Duggar Daughters With Megyn Kelly: 'Scared' and 'Angry'
Here at the ol’ Duggar Scandal Ranch, we were gettin’ mighty sick of hearing how many ways our buddy Jim Bob and his adoring wife Michelle could re-brand their son Josh as an upstanding young man whom God has forgiven, so why can’t you?
But just when we thought the branding iron had been put away, that Megyn Kelly, the straight-shootin’ Annie Oakley of Fox News, came galloping in on her high horse with pistols blazing on Friday night. She’d lassoed two more Duggars, sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, and got them talking.
“We’re victims; they can’t do that to us,” said Jill, wiping back tears. She wasn’t talking about herself in the aftermath of the acts perpetrated by brother Josh and the too-little, too-late ministrations of her parents. No, she was talking about the media, for having brought this history to light.
Any sensible viewer had to feel sympathy for her and Jessa. It was a terrible thing to have experienced as a child. It must now be a burden to have a terrible experience brought up in public. But it must also be a dreadful strain to have to drag yourself onto The Kelly File to “set the record straight,” as Jessa put it, about “a young boy in puberty [who was] a little too curious about girls.”
In a clip played on Thursday’s Kelly Files — oh, yes, Thursday: Megyn K. has been playing this for all it’s not worth — Michelle said to the host, “People say, ‘We love your show. We say thanks, but it’s not a show; it’sreally our life.’” Well, Michelle, so is this new show you’re now putting before the TV public: two of your 19 kids-and-counting defending a third, and sending out mixed messages right and left.
On the one hand, the sisters say they feel more victimized now, by the media, than they did by their brother. On the other hand, they use the words “scared,” “shocked,” and “angry” in describing their feelings at the time of the offense. Jessa said it was because they were victims then that they can come out now and defend their brother, but then downplayed that past, when the sisters agreed that what they called their “re-victimization” is “a thousand times worse.”
Jessa said of Josh’s actions: “The extent of it was mild, inappropriate touching, on fully clothed victims, most of it while girls were sleeping.” Hearing her use this phrasing, my heart went out to her: How much more distanced, alienated, deadened from her own history could she be? Shewas one of the “fully clothed victims”; she was sleeping when it occurred. Jessa spoke as though this had happened to some other group of people in a land far, far away.
Jill said, mixing past and present tense in a way that suggested a lingering unsettledness, “I was shocked. I’m like, I’m sad, because this is my older brother, who I love a lot, and so it’s like, conflicting there.”
The two women repeated what their parents had said to Kelly on Wednesday about a conspiratorial “agenda” to release the police reports of Josh’s offense. And they added a new line of criticism, asserting that the publisher of In Touch, Bauer Media Group, is also “a major porn provider.” Perhaps they were referring to stories like this.
The sisters had said what they wanted to say forty minutes into the Kelly Files hour. The rest of the time was spent replaying Jill crying at least twice, and talking to guests including Howard Kurtz, who excoriated “In Touch and every other media outlet on the planet” for exploiting these young women, thus presumably including Fox News as well. (He said he had “no problem” with “criticism of Josh.”) Then the instant The Kelly Files wrapped up, what was next? Hannity, with a lead story about… the future of the Duggars!
Well, buckaroos, it’s time to gather the cattle, put the branding iron in a bucket of cool water, and unsaddle the horses. Let’s all just leave folks alone for a while to simmer down, shall we?