As you likely know, the Duggar family has agreed to talk to Megyn Kelly of Fox News for an hour-long special, to talk about the family’s decisions in dealing with Josh Duggar’s alleged molestation of five younger girls (at least one as young as five) when he was 14-15 years old.
What may not be clear is that the family is scrambling to restore their reputation as moral leaders — and it isn’t working. They may hope for a spinoff series, or even the restoration of 19 Kids And Counting to be the result of this interview, but behind the scenes, it appears that they’re seeking help to fix the damage done — not to the victims, but to their political and television careers.
The Duggar family is reported to have contacted at least one expert on PR and reputation repair, a Christian reputation manager and publicist, who says he’s turned them down. His name is Hunter Frederick, and judging from his statement, it appears he’s managing his own reputation — by making sure he isn’t associated with the Duggar family.
I don’t represent the #DuggarFamily just FYI everyone please calm down!
— Hunter Frederick (@hunterfrederick) May 27, 2015
So, what does he think of the Duggar family and their entire current situation?
He told Christian Post that he believes the Duggars are sincere in their apologies, but that it isn’t enough. He says prosecution also isn’t an option, thanks to statutes of limitations. He also says that the bad publicity isn’t a realistic punishment.
“A lot of the Duggars’ supporters are saying he’s paying his debt to society back by getting ripped apart in the press, which is ignorant.”
He says that what the Duggars need now is crisis management — but why won’t he be the one to provide it?
When potential clients come in, they go through an extensive process to determine whether he can help them. Frederick wouldn’t state explicitly why he couldn’t help the Duggar family, but he did tell Mr. Real Housewife what his expectations are from a new client.
“I can’t go into specifics, but some examples of what we need from our clients are: a willingness to admit fault, transparency, willingness to want to change. Especially with our Christian clients, repentance is critical. This isn’t our first time doing this, we know when something’s going to work out and when it’s not.”
Though he doesn’t specify which requirements (if it was even any of these) the Duggars couldn’t meet, what we know about their homeschooling curriculum and how it handles sexual assault could give us a hint — it places a lot of the blame for any sexual crime committed by a male on immodesty in females.
Perhaps the first thing that Frederick lists is the very thing the Duggar family couldn’t give: a willingness to admit that the fault in a sexual assault lies with the assailant and not the victim.
[Photo Credit: Jim Bob Duggar]