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Radio station cuts ties with host over scripted Biden interview

WURD Radio has said it is no “mouthpiece” for any administration and refuses to engage in access journalism

A US black-focused radio station has fired its host, who agreed to ask President Joe Biden questions sent to her by his team during an interview.

Pennsylvania-based WURD Radio recorded a sit-down with Biden following his weak performance in a debate with Donald Trump on June 27. It was later revealed that the questions that Andrea Lawful-Sanders, host of The Source program, asked the president were provided by the campaign ahead of the interview “for approval”.

”WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other Administration,” the station’s CEO, Sara M. Lomax, said in a statement on Sunday, announcing that the media outlet and the journalist have “mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately.”

Lawful-Sanders negotiated the format of the event “without knowledge, consultation or collaboration with WURD management,” the CEO claimed.

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Lomax stressed that engaging in access journalism jeopardizes trust with the audience, and that WURD Radio insists on engaging public figures on its own terms. That was the case earlier this year, when WURD Radio was offered an opportunity to host a day-long broadcast featuring interviews with senior government officials at the White House, she stressed.

”The mainstream media should do its own introspection to explore how they have lost the trust of so many Americans, Black Americans chief among them,” the statement said.

When speaking with WURD Radio, Biden maintained that his bad debate night did not erase his good record as president. The incumbent US leader stressed that he has intention of dropping out of the race, despite pressure from Democratic donors.

The president was also interviewed by the Wisconsin-based CivicMedia, another black-focused outlet. Host Earl Ingram Jr. has likewise since confirmed that the Biden campaign gave him “exact questions to ask”.

READ MORE: Biden says he is proud to be a ‘black woman’

Black voters, a demographic that traditionally sides with Democrats during elections, are showing an increasing reluctance to support Biden at the ballot box in November, according to opinion polls. A Washington Post/Ipsos survey last month said that only 62% were certain they would vote for him, down from 72% in June 2020.

July 08, 2024 at 01:41PM

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