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Deconstructing the Fox Duggar Interview

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Amy Fried, Ph.D.     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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The highly sympathetic Duggar family interview with Megyn Kelly left us with more questions than answers. The parents reached new heights of chutzpah, however, in painting themselves as victims in this disgusting saga. This new account only serves to muddy the waters further with conflicting information, and many deflections. For instance:


1) While Kelly spent a lot of time over the Duggars' decisions as to where to go for "help" with Josh's behavior, the issue of the statute of limitations expiringwas never brought up. While Kelly liked to quote "critics" of the Duggars' actions, this key criticism - the avoidance of legal consequences - was never dealt with directly.


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2) The Duggars claim in this new interview that after his "treatment" with a family friend, Josh received "professional" counseling. This is in direct conflictwith media reports. Kelly did not ask for any further details about this.


3) The Duggars claim that the law enforcement officer they approached after several incidents of confession from their son, just happened to be at the station, and was not chosen by them as someone they knew ahead of time. This is also contrary to media reports.

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4) Mr. Duggar showed a selective familiarity with the law, in helpfully pointing out that a) technically, Josh was not a pedophile, due to his age; and b) "You know what? Parents aren't mandatory reporters." Unfortunately, that knowledge of the

From twitter.com/scottbix/status/606454900944453632/photo/1: Duggars on Fox
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law didn't extend to reporting the transgressions in a timely manner to law enforcement. The legal hair-splitting was chilling.


Perhaps most interesting in the interview, were the times Mr. Duggar either changed in mid-sentence, or was very vague, in telling the story. For instance:


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1) When Kelly asked about how they talked to the girls about the molestation, he said that, at first, there were only two girls involved, and "We asked them at first, if anything happened, and then - it was after some other things happened that we shared it with them what happened ... but we took a lot of steps..." (What other things? Kelly never asked).


Notice how Duggar interrupted the account of the sequence of events to that he could switch to defending himself and his wife. The result is an account that doesn't really make much sense. (Similarly, he moves several times from minimizing the acts as happening over the girls' clothes, even as he admits that sometimes it was under their clothes.)


2) Mr. Duggar claimed that the delay in going to authorities was because conventional treatment did not have a good success rate; even though he admits during the interview that Josh broke the law. My question at that point would be: "As a society, how do we decide who gets to use religious belief to skirt the law and who has to actually pay the consequences for their actions?"


The Duggars then go on to paint themselves and their family as victims, due to the release of the police report. Then, as if we weren't already cringing enough, Kelly teases a follow-up interview with two of Josh Duggar's sisters, who self-identify as his victims. However, while using that word, they seem to put the blame squarely on the release of information, rather than on their brother.


In the end, there are two overarching conclusions that remain from this sad saga:


1) The Duggars describe Josh as coming to them at age 14, crying about his behavior. If that's true, then he was asking for their help. If he did not get professional counseling as they claim, they not only let their daughters down; they let Josh down as well.


2) Nothing they say now changes the fact that the TLC program was a vehicle for the family (whose father, after all, ran for public office, and whose son Josh was was employed by the Family Research Council) to preach to the country their seemingly strict Christian lifestyle and values. This, of course, included moralizing against the LGBT community. This interview makes it clear that the hypocrisy of their position is lost on them.



(Article changed on June 4, 2015 at 16:32)

 

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Amy Fried applies her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior to writing and activism on church-state separation, feminism, reproductive rights, corruption, media and veganism.

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