Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were interviewed on Fox by anchor Megyn Kelly to address the shocking revelations about their son Josh Duggar that came to light two weeks ago. The interview with the Duggars marked the first time the parents publicly admitted that Josh fondled five underage girls — his four younger sisters and a babysitter — twelve years ago when he was a teenager. The girls were said to be asleep at the time.
While some viewers hoped the interview on Fox would be hard-hitting, knocking the Duggars down a few pegs, Megyn Kelly made it clear that wasn’t her intention. “It will not be a ‘gotcha’ or an attempt to bring down the Duggars… That is not my role,” Kelly told The Wrap.
When Kelly interviewed the Duggars, she did ask tough questions that needed answers; however, the interview ended up focusing on the Duggars painting themselves to be the victims. The couple defended Josh’s actions and their own actions in covering up the evidence, complained they aren’t being treated fairly by the press, and focused on their belief that the police report was supposedly leaked illegally. In other words, they made half-hearted attempts to answer their critics.
So, was the Fox News interview with TLC’s 19 and Counting stars a disaster? Many believe the answer is a resolute yes. Some of the Duggars’ staunchest supporters find themselves cringing in the interview’s aftermath. Some of what Jim Bob and Michelle said were downright unbelievable but cement the fact that their beliefs about the molestation scandal are skewed. For instance, they haven’t spoken out about the victims, four of whom are their own daughters.
When interviewed, Michelle Duggar admitted she and Jim Bob felt like “failures” as parents, but they’re more concerned about defending Josh. When it comes down to it, this isn’t a shock as they’re desperate to make this scandal go away, especially when you consider they did their best to cover up the evidence by failing to report the molestation to the proper authorities for over a year.
Doing most of the talking during the Fox interview, Jim Bob downplayed his son’s behavior because “this was not rape,” as though that makes what happened better. It doesn’t.
“This was not rape or anything like that. It was touching someone over the clothes. It was, like, a few seconds, and then he came to us and crying told us what happened… as parents you feel like a failure when one of your kids does something wrong. If I had done more training this wouldn’t have happened. The truth is, kids will make their own choices, even though you have taught them right or wrong.”
Jim Bob Duggar said when Josh came to them and confessed what he had done, his daughters couldn’t remember what had happened.
“We asked them at first if anything happened. We took a lot of steps, first to try to deal with it in-house as parents, and what was the next step. Looking back we did the best we could.”
Michelle added, “They probably didn’t even understand it was improper touch.”
As unbelievable as Michelle’s statement was during the Fox interview, it could very well be true. Why? The Quiverfull movement the Duggars live by teaches girls to be ashamed of their bodies and forbid the use of birth control. Girls are told they must submit to their fathers and brothers and husbands. Wives are to submit to their husband’s sexual desires whether they want to or not. Females receive no sex education.
It wouldn’t be a leap to say the Duggar girls were vulnerable to sexual abuse. Maybe they had a feeling something wasn’t quite right, but who could they have told? They’re expected to be submissive and likely felt too ashamed to say anything.
Lastly, you also have to wonder why Fox was the network the Duggars chose to grant an interview. Could it be that Fox, known for their conservative reporting, was where the Duggars felt most comfortable being interviewed? The answer is likely yes.
[Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images]