BREAKING: Milwaukee radio station admits editing Joe Biden interview at request of campaign

"Yes, I was given some questions for Biden."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
A Milwaukee radio station has admitted to altering a recorded interview with President Joe Biden after the campaign requested that they do so. Progressive talk-radio network Civic media said that in making the two requested edits, they fell short of their own "journalistic interview standards."

The interview, conducted by Earl Ingram with Biden after the June 27 presidential debate, was edited in two places. Both of the requested edits were concerning Biden's answers on black Americans, the first as to the number of black people working in his administration, and the second about the Central Park Five, a group of teens who were arrested for violent crime in the 1980s, where Biden referenced the death penalty as "hanging," the Milwaukee Journals Sentinel reports.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"The two edits, according to the station, were: At time 5:20, the removal of '...and in addition to that, I have more Blacks in my administration than any other president, all other presidents combined, and in major positions, cabinet positions.' [and] At time 14:15, in reference to Donald Trump’s call for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, the removal of 'I don’t know if they even call for their hanging or not, but he–but they said [...] convicted of murder.'"

The station said they would post the unedited version on their site, but also said that they did not meet listener expectations. Media friendly to Joe Biden has come under fire recently for seemingly covering up Biden's gaffes and missteps. 

"On Monday, July 8th, it was reported to Civic Media management that immediately after the phone interview was recorded, the Biden campaign called and asked for two edits to the recording before it aired. Civic Media management immediately undertook an investigation and determined that the production team at the time viewed the edits as non-substantive and broadcast and published the interview with two short segments removed," Civic Media said in a statement.

They went on to say, "With a high-profile interview comes a listener expectation that journalistic interview standards will be applied, even for non-news programming. We did not meet those expectations. Civic Media disagrees with the team’s judgments in the moment, both with respect to the handling of the interview questions and the decision to edit the interview audio."

They also vowed to stand by long-time Biden supporter Ingram and called the whole thing a "learning experience." Civic Media claimed that the edits were made "in good faith" and that their policies as regards interview standards have been clarified.

Ingram was one of two radio personalities who recently admitted to allowing the Biden campaign to script their interviews with the president. "Yes, I was given some questions for Biden," Ingram said to ABC news. Apparently, the campaign has been sending out questions to interviewers that they are free to ask the president during interviews. Interviewers, such as Ingram and Philadelphia's Andrea Lawful-Sanders, then select their questions from the approved list.

Lawful-Sanders lost her position hosting The Source on Philadelphia's WURD after it was revealed that she had used pre-screened questions in her interview with Biden. WURD put out a statement saying that the station and Lawful-Sanders had "mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately."

“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 said.
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