The BBC’s Kevin Connolly has been doing a series of reports from Missouri this week for Radio Five Live Drive. Yesterday he spoke to Reed Chambers, a Tea Party activist in the city of Independence. In response to a series of quick-fire questions Chambers said that he wanted lower taxes, federal government to keep out of healthcare, less gun control, that he backed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (adding “any war should be prosecuted to the fullest effect of our military until the opponent is crushed”), and was personally against abortion. He said Obama was a horrific president (which Connolly misheard as “terrific”, much to his own amusement) with a leftist agenda. Peter Allen in London couldn’t believe what he was hearing, so alien to his mindset were these opinions: [Read More…]

“Listen Kevin, are you searching around the country and finding these people or just… are they…(laughing)… are you quite legitimately just bumping into them? (More laughter).”

When Connolly said that the views weren’t out of the ordinary, Allen responded:

“The Tea Party. I dunno – they’re a bit strong for our tastes.”

“our tastes”. The conventional wisdom of the BBC echo-chamber.

From the BBC’s new editorial guidelines, section 4 – Impartiality (News, Current Affairs and Factual Output):

4.4.12 News in whatever form must be treated with due impartiality, giving due weight to events, opinion and main strands of argument.  The approach and tone of news stories must always reflect our editorial values, including our commitment to impartiality.

4.4.19 We must challenge our own assumptions and experiences and also those which may be commonly held by parts of our audience.  BBC output should avoid reinforcing generalisations which lack relevant evidence, especially when applying them to specific circumstances.

The BBC is delivering 16,500 copies of its new guidelines to staff and freelancers. I can only assume that they’re printed on toilet paper, the easier for journalists like Peter Allen to wipe their backsides with them.

(Listen Again available for one week. Skip to approx 2 hr 27. H/t Martin & mphousehold in the comments.)