Radio Station 'Parts Ways' with Host After She Admits Truth About Biden Interview

Radio Station 'Parts Ways' with Host After She Admits Truth About Biden Interview

Even feeding questions to a Black radio host couldn’t prevent President Joe Biden from embarrassing himself, and it cost the host her job.

WURD-AM in Philadelphia announced on Sunday that it had “mutually agreed to part ways” with Andrea Lawful-Sanders, the host who interviewed Biden last Wednesday.

Lawful-Sanders’ interview with the president went viral after Biden made a gaffe, telling the interviewer that he was a female of color.

“By the way, I’m proud to be, as I said, the first vice president, the first black woman to serve with a black president,” he stated during the interview.

On Saturday, Lawful-Sanders confirmed during a CNN interview that Biden made this mistake while answering his campaign’s own questions.

“I got several questions. Eight of them, and the four that were chosen were the ones that I approved,” she told CNN.

Lawful-Sanders’ acceptance of the White House questions violated WURD policies, according to a statement from Sara Lomax, president and CEO of WURD Radio, released on Sunday.

“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 statement said.

“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.”

“WURD Radio remains an independent voice that our audience can trust will hold elected officials accountable,” the statement continued.

“As Pennsylvania’s only independent Black-owned talk radio station, WURD Radio has cultivated that trust with our audience over our 20-year history. This is something we take very seriously. Agreeing to a pre-determined set of questions jeopardizes that trust and is not a practice that WURD Radio engages in or endorses as a matter of practice or official policy.”

The station also noted that it had previously attended a White House event without agreeing to such terms.

“Earlier this year when WURD Radio was invited to the White House on February 26 to host a day-long live broadcast featuring interviews with cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking officials, we agreed with the explicit understanding that we were not constrained to their suggested topics or talking points,” the statement noted.

“We were clear that our hosts would ask difficult and provocative questions of their own determination based on the needs and interests of WURD’s listening audience — Black Philadelphians. This is a hallmark of WURD Radio’s local, state, and national coverage, day in and day out.”

The statement also emphasized that this “experience will strengthen WURD as we seek to grow from this incident. We will continue to be the unique platform that provides Black people a place where we can speak and be heard in our own voice – on our own terms.”

In the end, it's unclear what will be the most damaging for Biden: the president’s gaffe, the acknowledgment that the gaffe occurred while he was answering his own questions, or that it happened on a Black-owned radio station that felt so insulted by the situation that it dismissed the host.

The Lawful-Sanders interview was one of several Biden conducted to try to mitigate the fallout from his June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump.

Another was with Milwaukee radio host Earl Ingram, which also featured questions provided by the Biden campaign. Another was with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, which had its own issues.

Even before the debate that prompted these interviews, Biden was struggling with Black voters, and he knew it. The old strategy of saying things like “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black” wasn’t going to suffice, especially in swing states with large urban populations like Pennsylvania.

The interviews were intended to stabilize his standing with ostensibly friendly sources: both Black radio stations and Stephanopoulos, the former Clinton White House aide. They were also scheduled over a long Independence Day weekend so that if things didn’t go well, they could be overshadowed by the festivities. If they did go well, you could expect clips to be broadcast by every Biden campaign outlet and Biden-friendly news outlet, all the way to November.

Not only did Biden embarrass himself consistently, but he also did so with his own questions on Black radio stations. The Stephanopoulos interview was hardly any better, with the president struggling to answer even the softest questions.

But what may sting the most is that, in the process of patronizing Black media so blatantly that he got a host fired, Biden still managed to humiliate himself. If ever there was a self-own, this was it.

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