Michelle And Jim Bob Duggar Appear On The Kelly File — Persecution Complex, Anyone?
We knew Megyn Kelly would go soft in her interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and she didn’t disappoint, carefully bringing the conversation over and over away from the crimes themselves, and back to the release of Josh’s records. She also helped the family focus the interview on their Christian beliefs, and assure the audience that the publicity surrounding the story was more anout anti-Christian bigotry than a widespread shock and disgust that a family who held themselves up as moral paragons had had harbored a child molester and kept it secret.
As could be expected, she began to slant her story before the first words with Michelle and Jim Bob were exchanged. Before the interview was to air, she (and Fox, of course) began with claims that Josh Duggar’s police file had been illegally leaked.
Aside from the fact that we know Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley only released the report after consulting with a city attorney and determining that the law required her to do so, and the fact that juvenile records are not automatically sealed and some are never sealed, leave it to Megyn Kelly to pretend that the real crime is giving information to the public — rather than molesting children and covering up crimes.
She also reiterated the claims that Josh was sent to a rehab program — claims Michelle herself says were false, in the police report obtained by In Touch.
Next, she speaks of Josh’s apology — though anyone who has read his statement is aware, the statement was far more about his own pain than anyone else’s.
I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.
Megyn Kelly opened by inviting the family to tell their side of the story. The Duggars explained that the initial incident had been Josh sneaking into the girls’ room and touching them while they slept. The parents explained that they had quickly moved to protect the girls, speaking first to Josh, then their daughters.
Michelle Duggar told Kelly,
One by one, as we talked to them, none of the girls were aware of Josh’s wrongdoings.
They say they put safeguards into place to keep Josh out of the girls’ bedrooms. They don’t say what those were, though according to Gawker, there’s a story floating around the internet that a member of the camera crew saw Jim Bob tie one son’s hands together for a whole day as a punishment for masturbation. Of course, there’s no confirming this — it’s merely an internet rumor…as this molestation scandal and the tales of the children being beaten with rods were, before the police report confirmed both.
Still, there’s no need to assume that particular type of punishment is really true, because the Duggars have endorsed the teachings of Michael and Debi Pearl, so we know that they at least endorse, if not actually use, some really horrific punishments and training techniques for children. We also know they use at least the blanket training method (per the Duggar Family blog) and the beating with rods (again, this is in the police report), so it’s pretty clear that they’re on board with the Pearls. If you’re not familiar with the Pearls, check out a list of quotes from their book on Love Joy Feminism.
However, Jim Bob admits, these unnamed safeguards didn’t keep Josh from assaulting one of the girls while she slept on the couch. He also admits Josh came to him to confess ‘a couple more times.’
He emphasizes that other families have told him they’ve gone through the same thing, and that the incidents involved touching ‘over clothes’ — though he quickly backtracks to say, ‘and a couple of times under clothes.’ He tells of Josh’s ‘counseling’ but doesn’t mention the connection to Bill Gothard — who, according to Christianity Today, left his post after allegations of sexually assaulting at least thirty women and young girls.
Jim Bob made sure that the public knew he and Michelle are innocent in this.
You know what, as parents you’re not mandatory reporters.
The law allows for parents to do what they think’s best for their child.
According to She Knows, legal experts say that the parents could have faced charges for failing to protect their daughters by reporting Josh’s crimes, though.
Kelly worked hard to avoid mentioning that Josh had molested a five-year-old, referring only to ‘the single digit,’ and Michelle reassured the audience that the girls didn’t even know that anything wrong had been done. Jim Bob says there were only two incidents that happened while the girls were awake.
This doesn’t appear to jibe with the police report, where some of the girls tell tales of the interactions, which were frightening and confusing to them, though.
The Duggars spoke repeatedly of their ‘safeguards’ and of watching the children closely, of teaching their children about ‘inappropriate touching’ and making sure the girls ‘had a safe place to share their hearts.’
