From top: Marine Le Pen; Jerome Riviera, Paddy Cosgrave
Email from Luan McKenna, of the Web Summit, to Mr Riviera, spokesperson for Marine Le Pen’s party (click to enlarge)
Yesterday, The international spokesman for Marine Le Pen’s French far-right party National Rally, Jerome Riviera, tweeted an email he received from Luan McKenna, of the Web Summit, on July 18, 2018.
It was a follow-up to an email Mr McKenna had sent two days previously in which he outlined the Web Summit’s plans for Ms Le Pen to attend the event in Lisbon, Portugal, later this year.
On July 18, Mr McKenna essentially resent his initial email which included the line:
“You mentioned that Marine would be interested in talking about ‘fake news’ and the responsibility tech companies have in stopping the spread of it. This is a very important topic for me and I would love to have Marine speak about this.
“In terms of format, I mentioned on the phone that I would like to have Marine do two items. One would be a keynote address and the other would be a panel discussion. I would obviously check with you to make sure Marine was happy with any other panelists we suggest.”
After it was reported earlier this week that Ms Le Pen was lined up to speak at the Web Summit, and the decision was heavily criticised, it’s co-founder Paddy Cosgrave initially posted a blog post defending his decision.
“Web Summit is a place where people should be prepared to have their opinions deeply challenged, and in turn to deeply challenge the opinions of others.”
“…these speakers are not invited to deliver an uncontested address, but are instead invited to have their views thoroughly challenged and scrutinised by a professional journalist.
Moreover they sit on a panel, surrounded by authoritative and alternative voices who will openly contest the extreme viewpoints of these speakers. This has always been the case, and will be the case with Marine Le Pen.”
On Wednesday, Mr Cosgrave rescinded the initiated to Ms Le Pen.
Previously: Le Plonker