Within the last week, I’ve gotten wind of news that Josh Duggar, eldest son to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and a father himself, sexually abused a number of girls in his early teens–some of them his own sisters–and that Jim Bob and Michelle covered it up for years and bent over backwards to prevent him from being prosecuted for it, even going so far as to convince the courts to compound Josh’s crimes.
I must admit, I’m not surprised to hear this news. I knew something like this would come out of the Duggar camp–it’s always been a question of when.
What Jim Bob and Michelle apparently don’t realize is that they’ve done much more damage to their own, and their family’s, image and reputation by covering up Josh’s crimes than they would have if they had let him go through the system. The interesting thing about this situation is that, mere months ago, Michelle made a robocall to the citizens of Fayetteville, Arkansas in an attempt to convince them to vote to allow members of the LGBT community to be overtly discriminated against–and she and Jim Bob actively campaigned, and donated a generous amount of money (over $100, 000) to the campaign, to deny the LGBT community basic human rights–claiming concern about women and girls being traumatized by men, yet a few of their own daughters were traumatized by their eldest son, and they’ve covered that up, while ensuring the law never dealt with the son. Talk about double standards. The act, and cover-up, are one hell of a way to pay back the girls Josh attacked for their trust.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m scared for Josh’s kids, given what those of us with functioning mental faculties know about how sex offenders operate (hint: they rarely reform). Ergo, any statements about Jim Bob’s claims that Josh was ‘disciplined’ for abusing his sisters and some other girls, claims the sisters ‘forgave’ Josh (as if they had any choice), and Josh’s statement, “I acted inexcusably,”are worthless–the simple fact is that Josh Duggar is an unindicted criminal. The comments Josh and his parents have made on this subject translate to: “We’re sorry we got caught and now the world knows about this.” The truth is, if Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar actually cared about their children’s well-being, they wouldn’t raise them the way they are, and they would never have placed their family in the public eye in the first place.
But the worst is yet to come. Apparently, despite calls to do so, The Learning Channel, which airs the Duggars’ show, 19 Kids and Counting, has no plans to cancel the show or even take the Duggars off the air, but, if Freethought Blogs is to be believed, may make a show featuring the ‘newlywed and newly-mom girls.’ I understand the Duggars, and 19 Kids, have proven to be a real cash cow for TLC, and TLC clearly want to milk it for all it’s worth, even at the expense of the kids. But when the cash cow becomes a public-relations disaster, that’s when it’s time to cut ties. A fair number of advertisers have withdrawn commercial support from 19 Kids, but obviously not enough for TLC to get the message. I hold out hope that some in TLC’s upper echelons have something resembling common human decency (or, at least, some understanding of public relations and business ethics) and will–oh, I don’t know…do the right thing and cut ties with the Duggars for good? There’s more to being in business than just making money, and as for the fans…well, if TLC does cancel 19 Kids and end any and all business relationships with the Duggar family, they’ll just have to suck it up and move on–the world, after all, does not revolve around them, just like the Duggars don’t deserve special consideration or preferential treatment.
This is the last time I want to deal with this low-hanging fruit, but, as an adult, I realize I can’t always get what I want. After all, as Lenny Kravitz once sang, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.