Megyn Kelly’s Fox News Channel interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar revealed quite a bit about the parenting techniques of the “19 Kids and Counting” matriarch and patriarch — but plenty of questions remain.
Here are 9 questions still lingering after Wednesday’s primetime interview.
Will “19 Kids and Counting” Finally Be Canceled?
TLC has yet to can “19 Kids and Counting,” though the Discovery Communications cable channel yanked it from its schedule fairly swiftly. As a result, the popular show was also taken down from platforms such as Hulu. At the moment, it appears that no official decision has been made about the series’ future — perhaps TLC brass were waiting for the interview’s public reaction, which is already well underway.
See photos: Josh Duggar Gets Cozy With the GOP Elite
As Kelly herself told TheWrap on the eve of her big interview: “I don’t know what TLC will decide, because it’s a big moneymaker for them and it’s only getting more popular … This case is more complicated than at first it appears.”
Will TLC Change Its Programming and Vetting Practices as a Result of the Scandal?
The cable channel pays its bills with reality television, and some of it isn’t the classiest programming — remember “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”? Having canceled that show following its own molestation fallout and with “19 Kids and Counting” on the bubble at best, is it time to shift gears overall, ratings be damned? Or is the vetting process more to blame?
One prominent reality TV executive previously told TheWrap that the vetting process on cable networks is far laxer than broadcast TV’s.
“The big networks, say, ABC with a show like ‘Wife Swap,’ do an intense screener: full physical and mental health histories and a drug test. People often fail,” the reality-show insider said. “When you get to cable, you find it’s not as professional.”
On the Oxygen series “Bad Girls Club,” the source recalled, “finalists for the cast will sit with the network’s head of business affairs, two lawyers and a witness, and they’ll go through a list of house rules.” After parameters are set, the cast will sign waivers releasing the network from liability for any physical or emotional harm to the group.
Will the Family Still Stay So Politically Active After the Scandal?
The Duggars have been prominent members of the GOP, with father Jim Bob Duggar previously serving in the Arkansas House of Representatives and Josh Duggar serving on the board of the conservative Family Research Council.
Josh has since resigned that position, and former Republican allies have begun turning on the family. Rick Santorum, whom the Duggars endorsed for President in 2012, said, “”I was sickened by it. I was just sickened by it,” Santorum said. “I pray for those girls in particular… To have gone through that is… just hard to think about.”
With the future of the show uncertain and their public image severely tarnished, CNN contributor Ben Fergusson said it would be wise for the GOP to put distance between themselves and the family.
“At this point, anyone who stands [with] them I think would be irresponsible; it sends the wrong message,” Ferguson asserted on CNN. He added, “You have a family that cared more about protecting the brand of this family and being a total fraud than they did about the welfare of children that were being abused by one of their own.”
Will More Revelations/Accusations Arise?
All reports indicate that Josh Duggar only molested five girls, including his own sisters and a babysitter. However, in cases such as this, it is not uncommon for more alleged victims to come forward, much as they have in the scandal that has rocked comedian Bill Cosby.
What started as one victim in Cosby’s case quickly snowballed to now include over three dozen women accusing the comedian of drugging and raping them.
If Josh Duggar did in fact engage in inappropriate behavior beyond what has already been reported, it would only further damage the already immensely damaged image of himself and his family.
Could There Be a Civil Suit, or Charges From Other Incidents That Would Potentially Still Fall Under a Statute of Limitations?
Much like the Bill Cosby scandal, the statute of limitations on Josh Duggar’s abuse has expired. However, should additional victims come forward, like the babysitter mentioned in last night’s interview, there is the chance that a civil suit could be forthcoming.
Likewise, if it is revealed that Josh Duggar committed additional abuse since what was reported, he could face charges if it occurred within the past few years.
Could Children Be Taken Away From the Duggars?
In light of the revelations made in Wednesday’s interview, it seems Arkansas child services would be remiss if they did not conduct some type of investigation into the embattled reality stars.
If the government feels that the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did not adequately address the molestation and protect their younger children, there is the chance that some of the couple’s 19 kids could be removed from their home.
Will the Interview Score “The Kelly File’s” Biggest Ratings To-Date?
FNC’s “The Kelly File” has been crushing its 9 p.m. competition in the ratings essentially since launching. The 44-year-old anchor has 20 straight months atop both the key 25-54 cable news demographic and total viewers.
In May, Kelly’s FNC hour averaged 2.122 million total viewers, with 417,000 coming from the key adults 25-54 ratings demo. “The Kelly File” was second in both metrics across all of cable news, following only fellow Fox News anchor Bill O’ Reilly. As a matter of fact, Kelly saw a whopping 58 percent year-over-year viewership increase in the main news demo, the biggest growth for first-place FNC.
For all of 2015 thus far, “The Kelly File” has a 300 percent advantage over CNN in total viewers and a 101 percent advantage in the demo. In her hour, Fox News nearly triples MSNBC in total viewers and more than doubles them in the key demo.
“The Kelly File’s” highest-rated show fell on Nov. 24, 2014 — the night of the breaking news of the Ferguson riots — when the program delivered 7.3 million in total viewers and 2.2 million in 25-54.
Whether or not the Duggar interview scores Kelly her biggest ratings will come out later today.
Has Megyn Kelly Set Herself Up to Get the Next Big Pop Culture Interview Too?
Though just those aforementioned 20 months into the primetime game, the Duggars follow a string of big interview “gets” for Kelly, including politicians Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Dick Cheney and Chris Christie.
“We are very much in contention for the biggest ‘gets’ right now,” Kelly told TheWrap earlier this week. “It’s a jump ball, but I think that ball is tipping over to me.”
While we can’t predict who the next big pop culture scandal and thus interview we’ll be, there’s a good chance the target or culprit appears on Fox News in the strong 9 p.m. hour.
Will the Babysitter Victim Come Forward?
Jessa Duggar revealed that she was abused by her older brother, but Jim Bob and Michelle also revealed that Josh inappropriately touched a babysitter when he was a teenager. While the babysitter’s name has been withheld, she may now come forward to avoid having her name released in the media.
Then again, she may wish to avoid the scandal all together, and do her best to remain anonymous. In the internet age that we find ourselves in, however, that ultimately seems unlikely.