It was a master class in poor interviewing. Not only did her lies go unchallenged, Marr also gave Le Pen free reign to push her views in the gently, gently, tones that have won her party a large following. On multiculturalism, she said that in the English-speaking countries, fundamentalist Islam is advancing. Demonstrably untrue. On the European Union, her Europe of free nations stands opposed to the "totalitarian" EU - more rubbish. Asked about Russia, Le Pen expressed her admiration for Vladimir Putin's model of "reasoned protectionism". You know, the sort of "reason" that allows for the murder of journalists and persecution of LGBT Russians. Not once did Marr step in to challenge these bullshit views as Le Pen looked relaxed and, at times, appeared to be enjoying herself.
Asked about Muslims in France and whether they have anything to fear from a FN presidency, which looks more likely thanks to Trump's victory, she replied "we're not going to welcome any more people. We're full up." A decent journalist might have snapped back that this wasn't the question that was asked. Going on, she said the FN were not bothered about people's religions, as long as they abided by secular French codes and values. This would be the same Le Pen who compared public prayers by Muslims to the Nazi occupation of France, and said that the increasing "Islamisation" of France was putting "civilisation" at risk. Utter drivel.
And then Marr made the misstep of allowing her to emphasise the generational break between her FN, and the more openly authoritarian and classically fascist FN of her father. Along with claiming that her party isn't racist (a claim easy enough to rebut had Marr bothered doing the most cursory homework), she was allowed to burnish her own "anti-fascism" by calling the Holocaust - the historic culmination of Europe's fascist experience - the central feature of the Second World War. Famously, Jean-Marie Le Pen referred to it as a detail.
What then is the point in all this, apart from showing the dismal standard of Marr's journalism? I'm not quite sure the BBC know either, though it does smack of the liberal naivete you can often find in its circles. "That Marine Le Pen is interesting and controversial, let's have her on." The worrying thing, however, is the actual content of the interview. Prattling on to her heart's content, there was very little, if anything, that hasn't already spilled forth from the mouths of UKIP and right wing Tory politicians. Nothing Le Pen said hasn't already found itself expressed - often, more stridently - in editorials and hatchet jobs. Our politics have become so poisoned that her small-minded anti-Islam, anti-foreigner, anti-EU scapegoating idiocies don't seem all that horrifying any more. And thanks to Andrew Marr, he's just helped normalise the reception Le Pen and her hate-fuelled mob can expect in Britain.