There was so much to dislike and be horrified by in Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News Wednesday night that it is hard to even know where to start.
With an able assist from Kelly -- a former lawyer who used her legal training like a defense attorney walking a client through court testimony, making a small admission of guilt here, pointing the finger at someone else in the courtroom over there -- the entire interview was an exercise in damage control and blame-shifting with a healthy dollop of the persecution blues.
Among the many low-lights:
- Jim Bob Duggar, with his wife looking adoringly on, admitting that their son Josh groped --or in carefully-couched crisis manager-speak "inappropriately touched" -- several younger Duggar daughters. But the girls were asleep and didn't know it happened. Also, he touched them over their clothes. Oh, yes, and it was only for a "few seconds," as if the 5-second rule was in effect which means it never "really" happened. Did I mention that a tearful Josh ratted himself out to his parents? Yes, according to Jim Bob, that happened.
- Jim Bob and Michelle once again equating transgendered men and women with pedophiles which, by the way, Josh Duggar is not even though one of the victims of the then-14-year-old would have been attending kindergarten if she wasn't being home schooled. How do we know Josh is not a pedophile? According to Jim Bob, "Actually a pedophile is an adult that preys on children. Joshua was actually 14 and just turned 15 when he did what he did. And I think that the legal definition is 16 and up for being an adult preying on a child. So he was a child preying on a child. " Move along folks, nothing to see here, just a 14-year-old playing
doctorgynecologist with his 5-year-old sister. Nothing weird about that.
- Why didn't the Duggars turn their creepy son in? Jim Bob -- and you should get used to Jim Bob speaking for the family, because he is the patriarch and also because Michelle doesn't seem particularly bright -- explains: "As parents, you're not mandatory reporters... The law allows for parents to do what they think is best for their child." Laws that require teachers to report child abuse to authorities apparently do not apply to home schooling parents. Score one for the home schooling movement. Subtract one from moral culpability.
- The acknowledgement, as Michelle explained in her little-girl-voice, that the Duggars don't even let their girls hold hands, kiss or be alone with their boyfriends when they are allowed to have one, lest their purity be sullied. A lesson, I might add, that the girls have had beaten into their heads long after their parents covered up the fact that their own brother had already gotten to second base with four of them.
- Bringing on Jessa and Jill Duggar -- two of the molestation victims whose interview will air on Friday -- to vouch for their brother while claiming that they are victims of... wait for it... a vengeful and anti-Christian media, including the tabloids who had a major hand in turning the whole family into America's Most Famous Breeder Couple and Their Spawn.
This is where Megyn Kelly hit her journalism stride, turning a previously softball interview into an inquisition of the "media" and police authorities who are the real bad guys here and not Josh who, according to his parents, is still working things out with God since he is conveniently beyond the reach of the law.
Because they are Christians, albeit ones who never felt to the need to admit that their son was a creepy sister-groper while they preached sexual morality to America's legions of sinners, apparently no one else was supposed to know about a little indiscretion that happened multiple times over almost two years with five different young girls.
“I know everyone of us has done things wrong. That’s why Jesus came,” Michelle explained. “I feel like this is more about... there’s an agenda.”
Prompted by Kelly, who practically held up cue cards and mouthed the words for them, Jim Bob said that "THE REAL STORY" is how the supposedly sealed juvenile record of their son was released since they had gone to such extreme efforts with local authorities to bury it for the sake of Josh Duggar's future. Also, the girls. Them too.
"And when you’re in every newspaper and everything throughout the world, I mean, it’s been an unprecedented attack on our family. And this information was released illegally," Jim Bob explained. "And so I wonder why all this press is not going after the system for releasing juvenile records. That is a huge story.”
Speaking for his daughters who have been paraded on television since 2008, when they weren't having their marriage details sold to People magazine as "exclusives," Jim Bob added, “They didn’t want this out. Every victim should have the right to tell their own story, not the tabloids.”
Defending her daughters who were apparently raised to believe that "what Josh does in the Duggar household, stays in the Duggar household," Michelle Duggar explained that the girls" have been victimized more by what has happened in these last couple weeks.”
Accordingly the Duggars insisted that the people who released Josh Duggar's file either "have an agenda," maybe were "bribed," and have absolutely "no consideration" for the girls.
NOW the girls are victims.
As blame-shifting goes, refocusing the narrative on the evil media and the legal system while climbing up on the cross, this was not entirely surprising since there is a lot of money in play here if TLC dumps their show.
As for the show, Jim Bob said they weren't worried about that right now, saying, “At this point, our family is trying to regroup from these attacks."
Then Kelly thanked the couple for the interview, to which Jim Bob told Kelly in the only moment in the interview that was the honest to God truth: “Thanks for telling our story.”
That was her job, after all.