Sarah Palin doubled down on her defense of the Duggars in the wake of the sexual abuse cover-up scandal by again claiming the evangelical reality TV stars were the victims of the liberal media’s double standard.
The Duggars appear likely to lose their TLC reality show, “19 Kids and Counting,” which has been pulled from the airwaves as the scandal plays out – and Palin suggested an outspoken liberal should lose her HBO program over admissions that she had examined her baby sister’s genitals as a 7-year-old.
“Lena Dunham is the most exploitive character I’ve ever heard of who brags about, offers up, is celebrated for her sexual exploitation of a little girl -- breaks my heart,” Palin told Extra in an interview that aired Wednesday.
“My daughter Bristol had been watching the interview about the Duggar situation, and it occurred to her – wait a minute, why is this entire family being crucified when you have someone on the other end of the political spectrum, a very, very liberal actress who is seen as being cute and perky and ha-ha, look at her -- she sexually abused a little girl and yet she is rewarded with fame and fortune,” Palin complained.
Palin expressed sympathy for the Duggar girls who were repeatedly molested as they slept by their then-teenage brother.
“I’ve been one to desire to speak out on behalf of victims, for one, and there are victims in this issue with the Duggars and with others who have been sexually exploited and assaulted and had to live with the advances, sexually speaking, from someone they trusted but even more so in this case,” Palin said.
But she was more upset that the media had revealed the sex abuse, which was detailed in police reports released under the Arkansas public records law, than the actual abuse or the apparent attempts by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to shield their son from consequences.
“Unfortunately, this had all been rebirthed, and the girls trusted their counselors and they trusted law enforcement that what they were telling law enforcement and counselors that it would all be confidential, it would be private, and here it’s busted out for all the world to see and them to be humiliated by,” Palin said.
However, she praised the two oldest victims, who TLC may spin off into their own reality show, for telling Fox News they were no longer troubled by their brother’s sex abuse.
"They did such a good job in explaining they've forgiven their 14-year-old brother," Palin said.
Josh Duggar, now 27, resigned from his position with the anti-LGBT Family Research Council and has apparently moved back to Arkansas – although it’s not clear he would be allowed to return to the family home.
He was never prosecuted after confessing to sexually abusing four sisters and a babysitter because the statute of limitations had run out by the time police learned of the allegations, but Palin suggested he had suffered enough.
“Well, I think Josh right now is certainly being punished in the court of public opinion,” she said.
She suggested that he might leverage his newfound infamy to help others, although he’s given no such indication at this point.
“Not a whole lot of people had heard of him before this, but he, though, perhaps now being able to use these very, very less than ideal circumstances, turning them into maybe a format that he could use to educate others and help others get through some really tough situations,” Palin said. “Perhaps that is part of the redemption that he would capitalize on and ultimately help society.”
Watch portions of the interview posted online by Extra: