Tag Archives: 19 Kids and Counting

Young man pays the price for his fame


Josh Duggar has admitted to cheating on his wife.

Why is that a big deal?

The young man is part of a very large and very over-exposed family. They were the center of a reality TV show, “19 Kids and Counting.” They espoused their deep Christian faith and thrust that belief into the homes of millions of TV viewers regularly.

They presented themselves as the perfect family. What’s more, they became active politically off the screen. Duggar, particularly, became a voice for “traditional family values” while working for the Family Research Council.

Then Josh was revealed to have touched young girls inappropriately while he was a teenager. Some of his victims were his own sisters.

TLC, the network that broadcast the TV show featuring the Duggar clan, ended the series. Duggar no longer works for the Family Research Council.

Now we hear that Josh Duggar has cheated on his wife using a website — AshleyMadison.com — that was created for those who want to break their sacred marital vow.

It’s all tawdry and quite sickening.

I am not going to condemn Josh Duggar today. He’s begging for forgiveness. His statement of contrition sound quite sincere. It included this: “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on theIinternet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.”

I guess one of the tragedies of this bizarre story, though, is watching a young man being revealed as being someone quite different from the “reality” he presented on a TV show.

And I suppose it’s fair to ask: How much “reality” on the plethora of these shows is as fake as what’s been revealed about Josh Duggar?


So long, ’19 Kids and Counting’

Well, that was a big surprise … not!

The Learning Channel has canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in the wake of an admission by one of the “19 kids” that he molested young girls when he was a teenager; some of the girls were his own sisters.


Josh Duggar’s been missing from family publicity photos. He’s become a sort of persona non grata while TLC decided what to do with the popular reality-TV series.

This cancellation had to occur. The Duggar family portrays itself as a group of deeply religious individuals. No, they aren’t “perfect,” as one or two of the daughters have sought to remind us. Then again, Mom and Dad Duggar have become politically active, supporting candidates who purport to stand for strict morality and, um, “family values.”

Well, young Josh messed up. He tarnished his very public family’s name and reputation.

TLC has decided it cannot continue the charade. The Duggars can now continue their rehabilitation in private, away from the TV cameras’ glare.

Good. So long, Duggars.

Not defending the Duggars, but what about privacy?

Joe Bob and Michelle Duggar are getting their share of bad press over the interview they did with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly.

I’m not going to join that amen chorus. My own view of the Duggars and their “19 Kids and Counting” so-called “reality” show really doesn’t matter. The fact that they’ve been on TV, seeking publicity for themselves and their kids — only to have it revealed that one of them — molested young girls when he was a teenager speaks volumes about the parents.

However, Kelly raises and interesting point about one significant aspect of this burgeoning controversy.

Why were the names of the victims revealed?

The sisters who were fondled by Josh Duggar — who’s now 27 years of age — have been released for the world to see. A third girl’s name has not been released; she’s not a Duggar.

But the sisters’ names are out there.

I covered my share of police stories over the years and one of the rules of print journalism is that you don’t publish the names of sexual assault victims, let alone the names of children who are victimized in that manner. Kelly said today that someone filed a Freedom of Information Request and that someone felt obligated to provide it, to release the names of the Duggar kids on whom Josh Duggar put his hands.

Mom and Dad Duggar haven’t acquitted themselves well in this matter. That’s their problem. As for the media, I disagree strongly with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s assertion that they’ve been “bloodthirsty.” Huckabee is a Duggar family friend and he’s sticking up for his friends and political allies.

But I’ve always thought the media were honor-bound to protect the privacy of sexual assault victims.

What am I missing?

Duggar saga gets even more weird

The Duggar saga has taken a number of bizarre turns.

Get this tidbit as it relates to the scandal involving Josh Duggar, of the “19 Kids and Counting” reality show and his admitted molestation of young girls, including some of his sisters, while he was a teenager.

