The child molestation scandal involving Josh Duggar has left many optimists hoping the experience might humble notoriously anti-gay parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who have a long history of actively campaigning against LGBT rights.
Optimists are often disappointed and the Duggars' answers to Fox News' Megyn Kelly Wednesday night, during their first interview following the scandal, affirmed that fact.
Possibly the most telling part of Kelly's interview came around the 45 minute mark when the popular evening news journalist brought up allegations that the reality TV couple acted hypocritically by claiming gay and transgender people are predators, given the fact that their eldest son molested their own daughters.
"Michelle let me ask you, because you were in the news because you made robocalls that suggested that transgender people might want to go into the bathrooms or locker rooms of girls and they might be child molesters," Kelly said. "People have asked that in the past week, how could you, in their view, unfairly accuse transgender people, suggesting that they're child molesters knowing what you know about Josh?"
Rather than answer the question, the Duggar matriarch stuck by her transphobic guns.
"I think that protecting young girls and not allowing young men and men in general to a girls locker room is just common sense," she said.
Jim Bob was quick to clarify his wife's participation in the robocalls and corrected Kelly on terminology which further insinuated that transgender people are dangerous.
"I think you said 'pedophile' and pedophile is an adult who preys on children," Jim Bob said. He then made note that his son was technically "under the wire" at the time of the allegations.
"Josh was actually 14 and just turned 15 when he did what he did and I think the legal definition is 16 and up. He was a child preying on a child," he added.
In August 2014, Michelle Duggar drew criticism for participating in a robocall that sought to overturn a Fayetteville, Ark., anti-discrimination ordinance. In the robocall, Michelle Duggar called transgender women predators.
"I don't believe the citizens of Fayetteville would want males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female to have a legal right to enter private areas that are reserved for women and girls," she said in the recorded message. "I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space."
During the interview Wednesday night, Kelly asked Michelle Duggar, "Can you understand the critics' reaction to this news?"
"We've all done things wrong. That's why Jesus came," she said. "This is more like ... there's an agenda and there's people who are purposing to try to bring things out and to hurt and slander."
Michelle Duggar insists that since her eldest son molested four of their daughters and a babysitter in the early 2000s, they've put "safeguards" in place to ensure there aren't future molestations - from men at least.
"There's things we've learned even since then. We don't let boys babysit. They don't play hide and seek together. Two don't go up and hide," Michelle Duggar told Kelly. "There's just a lot of things that we've put in place. We say 'you're not allowed in a room with someone else, always be out visible, little ones don't sit on big boys' laps, or people you don't know, or even family members; unless it's your daddy.' There's boundaries."
When Kelly announced that she would be conducting the first interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, she made it clear that it would not be a "cross examination" of the Christian TV reality couple.
Kelly, who is widely regarded as the rightwing cable news outlet's most even-handed journalist, traded in her signature aggressive line of questioning with the Duggars for a more Barbara Walters-like approach. With few follow-up questions from Kelly, the Duggars portrayed themselves as victims of backlash from a liberal media quick to label them as hypocrites.
Watch the whole interview here.
From our media partner EDGE