When Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly last night that they felt like failures when they found out their eldest had been molesting his siblings, they left out the real takeaway: Their feelings of failure don't really matter. The fact that they are failures is the story.
Reports that Jim Bob knew his son Josh had been touching his little sisters surfaced two weeks ago. The co-star of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" immediately kicked brand-management into high gear, which meant way more attention was paid to their son's aggressions as of recent than when they were happening.
The Christian couple's supreme failure was highlighted not when their son molested some of his sisters, but when they decided to protect their son—not his victims (their own daughters).
It's this failure they continue to demonstrate throughout the interview, when Jim Bob says things like, Josh "was a child preying on a child," and "This was not rape or anything like that. There were a couple of instances where he touched them under their clothes, but it was like a few seconds. And then he came to us and was crying and told us what happened." Minimizing his daughters' trauma, protecting the brand more than the kids, holding his son unaccountable, allowing him to represent a group claiming to protect against sexual deviance while knowingly behaving with actual sexual deviance.
The quiverfull's matriarch is equally reprehensible, if her words during the interview are taken at face value. She said that her daughters "weren't even aware ... they didn't probably even understand that it was improper touch."
Networks, brands and other businesses who profited from this hypocritical bunch have been slowly pulling their money from the Duggars and the show, but that kind of recognition of improper behavior is—like the Duggar's response regarding their girls—too little too late.