France 2 defends inviting Patrick Buisson to debate Marine Le Pen

French journalist Patrick Buisson’s appearance on the set of “L’Emission politique” with Marine Le Pen on Thursday caused quite a stir. France 2 has been forced to defend his appearance.

Patrick Buisson, conservative French historian, journalist and political advisor, was invited by France 2 to debate with National Front (FN) leader, Marine Le Pen on Thusday evening. For the television channel, the appearance was a success, breaking audience viewing figures. Though they have attracted criticism for pushing an extreme right debate to national television.

The reporter Claude Askolovitch even made a note entitled “Patrick Buisson against Marine Le Pen: L’Emission politique submits to the extreme right.”
The editor of the show, Alix Bouilhaguet, justified this choice to France Info. “To deal with Marine Le Pen, we were looking for someone who might be able to point out her faults, inconsistencies, weaknesses,” she explained. “We thought a lot and then we thought that Patrick Buisson could take on this role. Because he himself is from the extreme right, he led the Minute newspaper, that he is known to have helped Nicolas Sarkozy to siphon the votes of the FN in 2007. So we said that ‘He was the one who could put Marine Le Pen face to face with her contradictions. ”

To those who reproached her for the lack of pluralism in the debate, she replied: “There was Patrick Buisson, yes, but there was also the Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the supporter of Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon. And Patrice Bessac, the Communist mayor of Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis). It’s still very varied, is not it? For us, the plateau was perfectly balanced. ”

She finished with: “if we had to do it again, we would do it again. …. He is a character that can be deemed sulphurous, but as far as I know, Patrick Buisson has never been convicted of racism or incitement to racial hatred.”

Source: “On voulait mettre Marine Le Pen face à ses contradictions” : pourquoi “L’Emission politique” a invité Patrick Buisson