While a lot was said during the hour-long Fox News special, one overarching theme seemed to raise a lot of brows: Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar talked a lot about themselves and their son, Josh, and very little about the victims in the child molestation case they were there to address.
The Duggar family made its first public appearance on The Kelly File for the interview about a scandal that broke in mid-May: Their eldest son, Josh, was named in a police report obtained and published by In Touch Weekly that said Josh, now 27, molested several of his sisters when he was a young teen. Josh was never prosecuted for the assaults, which took place in 2002 and 2003, but since the scandal was revealed, 19 Kids and Counting has been pulled from TLC's lineup.
According to Jim Bob and Michelle, the girls who were molested by Josh did receive counseling after it happened. But during their interview, they seemed reluctant to talk much about their daughters, instead choosing to defend Josh.
"It was more his heart," they told Kelly. "He knew it was wrong... they didn't even realize it was improper touch."
Jim Bob and Michelle were also adamant about saying Josh's touching was "over the clothes" every time it was mentioned, seemingly oblivious to the fact that touching a woman's breasts and genitals without permission, even over clothing, is still sexual assault.
Twitter users were quick to point out that they thought Jim Bob and Michelle were making excuses for Josh, and that the severity of sexual assault and the effects it can have on the victims were being downplayed in the interview.
#duggarinterview Jim Bob Duggar: "it wasn't molestation bc Josh was 15" Doesn't everyone remember getting felt up by their teen brothers?— Kim Smythe (@KimSmythe2) June 4, 2015
If nothing else, the Duggar child molestation scandal has shown how quickly people will dismiss and minimize sexual assault. #rapeculture— Sarah (@Sarahsumbrella) June 4, 2015
On Friday, the interview will continue and, according to Us Weekly, two of Josh's sisters will appear on the show. We'll be waiting to see how their suffering is addressed then, because it was largely ignored during the first part of The Kelly File special.
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