Radio station ‘parts ways’ with host after admitting White House gave her questions before Biden interview

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WURD, a Philadelphia-based Black-owned radio station, has parted ways with its host after she revealed that the White House provided her with a list of pre-determined questions prior to her interview with President Biden last week.

Andrea Lawful-Sanders admitted during a CNN interview Saturday that that Biden’s team sent her eight questions to ask ahead of his interview on “The Source” last Wednesday. Lawful-Sanders said she “approved” four of the questions and used them during her sit-down with the president, which marked his first interview following his disastrous debate performance last month. 

The questions centered around Biden’s accomplishments, debate performance, progress in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, what’s at stake in the election, and what he would say to voters who are considering not voting in the presidential election.


On Sunday, WURD’s president and CEO, Sara M. Lomax, announced that Lawful-Sanders and WURD have “mutually agreed to part ways,” emphasizing that “WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other admin.”

“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,” Lomax said in a statement on 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. As a result, Ms. Lawful-Sanders and WURD Radio have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately,” she added.

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 12: Andrea Lawful Sanders speaks during the Cannes Can: Diversity Collective Inkwell Beach - 2021 Martha's Vineyard Film Festival on August 12, 2021 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. 

Lomax said WURD has remained an independent voice in radio and that agreeing to a pre-approved list of questions “jeopardizes” the trust its audience has placed in them for 20 years to “hold elected officials accountable.”

“This is something we take very seriously,” her statement reads.

“This practice of de-legitimizing Black voices continues today. WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other Administration. Internally, we will commit to reviewing our policies, procedures, and practices to reinforce WURD’s independence and trust with our listeners. But mainstream media should do its own introspection to explore how they have lost the trust of so many Americans, Black Americans chief among them.”


Joe Biden

Lawful-Sanders’ show page has been removed from WURD’s website as of Sunday afternoon.

Her departure comes shortly after a second local radio host who interviewed Biden in the days following the presidential debate admitted that he received the questions beforehand. In statements given to ABC News, Wisconsin radio station host Earl Ingram confirmed that he was given five questions to ask Biden during their recent chat and wasn’t able to get through all of them before the interview ended.

CNN’s Blackwell told Lawful-Sanders that he listened to both interviews and said the questions were “essentially the same” in both. Both radio show appearances were branded as an opportunity for Biden to prove to voters that he is capable of answering pointed questions and defending his record after his debate performance raised serious concerns about his mental competency and has resulted in mounting calls for him to drop out of the race. 

Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt defended the practice of sending questions prior to interviews in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“It’s not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. These questions were relevant to news of the day – the president was asked about this debate performance as well as what he’d delivered for black Americans,” she said. “We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions, and hosts are always free to ask the questions they think will best inform their listeners. In addition to these interviews, the President also participated in a press gaggle yesterday as well as an interview with ABC. Americans have had several opportunities to see him unscripted since the debate.”

Lawful-Sanders did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News’ Hannah Panreck contributed to this report.

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