Bristol Palin, the daughter of conservative icon Sarah Palin, has been watching the coverage of the Duggar controversy, and she has seen unlimited hypocrisy in the way the mainstream media has treated the family made famous by TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting. She wrote a blog this week wondering why the media was not this outraged with Girls actress Lena Dunham exposed her own childhood indiscretions. “The double standards make me sick,” she wrote.
Palin refers to Dunham’s book, Not That Kind of Girl, which chronicled several occasions in which Dunham engaged in questionable sexual behavior with her younger sister. The controversy was dwarfed by Dunham’s claims of being raped in college, but Palin hasn’t forgotten. “Remember the liberal media outrage?” she asked. “Oh that’s right. It’s didn’t happen. The liberal media darling Dunham was praised for her honest and witty book.”
Palin sees a stark hypocrisy in that, especially considering how devastating the attack has been on Josh Duggar. Last month, reports surfaced showing that Duggar had molested five girls as a teenager, four of which were his own sisters. The family’s reality show has been in jeopardy ever since, and even many conservatives have chosen to cut ties with the Duggars. “Liberals in today’s media can do no wrong, while conservatives can do no right,” Palin wrote.
Palin has her own experience with the mainstream media, of course. Few conservatives were attacked with as much ferocity as her mother; from the moment she was announced as John McCain’s running mate, reporters went into overdrive trying to discredit her as a political force.
There are, of course, differences between Josh Duggar and Lena Dunham. Dunham “molested” her one-year-old sister at the age of seven. Duggar was fourteen at the time of his incidents, and his sisters were old enough to understand what was happening. That said, they were allegedly asleep at the time and unaware they had been victimized until being told by their parents. Those who have followed the stories, read Dunham’s book, and watched the Duggars defend their son can draw their own conclusions about forgiveness and benefit of the doubt.
But the specificity of the cases aside, there’s no question that the vampires in the mainstream media have been itching to take the Duggars down for a decade. The revelations have given them the fuel to do so, and they have done everything they can to make sure this family is run out of town. That might even be appropriate, if they were only attacking Josh. But the media has tried to turn this into a condemnation of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, their lifestyle, and Christianity itself. This isn’t just about getting mileage from a scandal; this is about hanging a family in the public square.
What Josh Duggar did was disgusting. What the media is trying to do to this family, though, is also disgusting. Good for brave people like Bristol Palin and Mike Huckabee to stand up to this witch hunt, knowing full well that their critics will accuse them of defending a child molester. Speaking the truth isn’t always easy or popular. Good to know that there are still those who will do it anyway.