The Kelly File- The Duggar Interview As Seen on Fox 6/3/15
Megyn Kelly sat down with the Duggar Family, as famous for son Josh’s molestation now, as they are for their show 19 Kids and Counting. The interview, airing tonight at 9 p.m on Fox, is the first time the family will be sitting down addressing the scandal at length.
Kelly has teased bits of the sit-down saying that “nothing is off limits.” She has said that she is not going to delve into the actual molestation saying, “I don’t plan on getting into the specific details about what was done because my understanding is the victims don’t want to discuss that either.”
The interview will be an hour long and was reportedly conducted at the Duggar family home in Springdale, Arkansas. While Josh and his wife and his parents have all released statements they have not spoken to the media until sitting down with Kelly.
The interview comes on the wake of more reports that Jim Bob Duggar not only did nothing after Josh confessed to molesting his sister, but that Josh confessed three times over the course of 16 months. Essentially, the reports claim that the molestation continued because of Jim Bob’s resistance to address the issue by either reporting it to authorities or seeking help for Josh and his victims.
Megyn Kelly is trying to respect the victims’ privacy, a difficult thing after police reports have details identifying living arrangements basically narrowing it down to family members and someone close to the family. Typically the media makes a practice of protecting the identities of victims in sexual assault cases, something many in the media have tried to balance while reporting on Josh Duggar.
Josh is married and expecting his fourth child. He recently stepped down from his job as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council while acknowledging that the molestation charges are true. Saying, “I acted inexcusably,” he expressed regret over his actions saying his parents “took several steps to help me address the situation.” He went on to say that he confessed to authorities though he doesn’t address how many times he confessed before his parents went to authorities or mention that it was an email to Harpo Studios, while the family was taping an interview with Oprah, that caused it to be brought to the attention of authorities.
Megyn Kelly embraced her reputation as “a tough but fair journalist,” when discussing the interview. It airs tonight on Fox at 9. Come back here for the recap.
Megyn Kelly teased this interview embracing her reputation as “a tough but fair journalist,” but that journalist didn’t show up for this sit down with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Jim Bob wanted to focus on the fact that Josh came to them voluntarily. He also continuously stressed that his daughters, the victims, were not aware. He claimed at one point that even the babysitter, another victim, was not aware. Even when they were aware, the Duggars claimed that they still were not aware. Confused? Apparently Megyn Kelly understood because she didn’t ask how girls raised to wait until marriage for the first kiss didn’t understand their brother touching them on the breasts and genitals was a big deal.
Jim Bob spoke about “the big picture” being protecting juvenile offenders saying, “We want to be advocates for juvenile records.” They didn’t say advocates for sexual abuse victims, but for juvenile offenders who are supposed to have their records sealed. Jim Bob and Michelle were both more outraged that the police records were released and have sought the advice of attorneys on whether or not they can pursue legal remedies against the person who released them, they say, illegally.
Michelle was often interrupted by Jim Bob but became very upset when discussing the release of the records claiming, “there’s an agenda. There’s people who are purposing to try and bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander.”
Jim Bob agreed calling the release of Josh’s records, “a huge story,” wondering why the press wasn’t focusing on that and again stressing a desire to advocate and protect juvenile offenders. Did Megyn Kelly fall asleep during this interview?
When asked about the charges that the family was being hypocritical by preaching about certain values when they had such a secret the Duggars seemed genuinely confused. Kelly even brought up a robocall Michelle had made comparing transgender people to child molesters when her own son had molested her daughters.
Michelle’s response? “I think that protecting young girls and not allowing young men or men in general to go into a girls’ locker room is just common sense.”
Jim Bob cut in to correct Kelly and say that what Michelle said in the robo call was “pedophile.” He then went on to explain the legal definition of a pedophile is an adult who preys and that, according to the legal definition, being a pedophile begins at age 16. Josh, he pointed out, was 15.
As Christians, Jim Bob explained, “I think people on the outside think Christians are supposed to be perfect,” before adding, “no. We struggle every day.”
The Duggars spoke about sending Josh away to Little Rock Arkansas with a man they knew who mentored young boys. In response to Kelly’s question about it not being counseling for sex offenders, Jim Bob pointed out that programs that counseled sex offenders did not have a very high success rate and spoke about, “wanting to reach Josh’s heart.”
They said they had spoken to other families who had been through similar situations and seemed comforted by the fact that, according to them, they heard stories that were worse again stating, “I was so grateful that Josh came and told us.”
Kelly did address the time it took for them to address the molestation but the Duggars insist that they did act with Michelle claiming, “we definitely put safeguards in place,” with Jim Bob cutting in adding that they talked to their daughters about improper touching.
The Duggars claimed that Josh and their daughters all received professional counseling though it is unclear if that counseling was conducted by a licensed therapist or if it was through their church, something Kelly did not pursue.
Kelly acknowledged the difficulty the parents must have felt in protecting their daughters at the expense of their son except nowhere in this interview did it seem as if that happened. Michelle even made the claim that her daughters “were more victimized,” by this scandal breaking than what happened 12 years ago. Her language was very interesting and Kelly, again, did not pursue that what happened to them was that their brother molested them.
Michelle stated again, “they’ve been victimized by people with an agenda,” something Kelly did follow up with by asking if they believed it was who they are that brought this scandal on.
They called the scandal, “an unprecedented attack against our family,” again stressing that the police reports were obtained illegally and that they had settled all of this years ago even saying, “we got a clean bill of health.”
Megyn Kelly also interviewed sisters Jill and Jessa who are coming forward as two of Josh’s victims. In a teaser Kelly observes their brows furrowing when she calls them victims. Jessa tearfully expresses outrage at the media claiming, “we are victims. They can’t do this,” while Jill goes on to speak about the system being set up to protect victims and kids who make mistakes.
It doesn’t sound like anyone in the Duggar family believes that the sisters are victims. It seems they believe the true victim here is Josh Duggar and Megyn Kelly did nothing to challenge that.