In Touch Weekly broke the story about Josh Duggar, and in subsequent follow-up stories, they have been a model of restraint and journalistic ethics. I’m not saying that sarcastically. In Touch’s reporting throughout this ongoing horror show has been completely above-board. Kudos to them for following up on a tip, filing the appropriate FOIA requests and following through with their completely sourced reporting. In the wake of the Duggars’ profoundly disturbing Fox News interview, In Touch has done a rather epic companion piece defending their reporting and calling out all of the lies Jim-Bob and Michelle told throughout. You can read In Touch’s epic takedown here. Some highlights (I’m doing some major edits for space).
Jim Bob and Michelle lied about how much they cooperated with the Springfield PD during the 2006 investigation. The Duggars made it seem like they fully cooperated but the actual police report reveals “that Jim Bob refused to produce Josh for a police-requested interview and stopped cooperating with the probe.”
Mandatory reporters. That was Jim-Bob’s wording in the interview, that he and Michelle were “not mandatory reporters, the law allows parents to do what they think is best for their child,” thus they did nothing wrong when they did NOTHING while Josh molested girls and escalated over the course of a year. Except In Touch spoke to “multiple legal experts,” all of whom say that as parents, they were allowing a 14/15 year old to prey on minor children at least seven times over the course of a year, which constitutes felony child endangerment for, as Michelle termed it, “the other ones,” i.e. the victims of her predator son.
Jim Bob suggested that the Springdale police chief took a bribe. I’ll admit it, this part of the Duggars’ interview confused me because Megyn Kelly kept interrupting to push her nonsensical agenda. Jim-Bob basically said that Kathy O’Kelley, the Spingfield police chief, took a bribe from In Touch (or someone else?) to somehow get Josh’s records released. In Touch writes: “The records were obtained through Arkansas’ Freedom of Information Act, which is one of the most liberal open records laws in the country, according to the state’s attorney general. In Touch has a paper trail that proves city attorneys reviewed the FOI request and approved the records’ release. Further, Jim Bob’s ‘bribe or personal agenda’ explanation for the records’ release loses all credibility in light of the fact that a SECOND police report detailing Josh’s crimes was obtained by In Touch magazine through FOIA. That second report comes from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Springdale police chief has no involvement in deciding if those records can be released.”
The FOIA-requested releases are not illegal. The Duggars continuously referred to the records as being “illegally released.” In Touch spoke to legal experts and worked with law enforcement and the AR Press Association to ensure that their FOIA requests were completely legal and above-board. A local lawyer in Little Rock tells In Touch that the agencies involved with the investigations into Josh Duggar’s crimes did not have a choice, “They had to release the reports. Those records are not closed under FOI. The alleged perpetrator had attained his majority at the time it was released, and once his name and all the victims’ names were blacked out, it was subject to FOI.”
Jim-Bob and Michelle did not address the other investigation. You know, the one conducted by the Department of Human Services. That investigation was kicked off when the police figured out that the statute of limitations had already (conveniently) passed. No one really knows what the Arkansas DHS discovered during the course of their investigation, only that Josh Duggar sued them afterwards.
I feel like… there’s still going to be more stuff to come out. I’m not talking about people commenting about this horror show after-the-fact, although that is definitely happening. I kind of think another shoe is going to drop. I wonder if that’s why the Duggars have kept Josh away from the media?
Here’s one more tragicomic thing: you know how Mike Huckabee stood up for a child molester and his enablers? Well, now Huckabee is quietly removing all signs of the Duggars from his campaign website. SO CHRISTIAN!!
Photos courtesy of Duggars’ social media, cover courtesy of In Touch.