Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Wednesday night delivered a disastrous interview full of distortions, deflection, and defense of their parenting decisions and their son Josh, over their daughters.Â
After weeks surrounded by the scandal of the news their eldest son Josh sexually molested five young girls when he was a teen, and four of them were his sisters, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar sat down with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly for an hour-long interview that aired Wednesday night.
Many had hoped that Kelly, who has gone outside the Fox box at times to perform actual feats of journalism, would deliver an interview that was not merely an opportunity for the Duggars to whitewash their actions related to this family tragedy, but to get them to see and admit their mistakes and hypocrisy.
That did not happen, in part, because Kelly was unprepared, in part because, as she has made clear publicly, she believes the Duggars have been treated unfairly, and in part because the Duggars are unable or unwilling to actually see the reality that many Americans see.
What did we learn?
The Duggar parents confirmed, for the first time in public, that Josh Duggar molested four of their girls, and a babysitter.
â€œHe said he was just curious about girls and he had gone in and just basically touched them over their clothes while they were sleeping; they didnâ€™t even know he had done it,â€ Jim Bob told Kelly.
But he later added,Â â€œThis was like touching somebody over their clothes. There were a couple instances where he touched them under their clothes,â€ Jim Bob said. â€œThis was not rape or anything like that,â€ Duggar insisted.
The Duggars told Kelly that they only learned of the molestations because Josh told them, and insisted they sat down with each girl and the girls had no idea what had happened.
“And I think we had one ray of hope that Josh had a tender conscienceÂ and he was the one that came and shared on his own, even though the others really didnâ€™t know anything of his wrongdoing,” Michelle said.
The Duggars said that because they knew Josh’s heart, they at first felt they could handle the problem.
â€œThe ray of hope was that Josh had came and told us and that his heart was still soft. Because we wouldnâ€™t have known about any of these things if he hadnâ€™t had came and told us,â€ Jim Bob said.
But Josh Duggar repeatedly molested the young girls.
“And so there was a couple more times he came and told us what he had done, and we were just devastated,” Jim Bob said.
The Duggars claimÂ â€œall of our children received professional counseling, including Josh.â€
Jim Bob claimed they sent them to an â€œaccredited professional counselor.â€ It’s unclear what the accreditationÂ was â€“ were they licensed? â€“Â and what type of counselor they were sent to. Social worker? Psychologist? Psychiatrist? The Duggars have said at least Josh was sent to a Christian counselor.
They also said they believe Josh is not a pedophile, and that, according to Jim Bob, “the legal definition is 16 and up for an adult preying on a child. He was a child preying on a child.”
The Duggar boys and girls aren’t allow to play alone with each other now.
“Even since then, that I think, ‘You know what, we donâ€™t let boys babysit. They donâ€™t play hide and seek together, two donâ€™t go off and hide,'” Michelle said. “There are just a lot of things that weâ€™ve put in place.Â We said, ‘Youâ€™re not alone in a room with someone else. Always be out visible, and, you know, little ones donâ€™t sit on big boysâ€™ laps or people that you donâ€™t know or even family members, unless itâ€™s your daddy. So we justâ€”thereâ€™s boundaries that weâ€™ve learned.'”
Jim Bob Duggar tried to cover up the hypocrisy of Michelle’s anti-trans robocall last summer.
He wrongly claimed she used the word “pedophile.” She didn’t, she did say transgender people are “males with past child predator convictions.”
The Duggars think they’re criticized because they’re Christians and being persecuted for their religious beliefs.
“Do you think the backlash has been greater because people object to who you are and what you stand for?,” Kelly asked.
“I think some out there do,” Michelle replied, with her husband Jim Bob nodding in agreement.
“Do you think your Christian beliefs are at issue here?,” Kelly asked.
“Well,” Jim Bob answered, “I think, as people on the outside think, â€˜Well, Christians are supposed to be perfect, youâ€™re supposed to live this perfect life.â€™ No, you know what? All of us as Christians, we struggle every day.”
“I know that every one of us have done things wrong,” Michelle said. “Thatâ€™s why Jesus came.Â I feel like this is more about… there is an agenda and there is people that are purposing to try to bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander.”
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‘Was Goebbels Unavailable?’: ABC Blasted for ‘Normalizing Fascism’ by Putting Sean Spicer on Dancing With the Stars
“Remember when Spicer talked about ‘Holocaust centers’ and defended Hitler, saying he didn’t use chemical weapons?”
