Duggars open up to Fox-TV’s Megyn Kelly on family sex scandal

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Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California April 30, 2014.


Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California April 30, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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For the first time, the couple acknowledged that four of the victims were their daughters, including younger sisters Jill and Jessa, who also spoke to Kelly, and one was a family friend.

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  • Jack

    Never heard of them until now…..I guess I’m pop-culturally deprived.

    First thought on this — why do a reality show about your family if you’ve got such a problem lurking in the past?

    Second thought on this — why do a reality show about your family, period?

  • Ben in Oakland

    The real problem, jack, is that someone with 19 kids is considered to be entertainment in modern America.

    The other real problem is that these Duggars attack gay people as being a danger to children, while shielding a pedophile, incestuous son from any kind of consequences for his actions and not protecting their daughters from said pedophile…

    All the while avoiding the obvious: No one can be a good parent to 19 kids.

  • John W

    My guess is that if this had happened in an equally famous Muslim/Sikh/Hindu/athiest family then RNS would not have run it since it is not actually a religious story but just one of those things that could happen in any family.

    But, of course, these are Christians, so all bets are off

  • Jack

    A third thought: Americans talk a good game about family values, but the blunt truth is that American culture has always been rough on families. We’ve always been a culture where people are willing to move thousands of miles from their family roots to access economic opportunity. Rugged individualism is a key to our economic success as a country, but the flip side is that it frays family ties.

    So the image of this family as a model American family is myth piled upon myth.

    Ironically, while so many people bash immigrants, it’s been precisely immigrant families that have modeled family values. A century ago, the migration of people from Mediterranean cultures — Italians, Greeks, Jews — introduced the nation to genuine family closeness. Ditto today regarding families from places like India.

  • Larry

    Christian persecution complex rears its head yet again!
    No JohnW, its not just because they are Christians. Its because they are spokespeople for a fairly obscure but very unusual and reactionary sect of Christianity. They put their religious beliefs front and center in all public activities, including their reality show.

    The interview showed many things, none of which were favorable to the Duggars. They would rather make excuses and shift blame to those who exposed the story than examine their own bad behavior. It appears the critics of the Duggars show more concern for their daughters than they do.

  • Larry

    Usually when people talk a good game about family values, they are doing so to denigrate and attack people whose families do not conform to their own ideas. Its virtually never something mentioned with good intentions. So when such malicious loudmouths fall due to personal scandal, the schadenfreude is more than justified.

  • Jack

    If that’s what they did, it does sound hypocritical, but the biggest mistake was to do a reality show, period. There are so many things wrong with putting one’s family on display in that way, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    But again, this whole saga is part of America’s talking the talk about family values as a poor substitute for walking the walk. Putting your family on daily parade can’t possibly be pro-family…but people prefer the image to the reality.

  • Jack

    Rich, you’ve got to be kidding…..Those who leaked that information on them are lower than pond scum. They’ve likely ruined the lives of many of those children.

    That said, I think the parents never should have done a reality show in the first place. Even if there were no skeletons, you don’t parade your family in front of a camera like that. It’s brainless and thoughtless.

  • Jack

    Larry, that depends on the person. I think the talk about family values predates the culture wars….Such talk is as I said — simply a poor substitute for the real deal. Our culture prefers image to reality….Norman Rockwell paintings to Norman Rockwell living. We like etiquette more than ethics, and manners more than morals.

    As for shadenfreude, there are too many potential victims in this instance to indulge in it.

  • ben in oakland

    Jack, pedophiles tend to be pedophiles– forever.

    And hypocrites tend to be hypocrites forever, until finally, hopefully, either they are exposed for it and eventually relegated to obscurity, or finally find integrity in their lives.

    Put these two together, and this is what I would say:

    Maybe Josh Duggars just made a youthful mistake. Maybe. And maybe his parents made a mistake by basically covering it up for him. Maybe. But how are you going to feel about it if, in a couple of years, we find that Josh Duggars not only molested his own sisters, but is molesting his own children?

  • Larry

    There was always an element of condescension and attack in such talk. Family values is usually brought up as some kind of bulwark against creeping modernity. “Culture wars” are as old as culture itself. For example when Ancient Greeks talked of “Golden age” they were extolling the past and denigrating their current “Iron age”. It hasn’t changed much since then.

    There is always an element of a given society which looks to its past with rose colored glasses to bemoan the present. Usually when a dominant group loses some of its hold on the culture or political power. Talk of “family values” is meant to appeal to such myths.

  • ronald

    The Duggars are a godly family, and we know that God forgives the godly. Jesus didn’t die for NOTHING, he died for OUR SINS. That includes the Duggars sins, if they accept Him as their saviour, and all evidence says they have.

    Therefore there is NO reason to be dredging all this up accept for athiests to heap degradation upon a strong family of Christian conservative activists who are spreading the twin values of Family and Christ.

    Now, if he had molested his brothers it would obviously be a different story. But we cannot continue to punish him for being overeager in exploring his God-given heterosexual nature and the complementarianism between male and female. He has repented and now is the time for forgiveness and healing.

  • Jon

    This behavior is indefensible. Regardless of one’s religious belief, I hope we all recognize the many problems here. First of all, they kept this secret from the start – showing the girls that the family facade was more important than they were. If the girls had any doubt that they were considered second class to the men, they were reminded of their second class status by the fact that the Duggars still kept it secret after they allowed it to continue after they knew about it. Next, they failed Josh and society by relying on quack treatment, instead of going to a licensed counselor (showing how the denial of reality pervades this case, common among closed religious communities, many of which are Chirstian). Perhaps worse of all, the focus after this story of sexual abuse broke has been on Josh, his faith, and the Duggars show, instead of on the victims. This case shows all too well how dangerous and harmful such a religiously closed and inwardly focused family is.

  • ben in oakland

    Please, please, PLEASE tell me that this is satire.

  • Jon

    This article, like so many others, misses the point. Here is a clear headed look at this scandal:


  • Jon

    Poe’s law in action…….

  • Larry

    Yes Ben, thankfully ronald is a Poe Troll.

  • Jack

    Good point about pedophiles, Ben. I would have to know what exactly is fact and what isn’t to know for sure in the son’s case, but the patterns look rather ominous. But still, releasing this to the public when supposedly it was sealed was a heinous thing to do, in terms of potential effects on the other children.

    But the bottom line is that, especially given that past, the parents should never have created a reality show about their family.

  • Jack

    Not sure if I agree. You’re right in some instances, but I don’t think that talk of “family values” has universally emerged within the context of cultural wars.

  • Jack

    No, I think you’re allowing your anti-religious slip to show here. The bottom line is that this family never should have even contemplated a reality show.

  • Be Brave

    Nobody can be a good parent when their married partner is the same gender.

    “Mommies, where’s my father?”

    Shut up you homophobe!

  • M

    You mean the Indian immigrants that moved thousands of miles away for economic opportunities at the expense of family ties?

  • Larry

    Telling yourself to shut up sounds like a good plan. Especially since your hypothetical babies would be living in foster care, with parents unfit for physical custody, orphanages or simply never exist if not for their gay parents.

    But its not like your POV is about making sense or rational arguments. You just picked one of the most boneheaded ones bandied about.