How did the subjects of a TLC reality show creep their way onto the homepage of every blog in America? The Duggars, the hyper-Christian conservative family made famous by "19 Kids & Counting," didn't have to position themselves as symbols of American conservatism -- they could have remained in their media ghetto, yelling nonsensical opinions into the void of the Internet.
Instead, as their star ascended and their TLC show attracted millions of viewers, they were embraced by the increasingly radical Tea Party and the rest of the Republican party as politicians attempted to win favor with families who don't believe in straight-on hugging until marriage. As the Duggar family used politicians to confer legitimacy upon their extreme brand of "Quiverfull" Christianity and politicians used the heady glow of reality TV celebrity to bolster their credibility with the right-wing base, the Duggars became inextricably intertwined with the modern Republican party. This is why, when Josh Duggar admitted he molested his underage sisters, Fox News should have responded.
But the conservative network has devoted less than two minutes total to to the scandal, compared with CNN, which devoted over an hour, and MSNBC, which has spent almost 58 minutes discussing the Quiverfull devotees.
In fact, on May 24, Fox News' media critic Howard Kurtz criticized the other networks for noting that many, many Republican politicians had posed for pictures with Josh Duggar, the former head of the anti-gay Family Research Council's political wing.
"Well, obviously they didn't know about this. This is not a time for piling on," he said. "TLC did the right thing in saying it's deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation."
Essentially, Fox News is cool with former Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee being intimately involved with the Duggars when they were fighting LGBT rights, but when one of them actually turns out to be a child molester we can just pretend their relationship was an unhappy memory?