WURD Radio Ends Partnership with Host Over Scripted Biden Interview

WURD Radio has stated that it is not a “mouthpiece” for any administration and refuses to engage in access journalism

A US black-owned radio station has dismissed one of its hosts after it was revealed she had agreed to interview President Joe Biden on air using only questions provided by his team.

Pennsylvania-based WURD Radio, the only black-focused independent radio channel in the state, conducted a sit-down with Biden immediately following his disastrous performance in a TV debate with Donald Trump on June 27. It was subsequently discovered that the questions posed by The Source program host, Andrea Lawful-Sanders, to the president were exclusively supplied by the campaign prior to the interview “for approval”.

”WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other Administration,” the station’s CEO, Sara M. Lomax, stated 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 asserted.

So-called access journalism, reporting that prioritizes time spent with powerful, important or famous people, compromises audience trust, the statement noted. ”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.”.

During the interview Biden maintained that his poor debate night did not erase his good record as president, insisted he had no intention of withdrawing from 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 similarly confirmed that the Biden campaign gave him “exact questions to ask”.

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