About his decision to hide Josh’s crimes, Jim Bob shared the parable of the shepherd and the lost sheep, in which Jesus responds to those who complain that he dines with tax collectors and Pharisees:
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
It’s clear that Josh’s quick confessions are, to Michelle and Jim Bob, evidence of his desire to do better. Josh’s own story on his family website though, is a cringe-worthy tale of an obsession with confession — it’s creepy-bordering-on-fetish.
I learned quickly that great freedom can be achieved by accountability, and great accountability requires humility & openness. I often had failures in my early teenage years, but found I had a clear conscience only when I was willing to confess my thoughts and temptations quickly to God & my parents.
The family gave him more of this by taking him to speak to Detective Hignite — who is now himselfe in prison for child porn charges. Perhaps they hoped Josh would be ‘scared straight’ — they say they were afraid he might be arrested. However, the officer never filed a report, and Jim Bob admits that he knew many of the local officers. He doesn’t mention whether he knew the officer he took Josh to, though, focusing instead on the fact that he ‘didn’t know what the officer was going through’ — that is, that the man would later be arrested for graphic porn involving very small children being forced to perform sex acts on adults.
Megyn Kelly was only too happy to go along — suggesting that people believe this officer was picked as a confessor because of his porn problems (rather than because he was a family friend who would go easy, as has been widely alleged) and emphasizing that people were wrong to think so.
Jim Bob denies that he didn’t tell the officer the whole story as former Detective Hignite stated in his interview with In Touch, suggesting that maybe the officer thought he’d get out on parole earlier for lying.
Michelle explains some of her safeguards. She says that girls aren’t allowed to sit on boys’ laps, and boys aren’t left alone with girls.
We don’t let boys babysit. They don’t play hide-and-seek together, two don’t go off and hide.
In the second-to-last portion of the show, Kelly again emphasized claims that the record was sealed — a claim the Duggar parents echo and affirm. They three speculate together about whether the Chief O’Kelley might have had any personal agenda to attack the family, with Jim Bob telling a quick story of the Chief snubbing Josh when he attempted a handshake, and hinting that she might have deliberately planned the record release for right near her retirement.
Surprisingly, Megyn Kelly did address Michelle’s robocall, in which she suggested that transgender people would molest young girls in bathrooms, asking how Michelle could say such a thing with this in her own family history.
Michelle didn’t give a real answer, just chattered about the safety of young girls.
I think that protecting young girls and not allowing young men and men in general to go in a girls locker room is just common sense.
(Where transgender individuals are concerned, Michelle could use a biology lesson.)
Jim Bob was also quick to correct Kelly’s terminology, stating that Josh isn’t a pedophile — he says the ‘legal definition’ would require Josh to have been at least 16 years old , and Josh was only 14 and 15 when he preyed on children. (He does call Josh’s actions ‘preying on children’ though.)
In the final portion, the three agreed that the Duggars are simply under attack for being Christians — that if they weren’t conservative Christians , the public wouldn’t be so hard on them. Will the show go on? Jim Bob thinks that his whole family shouldn’t be punished for what one member did (skipping over his own crime of failing to report the sexual assaults). Whoa! Way to throw Josh under the bus, Jim Bob! How about your own crime, in failing to protect your daughters and covering up a felony? If the cover-up itself didn’t show us how stellar your parenting is, the leap to blame the whole thing on the kid and absolve yourself sure does.
There’s one more return back to how the public should be far more upset by police releasing the records than by actual child molestation. Megyn Kelly and both Duggar parents are extremely offended that anyone could be more upset over the attacks themselves, and by the cover-up, than by the leaks. Michelle in particular speaks as though she took her children in to speak to police in the 2006 investigation voluntarily, rather than because an anonymous tip spurred an investigation.
(However, according to She Knows, a source close to the family says that at least two of the girls feel vindicated at Josh being outed for his crimes.)
On Friday, Megyn Kelly’s interview with the Duggar daughters will air — if the preview clips are any indication, this interview will also focus on the ‘crime’ of exposing Josh’s molestations, rather than on the actual sexual assaults and the cover-up by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.