Philadelphia Radio Host Fired After Revealing Pre-Scripted Biden Questions

A Philadelphia radio station has terminated a host who disclosed that the Biden administration provided pre-scripted questions for an interview with President Joe Biden. The incident has ignited debates over media independence and the transparency of Biden’s public engagements.

Andrea Lawful-Sanders, a host at WURD, a Black-owned radio station in Philadelphia, revealed that the White House had supplied her with predetermined questions for an interview with Biden. This revelation comes at a time when Biden’s reelection campaign is under scrutiny following a poor performance in a CNN presidential debate.

WURD Radio President and CEO Sara M. Lomax announced the station’s decision to part ways with Lawful-Sanders. In a statement, Lomax said, “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. 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.”

Further controversy arose when Earl Ingram, another Black host from CivicMedia, revealed he was also given scripted questions for an interview with Biden aimed at a Wisconsin audience. Ingram expressed his disappointment, stating, “I didn’t get a chance to ask him all the things I wanted to ask,” in an interview with ABC News.

The Biden campaign has denied these claims, asserting that the interviews were managed by the campaign rather than the White House. A spokesperson for the campaign said, “White House did not manage the process or the questions. This was a campaign interview and, as such, it was handled by the campaign and our Black Media Director. To overcommunicate, the White House Black media director was not involved because it was a campaign interview and not a White House one.”

Accusations against the Black hosts have sparked criticism, with some social media users calling the campaign’s response racially insensitive. The incident underscores Biden’s reliance on support from Black voters, which he has been leveraging to counter internal party pressures urging him to exit the race.

A Black Democratic strategist told Axios, “The only reason President Biden is at the top of this ticket is his genuine, long-standing relationship with Black voters, built over decades. For his team to throw that relationship into jeopardy by using Black journalists as human shields for their communications crisis should be a fireable offense.”

This situation raises significant questions about the integrity of political interviews and the ethics of providing pre-scripted questions to media hosts. As Biden’s campaign continues, the scrutiny over these practices and their implications for media independence is likely to intensify.