNN
 — 

Radio host Andrea Lawful-Sanders has resigned from WURD Radio after admitting her post-debate interview with President Joe Biden included questions that were pre-selected by Biden’s campaign team, the station told CNN 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,” Sara Lomax, president and CEO of the Philadelphia-based station, announced in a statement posted Sunday on its website. “As a result, Ms. Lawful-Sanders and WURD Radio have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately.”

WURD is Pennsylvania’s only Black-owned talk radio station. Lomax said the station prides itself on being an independent, trustworthy voice for its primary audience of Black Philadelphians and that using questions that were provided ahead of time “jeopardizes that trust and is not a practice that WURD Radio engages in or endorses as a matter of practice or official policy.”

“WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other Administration,” she added.

Lawful-Sanders, who hosted “The Source,” spoke with Biden last week and asked him four questions about what’s at stake in this election, his accomplishments, his debate performance and what he would say to hesitant voters. In an interview Saturday with CNN’s Victor Blackwell, she said those questions were part of eight that were recommended to her by Biden aides ahead of the interview.

“The questions were sent to me for approval. I approved them,” she said.

The move has further inflamed the maelstrom that has been swirling over Biden’s acuity since his lackluster performance in the first presidential debate, which was hosted by CNN. Biden’s debate performance has left many top Democrats wringing their hands in frustration and concern amid talk that he should not accept the party’s nomination.

“If the White House is trying now to prove the vim, vigor … of the president, I don’t know how they do that by sending questions first before the interview so that the president knows what’s coming,” said Blackwell.

Blackwell pointed out that both Lawful-Sanders and Earl Ingram, host of “The Earl Ingram Show” in Milwaukee who also interviewed the president this week, asked Biden “essentially the same questions.”

A Biden campaign spokesperson on Saturday did not deny the campaign provided questions, but said, “We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions.”

“It’s not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. These questions were relevant to the news of the day — the president was asked about this debate performance as well as what he’d delivered for black Americans,” spokesperson Lauren Hitt said in a statement.

The Biden campaign said later Saturday it will no longer suggest questions to interviewers.

“While interview hosts have always been free to ask whatever questions they please, moving forward we will refrain from offering suggested questions,” a source familiar with the Biden booking operation told CNN.



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