Wednesday night's Fox News interview with "19 Kids and Counting" stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar about their son Josh's admission that he molested five underage girls, including his sisters, caused the family name to immediately trend on Twitter.
Within hours, there were more than 10,000 tweets with the #Duggars hashtag, and many were horrified by the couple's attempts to downplay their son's behavior:
When you reframe sexual abuse as "improper touching" there's something really wrong in that household. #Duggars
— E_Joyce (@E_Joyce) June 4, 2015
— Dawn Neufeld (@DawnNeufeld) June 4, 2015
Molesting a child is a crime, not a "mistake". Also, you only got outside help when he molested others, not your own daughters. #Duggars
— Jason Rector (@jasonrector) June 4, 2015
Wow. I'm glad nobody would ever use God to lessen the sting of sexual assault...oh wait... #duggars
— Anthony Beall (@Anthony_Beall) June 4, 2015
— Callie Thompson (@calliethomp) June 4, 2015
#duggars say they spoke w/ families who had "worse things" happen. Um. Police? PLEASE FOLLOW UP ON THAT.
— Elizabeth Esther (@elizabethesther) June 4, 2015
"It was over the clothes" "they were asleep" #Duggars you're appalling.
— Natalie Elise ❤️ (@natalie_elisexo) June 4, 2015
Several people commented on the awkward six-second pause during a part of the conversation in which Michelle Duggar was asked about the hypocrisy of robocalls she had made in an effort to fight a law promoting LGBT rights, which she warned would lead to transgendered people preying on children in restrooms.
Michelle #Duggars just had the most awkward pause in the history of television in trying to explain her transphobic hypocrisy.
— Holy Bullies (@holybullies) June 4, 2015
So, you can molest your siblings as long as you're sorry. If you're born gay, or transgender, well..you're gonna burn in hell. Ok.. #Duggars
— Jade (@GHGeneralTruth) June 4, 2015
That even drew a response from talk-show host Montel Williams:
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) June 4, 2015
Williams also shared his thoughts on Facebook:
There is something very sinister beneath the surface - these are people who basically said they thought they could be as preachy as they wanted because the records were sealed, these are people who seemingly minimize what happened in their home and essentially sent a message to their daughters to smile, nod and forgive. It's eerily reminiscent of the 'keep sweet' mantra in Warren Jeffs' FLDS."
Others pointed out the hypocrisy of the Duggars craving the media spotlight with a TV show but then complaining about the media attention that the case has drawn:
#Duggars upset about all the attention and exposure that's been heaped on the kids who they've paraded on TV every week.
— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) June 4, 2015
The #Duggars are angry at the media for making this public? YOU HANDED YOUR FAMILY OVER TO THE MEDIA.
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) June 4, 2015
Even "God" weighed in:
"Jim Bob Duggar: 'God Has Forgiven Josh'." No I haven't. He's going to hell, just like you.
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) June 4, 2015
Fox News will air more of the interview on Friday night.
If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault, call 911.
Also on HuffPost:
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