Radio show host who revealed scripted radio questions for Biden is out of her job

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Quick Hit:

A Pennsylvania talk radio host has been fired after revealing she used scripted questions provided by Joe Biden's campaign during a post-debate interview.

Key Details:

  • Andrea Lawful-Sanders of WURD Radio used questions from Biden's campaign in an interview, violating station standards.
  • WURD Radio President Sara M. Lomax stated the interview was arranged without the station's knowledge.
  • Lawful-Sanders and the station "mutually agreed" to part ways immediately.

Diving Deeper:

A host at Pennsylvania's WURD Radio has been dismissed following revelations that she used questions scripted by Joe Biden's campaign during a post-debate interview. Andrea Lawful-Sanders, who hosted “The Source,” conducted the interview with President Biden using pre-determined questions, a move that contravened the station's standards of journalistic independence.

Sara M. Lomax, President and CEO of WURD Radio, announced the termination on Sunday. She clarified that the interview was arranged independently of the station's management. Lomax emphasized that WURD Radio is committed to maintaining its reputation as an independent voice that holds elected officials accountable. “Agreeing to a pre-determined set of questions jeopardizes that trust and is not a practice that WURD Radio engages in or endorses as a matter of practice or official policy,” she stated.

Lawful-Sanders did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, she addressed the situation in a Facebook video, confirming her resignation from WURD. She mentioned that life was changing and hinted at future updates.

The Biden campaign coordinated the interview, but a person familiar with the Biden booking operation insisted that interview hosts have always been free to ask their own questions. They added that the campaign would refrain from offering suggested questions moving forward. Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt defended the practice of providing potential questions, noting it is not uncommon and the questions were relevant to current issues affecting Black voters.

The incident occurred against the backdrop of concerns over Biden’s performance in a recent debate against Donald Trump. To address these concerns, Biden participated in pre-recorded interviews with radio stations in key swing states, including WURD. During these interviews, Biden discussed his debate performance and broader issues, focusing on those affecting Black voters.

Despite the controversy, Hitt highlighted that Biden has participated in multiple unscripted interviews since the debate. Biden’s team pointed out that Trump has also refused to answer questions from local news outlets on several occasions.

In a separate interview with CNN’s Victor Blackwell, Lawful-Sanders acknowledged that Biden's team sent her several questions, from which she chose four to ask during the interview. Following the incident, WURD Radio pledged to review its policies to prevent future breaches of journalistic standards.

WURD Radio, based in Philadelphia, is noted as Pennsylvania’s only African-American owned and operated talk radio station. The station has reaffirmed its commitment to independent journalism and ensuring that it serves as a reliable source of information for its audience.

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