Was Discovery Communications Complicit In Covering Up A Crime? Inquiring Minds ….

I first wrote about the Quiverfull movement waaay back in 2009. I called it a cult, and it is a cult, a creepy pedophilia cult (if you aren’t familiar with this group or its beliefs, Gawker has a handy dandy rundown under the headline “Quiverfull of Shit.”)

I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that Josh Duggar has admitted to sexually molesting children as they slept — some of them his own sisters. I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that one of the leaders of this movement, Bill Gothard, has himself been accused of sex-based offenses.

What I do find interesting is that it’s become increasingly clear that The Learning Channel/Discovery Communications knew of Josh Duggar’s sex offenses years before the first show of the reality series aired, while the Duggars were starring in specials on sister network Discovery Health. And, despite knowing this information, they still signed the family to star in their own reality show, falsely promoted the family as some kind of wholesome Christian novelty, misrepresented the family to the public, and profited from it. They lied to their advertisers and they lied to their viewers. How is this not fraud?

According to the police report published by InTouch, the investigation was sparked when someone tipped off an Oprah Winfrey staffer in 2006, in advance of a taping by the family on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Here’s how it all went down:

The Duggars told police that at the time Josh was accused of, and admitting to, these sexual acts, “a family friend aware of what had happened had written down in a letter what he knew of [redacted, Josh’s] actions…That letter had been placed in a book and had subsequently been forgotten about. Just recently [in 2006] the book had been loaned to someone else with the letter in it and another person discovered the letter.

The Duggars refused to tell police who wrote the letter and who found it.

When the family was scheduled to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in 2006, an email was sent to the show warning them about the alleged molestation. The email was written by a 61-year-old female who is not identified.

Harpo Studios faxed the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline. The report was then opened for investigation, leading to the investigation by Springdale police.

When police asked Jim Bob to bring Josh in for an interview in 2006, he attempted to hire a lawyer and refused to produce his son for questioning. At least two lawyers refused to take his case. “Det. Hignite received a voice mail from Mr. Duggar stating that [redacted] had hired an attorney and would not be coming in for an interview.”

Oprah Winfrey has been very open about her own history of being a survivor of child sexual abuse. So good for her and her staffers for starting this whole ball rolling. And shame on everyone who subsequently covered it up: the Arkansas state trooper who let Josh Duggar off the hook and two years later was himself jailed for child pornography, and most especially Discovery Communications. Because it defies belief that TLC and Discovery didn’t know about this — indeed, after the Oprah cancellation, the internet was on fire with rumors about Josh Duggar’s sexual offenses. At the very least, Discovery Health would have wanted to know about the abrupt and last-minute Oprah cancellation.

This needs to be investigated. The FCC needs to look into this. If a basic-cable network is covering up crimes against children and then promoting a pedophilia cult into the popular culture, they are not acting in the public interest. This is far worse than Bono saying an award is “fucking awesome” or Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. These are real crimes, and it appears the network not only knew about it, but ignored it so they could promote this creepy, far-from-wholesome family for their own financial gain.



Filed under cults, culture wars, media, religion

12 responses to “Was Discovery Communications Complicit In Covering Up A Crime? Inquiring Minds ….

  1. Kathleen

    I would like to know if they could be prosecuted and who could initiate that. Off the top of my head I would think shareholders of Discovery might have a stake, if their shares were devalued because of the Duggars’ and Honey Boo Boo’s scandals resulting in revenue loss. The other option would be complicity in the cover up. Is there a statute of limitations on complicity in a criminal act, particularly one in which the statute has expired?

    • I wonder if there couldn’t be a class action lawsuit … I would also think stakeholders like DirectTV and Dish Network and Time Warner Cable would also have a complaint to be made, of course that could all be used as leverage in future carrier negotiations. And while the statue of limitations applies to Josh Duggar regarding criminal activity, that wouldn’t apply to the network, as their complicity has only just been revealed.

  2. Mary L. Wilson

    Well, aside from holding the ‘family’ or TLC or Discovery criminally liable, the local DHS office in Arkansas where they supposedly live…this is local government and I don’t think there is a statute that would have expired on FAMILY CHILD ABUSE, especially when both parents knew about it and refused to get the boy away and seek counseling for ALL the little girls who were abused. And of course we, those who really seek justice, should provide the truth and facts about this “reality show” since so many who were involved in making money from these grown ups. And SB, your work on exposing the Quiverful bunch should continue!!

  3. Shutter

    I think The Learning Channel is probably even now sending memos back and forth amongst their development team about a new show featuring recovering child molesters, life stories, re-enactments of past activities etc. All this attention being given to the Duggars and their molester? Of course they’d bat the idea around.

    You know in your heart of hearts they’re trying to figure out a way to do The Molester Channel. With a big lovin’ spoonful of Jesus too. Just to be safe.

    • Kathleen

      Interesting you should say that, because I just heard a blurb on the “Today” show that the Washington Post TV critic made a case for the show staying on the air because it would show the Duggars dealing with this situation and that would be real reality and therefore good television. I kid you not.

  4. CB

    “TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting from its schedule in the wake of accusations that star Josh Duggar molested several underage girls as a teenager.”

    Sounds like cya to me.


    • Pulled, not cancelled. They’re still figuring out what to do and one option is to bring the show back without Josh Duggar. Even canceling the show isn’t sufficient. That whole network needs to be sanctioned. This is the second time they’ve promoted a known pedophile in their programming.

      • ThresherK

        Can they barter the rights to whatever Court TV is calling itself now? Because that’ll save a few steps for us viewers, and help offset the lawyers’ fees, of which I hope there are plenty.

        (Note to self: Learn where Court TV is on my cable box and plan to hatewatch trial.)

  5. Randy

    Good eye SB. TLC can just run reruns of “Children of the Corn” until they can get the Duggar’s back on TV.

  6. I always thought that Duggars were creepzoids, anyway, this is just icing on the cake, so to speak.

    I was a victim of sexual abuse for four years or so as a child. I quit trusting humans when I was a 4yo. I’ve seen no reason to revise that position, since. Acting, “As if”, has worked reasonably well over the years but it makes any social/romantic/work relationship a lot more stressful than it might already be.

    I would like to have my abuser, his brother and a few other folks forced to come to term with the abusers actions and their own inactions. Fortunately, they’re all dead.