Disney and ABC Television must have known that putting former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer on “Dancing With the Stars” would draw condemnation, but the outrage over the just-announced news is palpable.
Spicer will go down in history for the massive lies he told, starting with his vicious and attacking falsehoods about the size of the crowd at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The lies seemed to continue daily, only to be outdone by, at one point, Spicer actually appearing to defend Hitler for not gassing his people – which he clearly did.
Spicer appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday to join in the announcement that he’ll be among the “stars” to dance on the 14-year old primetime reality TV show. One of the co-hosts of the show, popularly known as just “DWTS,” made a joke of Spier’s day one lies:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 21, 2019
Spicer’s lies are so ingrained in the Trump administration’s history they even appear in the Mueller report.
On Spicer’s exit from the Trump White House The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza wrote: “Sean Spicer Will Be Remembered for His Lies.”
Many are furious that ABC is “normalizing” a “pathological liar” and normalizing fascism by placing him on national television in a reality TV show.
Take a look:
S. SPICER: Hitler didn’t even sink to the level of using chemical weapons… he was not using the gas on his own people
NETWORK EXECS: Can you dance, though?
— Eric Rauchway (@rauchway) August 21, 2019
tee hee, get it, cause he turned a taxpayer-funded position into a propaganda arm, lying to our faces every single day in order to aid a white supremacist administration, hilarious!
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) August 21, 2019
Intentionally and gleefully lying to the American public is not something to joke about. Disgusting.
— Kevin Maisto (@kevinmaisto) August 21, 2019
Was Joseph Goebbels unavailable?
— Daniel Malmer (@danielmalmer) August 21, 2019
I’m old enough to remember when Sean Spicer said Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on his own people and then when backtracking called concentration camps “Holocaust centers”.
Not a good look ABC. pic.twitter.com/RFMMpFAyUC
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) August 21, 2019
— Sharon Ringel (@sharon_ringel) August 21, 2019
Remember when Spicer talked about ‘Holocaust centers’ and defended Hitler, saying he didn’t use chemical weapons? That should have had actual repercussions. And should now too. https://t.co/jDWSTX8OdR
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) August 21, 2019
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) August 21, 2019
None of this is funny. This man knowingly and blatantly lied to the American people in his official capacity as a government servant of the people. He helped create the atrocity that is still in office. Shame on ABC.
— Amanda Hammar (@AHammar_esq) August 21, 2019
Nicely done, Tom!
But I’d be more impressed if you walked out of hosting this season to boycott his selection.
— Sean Ryland (@sean_ryland) August 21, 2019
it’s funny because his job was to help a dangerous psychopath constantly lie to the country
— Lindsey Barrett (@LAM_Barrett) August 21, 2019
— kristywoods (@kristywoods) August 21, 2019
This is a seriously bad look on @DancingABC for casting this man.
— Tim (@mickeyshy12) August 21, 2019
Normalize fascism with the wash ups
— Orange President, Yellow King (@DYCTree) August 21, 2019
Why is DWTS promoting a pathological liar?#BoycottDWTS
— Elizabeth Squires (@esquires1215) August 21, 2019
you know how you sit in history class learning (hopefully they teach u) about the Holocaust and various genocides and you think “how on earth do good ppl let this happen?” When Spicer showed up on the Emmy’s was the first time I really truly understood how.
— Christine Nangle (@nanglish) August 21, 2019
I am a super loyal @dancingabc viewer who will not be watching this season. #DWTS is about growth, fun, escapism — and Sean Spicer and the Trump Administration are what we need to escape from. This is so disappointing. https://t.co/Rh1rCQA6gP
— Jess Morales Rocketto (@JessLivMo) August 21, 2019
Trump Defends Anti-Semitic Trope by Posting Claim From Birther Saying Jews ‘Love’ Trump Like ‘The King of Israel’
Wayne Allyn Root Once Bragged About the Size of the President’s Penis
President Trump once again is playing defense after launching an anti-Semitic trope on Tuesday accusing the vast majority of Jews in America of “great disloyalty.” The president did what he always does in these situations: finds anyone who will still support him and post their praise to Twitter.
Trump’s choice this time to “prove” he’s not anti-Semitic, despite delivering a grotesque anti-Semitic trope, is Wayne Allyn Root, who supposedly compared Trump to the “King of Israel,” and the “second coming of God.”
