It’s not exactly shocking, but Fox News has largely ignored the controversy surrounding the revelation that conservative hero and former hate group operative Josh Duggar molested four of his sisters and one other unnamed victim.
Ever since it was revealed that Duggar had molested five children as they slept, the Right has been almost desperate to defend what honor they imagine Josh Duggar possesses. Some have disgustingly said that Duggar was just “playing doctor” with the sleeping children, while other — like former Fox host Mike Huckabee — have simply offered their full support to their favorite child molester. One relative even asserted that anyone would molest a child, if the opportunity was there and there were no consequences.
It would be unwise for Fox News to take a public stance in support of Duggar, so they are doing the next best thing: pretty much pretending nothing happened. Media Matters notes that “while MSNBC and CNN have reportedly heavily on the Duggar scandal, Fox News has largely ignored the story.”
According to a Media Matters analysis, Fox News spent less than two minutes covering the story between May 21 and May 25, compared to almost an hour of coverage from the other cable news networks,” the media watchdog points out.
Fox host Howard Kurtz even took 41 seconds of his time on May 24 to criticize the rest of the media for “piling on” by bringing attention to Duggar’s association with numerous Republican politicians, including many of the GOP’s 2016 presidential hopefuls.
“The Duggar controversy has put Fox News in an awkward position,” Media Matters notes. “Before he resigned the day In Touch‘s story broke, Josh Duggar was the head of the Family Research Council’s (FRC) political wing. Representatives of FRC, an anti-gay hate group that routinely links homosexuality to pedophilia and describes LGBT people as a threat to children, are a regular fixture on Fox News.”
When it comes to the Duggar situation, there’s much to discuss. Jim Bob, who campaigned for Senate on a platform that called for the execution of child molesters like his son, waited a full year after learning of his son’s horrific actions.
When Jim Bob did report it, he and Josh told a friend who was a state trooper. That friend is currently serving 56 years in prison for possession of child pornography, but he says that the Duggars lied to him before he gave Josh a “stern talk.” According to disgraced Arkansas cop Joseph Hutchens, the Duggars told him that Josh only molested one girl, one time, and through the clothes. Hutchens says that, had he known the full extent of Josh’s actions, he “might have done more” to address the situation.
Instead of facing an actual punishment, Josh Duggar was sent to counseling at a center founded by a man who eventually resigned after it was revealed that he was grooming young teens and women for sex. There, Duggar learned that he need only claim God forgives him to continue about his existence with a clear conscience. Worse, though that same philosophy, his victims were taught that they were at fault for the damage their brother did to them.
This should be a nonpartisan issue. Child abuse is wrong, no matter what. Conservatives, unfortunately, have decided that the hate Josh Duggar and his family represent is more important than the horrific crimes the Duggar son has committed.
Featured image via Media Matters