Josh’s father, Jim Bob, ran for the Republican Party nomination to the U.S. Senate in 2002. He lost to eventual GOP nominee Tim Hutchinson.

Jim Bob Duggar was asked what he thought should be the appropriate punishment for those who commit incest.

He responded: “Rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.”


You know, of course, how society treats “capital criminals.” It executes them. Capital crimes deserve capital punishment. Isn’t that correct?

He said also, “If a woman is raped, the rapist should be executed instead of the innocent unborn baby.”

TLC, the network that broadcast “19 Kids,” has pulled the series off the air. It might return the reality show to the airwaves, but without Josh Duggar. He would be excluded from any future on-air face time.

As for Daddy Duggar’s view of how society should punish those who’ve committed the very crimes to which his own son has admitted, well … I’m betting his view on that has “evolved.”


Media turn 'bloodthirsty' over Duggar coverage?

Hey, let’s cool the hyperbole, former Mike Huckabee.

The ex-Arkansas governor and current Republican presidential candidate, says the media are “blood-thirsty in their coverage of the Josh Duggar scandal. Duggar, one of the “19 Kids and Counting” featured in the former TLC reality series, has admitted to molesting young girls, including some of his sisters, when he was a teenager.

Huckabee is a family friend, who’s received the Duggars’ endorsement in his run for the presidency.



Hmmm. Were the media bloodthirsty in its coverage of former U.S. Rep. Anthony “Carlos Danger” Weiner’s “selfies” of his private parts? I don’t recall the governor saying such a thing then. Do you?

How about the media’s treatment of former President Bill Clinton — Huckabee’s home boy from Hope, Ark. — and the president’s affair with the White House intern? Were the media piling on about that? I believe the governor was silent about that, too.

Did the media pile on then-U.S. Rep. Barney Frank when they reported his dealings with a male hooker? Come on.

Granted, Josh Duggar was just a dumb teenager when he did those things. But he’s grown up now. He’s become politically active, right along with Mom and Dad Duggar. He became involved with the Family Research Council, a highly political organization that promotes “traditional family values” and high morals. What’s more, Mom and Dad kept it all secret for several years before being outed by a magazine.

This outrage needs to be covered by the media. There’s no political blood lust involved.

Say goodnight, Duggar family

Let’s just dispense with the rhetorical setup: The Duggars are done as TV celebrities.

That would be the family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the parents of “19 Kids and Counting.” The Learning Channel has just announced it is dumping the reality TV series in the wake of reports that one of the kids, Josh, fondled and touched young girls inappropriately when he was a 14-year-old.


What’s more, Josh Duggar misbehaved reportedly with some of his sisters.

This a big deal at a couple of levels

One, Josh Duggar was a big hitter with the Family Research Council, a conservative think tank dedicated to the promotion of “traditional family values.” He’s quit his FRC post.

Two, Josh’s parents have been outspoken critics of the gay rights movement, particularly the push for “marriage equality,” and allowing gay people to marry. Jim Bob and Michelle have been harsh critics of LGBT citizens, saying that homosexuality leads to pedophilia and other immoral behavior. How can they say those things now while ignoring what’s been plainly obvious throughout all of recorded history, which is that “traditional, heterosexual” Americans are capable of precisely the same kind of behavior?

The Duggars are close friends of another Arkansan, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who’s running for president. Huckabee has acknowledged agreement with Josh’s statement that his behavior was “inexcusable,” but adds that it isn’t “unforgiveable.” True enough. Scripture does tell us we’re entitled to grace. But that will have to come from within.

The Duggars certainly are entitled to believe what they wish politically. However, when those political beliefs run head-on into a seriously flawed personal history, well, that’s when you have to excuse yourself from the public limelight.

The Duggars have a huge following across the nation, particularly among those who have admired them for their stated belief in family tradition and their strict moral code.

That trust has been shattered, at least to the extent that their TV network benefactors — TLC — no longer feels comfortable thrusting this family into Americans’ living rooms.