Root is a far right wing conspiracy theorist who once bragged about the size of President Trump’s penis. Root, as The Daily Beast reported last September, claimed Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Trump’s ties to Russia because he has “penis envy.”
“Mueller’s is smaller than Trump’s,” Root said, according to Right Wing Watch.
Root is also a birther, and claimed that the white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville was probably an actor paid by George Soros. Soros, a Jewish philanthropist, is the target of much of the far right’s conspiracy theories.
But back to Trump’s Wednesday morning tweets.
Here’s what he claims Root said:
“President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.”
Root, by the way, in June of 2016 declared his support for Trump by announcing, “I am a Jew turned evangelical Christian. I am also a passionate supporter of Donald Trump.”
Here’s how Trump’s tweets are being received:
Yes, Wayne Allyn Root, a conspiracy theorist who promote anti-Semitic George Soros attacks.
More racist blather.
— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) August 21, 2019
This thread, not a full day after calling American Jewish Democrats disloyal, is eschatological antisemitism from a right wing extremist. It draws a line between good (right wing and/or Israeli) and bad (liberal) Jews. This is stochastic terrorism. https://t.co/ezM7CglKvb
— Rabbi Andy Kahn (@rabbiandykahn) August 21, 2019
Hey @realDonaldTrump before you quote a guy who is claiming you aren’t anti-Semitic first make sure he hasn’t spewed anti-Semitic tropes like claiming George Soros was behind the 2017 white supremacist attack in Charlottesville:https://t.co/KDa2bO9IMt pic.twitter.com/EqVxcm5oAz
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) August 21, 2019
Trump defender Wayne Allyn Root: “In addition to being a Donald Trump–obsessed sycophant, right-wing commentator Wayne Allyn Root is also an avid conspiracy theorist who unapologetically continues to insist that Seth Rich was murdered by the Democrats” https://t.co/ShzfFYoXSw
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) August 21, 2019
Wayne Allyn Root after the Las Vegas mass shooting claimed the shooter was part of ISIS as he tried to gin up hate of Muslims. No wonder Trump loves him – both anti-Muslim bigots who love conspiracies. https://t.co/ajZmAV7Dci pic.twitter.com/GLmMuWZejE
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) August 21, 2019
Wayne Allyn Root has promoted conspiracy theories including that Las Vegas shooter had ISIS ties, Charlottesville was a false flag, Seth Rich was murdered (by any number of Democrats) and birtherism.https://t.co/xM0W4BPUDK https://t.co/wYJG2gPwBY
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) August 21, 2019
Trump’s ‘Indefensible’ Comments Just Made It ‘Much Much Harder’ for GOP to Win in 2020: Ex-RNC Chair
President Donald Trump’s latest anti-Semitic trope is going to make it “much much harder” for Republicans to hold control of the White House in 2020, the former chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) explained on MSNBC on Tuesday.
Michael Steele was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on “Hardball.”
“There’s a long-respected leader of what’s called Jewish Republicans, Matt Brooks — I’ve known him for a long time — this guy has the job of helping get votes, Republican votes, in the community, which generally votes Democrats,” Matthews noted. “What is he going to deal with this baby, this assault on religious identity and trying to claim you must vote your group?”
“You already had the Republican Jewish group come out and sort of back the president up, so you’re going to have reinforcements that way,” Steele noted.
In fact, Brooks himself defended the president.
As I said there’s a significant distinction between questioning one’s loyalty to themselves and their community (Trump) and questioning one’s loyalty to your country (Lieu) https://t.co/fMOgCJgD3n
— Matt Brooks (@mbrooksrjc) August 20, 2019
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) August 20, 2019
“What else is he going to do, what can he do? The reality is Trump has consistently put the party in a position where it has to defend the indefensible, to a point where it is so weak-kneed, it has no other choice but to stand next to him, and go, ‘Uh-huh, uh-huh, what he said,’” Steele explained.
“The reality for us politically on the right, on the Republican side, going into next year’s election is that now you’ve got one more group, one more, you know, community of individuals that are going to make that conversation much much harder to get their vote for our candidate,” Steele added.
“All I hear is gunfire on 5th Avenue, he keeps shooting people on 5th avenue and he keeps getting away it,” Matthews added.
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