The members of Duggar family are no strangers to controversy.
Long before Josh Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges, and even before word got out that he had molested three of his sisters, the Duggar clan was a magnet for scandal and criticism, much of it owing to their highly unorthodox belief system.
As members of the Independent Baptist Church and the disgraced Institute For Basic Life Principles, the Duggars always represented a major risk for TLC execs.
But it was the family’s bizarre belief systems that made them so attractive to the network.
After all, there are plenty of reality shows that center around unusually large families.
But it takes a family like the Duggars to make tabloid headlines before airing a single episode.
Back in 2008, it was the Duggars’ ultra-conservative worldview and controversial child-rearing strategies that generated the most controversy.
That all changed seven years later when a FOIA request resulted in the knowledge that parents Jim Bob and Michelle helped Josh avoid prosecution after learning that he had molested five young girls, four of whom were his sisters.
Now that Josh is soon to stand trial for storing dozens of graphic images and videos — some of them portraying children as young as 18 months old — the family has once more crossed from the tabloids into the mainstream press.
And once again, critics are hoping that this is the end of the Duggars’ time in the spotlight, while fans remain hopeful that the family will mount yet another comeback.
It may seem impossible that the Duggars could possibly rebuild their reputation after all the news that’s emerged over the course of the past four months.
But if you’ll recall, it felt that way when the first Josh-related scandal erupted six years ago.
Despite rumors that the Duggars are on the brink of financial ruin, insiders say Jim Bob is not the slightest bit concerned about his family’s future.
Apparently, the patriarch’s limitless confidence has led him to the conclusion that he can once again bring then family business back from the dead.
Although it seems that the Arkansas-based father of 19 might have made a major misstep from which he might not recover.
Recently, Josh’s legal team — paid for, like everything else in his life, by Jim Bob — successfully lobbied to have his trial pushed back from July to November.
That means more time to prepare — but it also means more time for the mainstream media to dwell on the case.
Last week, the Duggars were the topic of a scathing Washington Post op-ed which laid their case bear and pointed out that it’s not impossible for Jim Bob to mount a comeback.
In all likelihood, we’ll see more of that type of piece in the months to come, and coverage will really pick up as the trial date draws near.
That’s very bad news for Josh’s younger siblings, who might be hoping to continue making a living in media.
Some will contentedly work for Jim Bob’s used car dealership or his real estate firm.
But others clearly have plans for remaining in the public eye.
For example, Jinger Duggar published a memoir this year after relocating to Los Angeles back in 2018.
It seems unfair that she should lose her career because of her brother’s actions, but at the same time, she deserves blame for adhering to the path of least resistance.
Keeping your head in the sand and riding it out might have worked the last time Josh landed the whole family in trouble.
But this time, Jinger and company will need to flat-out condemn the family predator if they hope to retain their fan bases.