Radio host resigns after asking Biden questions his campaign gave him

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, saying the interview violated journalistic independence.

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

Ms. Lawful-Sanders asked Mr. Biden questions that could have been considered softballs in his first interview with a journalist since his awkward debate performance the week before. 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.

Ms. Lawful-Sanders said in a short video message posted to Instagram on Sunday that she was resigning on Saturday. “It was accepted,” she said of her resignation. “I wanted to sincerely thank the audience that was listening.”

On Saturday, she told CNN 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 unusual for political communications staff to provide a list of suggested topics for media appearances, but the use of specific questions pre-screened by Ms. Lawful-Sanders has drawn criticism.

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

Biden’s campaign said no questions would be suggested for future interviews.

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