55 days after Duggar molestation made public, TLC cancels “19 Kids and Counting”

On May 21, police reports alleging that religious conservative icon Josh Duggar molested five underage girls when he was a teenager were made public.

Today, 55 days later, TLC announced that it will cancel the TV show featuring the Duggar family, 19 Kids and Counting.

TLC had briefly pulled the show from its programming schedule immediately following the announcement, but resumed airing the show later on. The cancellation comes after more than 20 advertisers — including General Mills, Walgreens and Payless — dropped the show.

However, while advertisers were seemingly able to take the hint that molestation is bad business, Duggar has retained a number of ardent defenders, including Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Duggar, who resigned from his position as a lobbyist at the Family Research Council after the allegations emerged, had previously been seen palling around with practically every major Republican presidential candidate, each of whom wanted Duggar’s stamp of approval as a person who understood Christian sexual purity as practiced preached by Duggar.

It was completely unsurprising that the same family values conservatives who are convinced, without a shred of evidence, that the gays are out to get your children had no problem asserting that Josh Duggar’s molestation of members of his own family somehow didn’t count as a violation of, you know, family values. As Kaili Joy Gray wrote in Wonkette following Huckabee’s defense of Duggar:

When he ran for president in 2012, Rick Santorum was happy to receive the enthusiastic endorsement and campaign appearances of the Duggar family. All the Duggars, even the littlest ones, who like him because he’s a “daddy” and also “sweater vests.” Has Santorum condemned his good friend Josh Duggar for SEXING HIS OWN SISTERS? Nah, Santorum’s too busy polishing his speech to announce that he’s officially running for president again — you know, for family values and The Children.

Josh Duggar and Mike Huckabee, via Twitter

Josh Duggar and Mike Huckabee, via Twitter

Mike Huckabee, who received the coveted Duggar endorsement when he ran for president in 2008, is the only politician who’s taken a break from values-preaching to address his close relationship with a child molester and his accomplice parents. And that, as we all know because of how it induced collective vomiting across America, was to point out that Josh diddling his kid sisters is old news, and Jesus has most assuredly forgiven him for that, so the rest of us should as well. MOVE ON, AMERICA.

So TLC finally did the right thing and cancelled a show that directly tied the network to a veritable sex cult. Good for them? I guess we’ll take it, even if it comes 54 days too late.

Now when is the rest of the Republican field going to cut ties with him, as well?


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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