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Radio Host Resigns After Asking Biden Questions His Campaign Had Provided


The Philadelphia radio station WURD has parted ways with a host who interviewed President Biden on Wednesday using questions provided to her by the Biden campaign, after the station said the interview violated its journalistic independence.

WURD said in a statement on Sunday that “agreeing to a predetermined set of questions jeopardizes” its listeners’ trust. The host, Andrea Lawful-Sanders, resigned in a mutual agreement, according to WURD.

Ms. Lawful-Sanders asked Mr. Biden questions that could be considered softballs in his first interview with a journalist since his uneasy debate performance the previous week. Many observers tuned in to the station, which has a large Black following, to hear how he would respond to questions about the debate and found that the interview did not fully address the concerns.

The station said the interview and questions were independently arranged by the host for her program, “The Source.” Ms. Lawful-Sanders did not respond to a request for comment.

She told CNN on Saturday that she had received prepared questions from the White House before the interview.

“The questions were sent to me for approval,” she said. “I approved them.” The Biden campaign later clarified that it had sent the questions, not the White House.

It is not uncommon for political communications staff members to provide a list of suggested topics for media appearances, but Ms. Lawful-Sanders’s use of specific questions screened beforehand has drawn criticism.

Earl Ingram, the host of “The Earl Ingram Show,” which broadcasts on WAUK in Waukesha, Wis., also interviewed the president last week and told The Associated Press that he had received a list of prepared questions. The queries and responses in the two interviews are remarkably similar.

The Biden campaign said it would not suggest questions for future interviews.



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