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Bill O’Reilly & Josh Duggar’s Shame Is America’s Shame: How Abusive And Violent Men Get Away With It

May 22, 2015 in Blogs

By Katie McDonough, Salon

Celebrity and wealth help conceal abuse, but the system makes ignoring it pretty easy for everyone.

Bill O’Reilly is alleged to have choked his wife and dragged her down a set of stairs. He also sexually harassed a former producer at his network and allegedly threatened retaliation when she complained. He is still a marquee name at Fox News. Josh Duggar sexually abused at least five underage girls, and his abuse was known to his family and his church. Until this week, he was the head of the political arm of the Family Research Council, cozying up with Republican presidential hopefuls.

Put aside the tabloid spin on O’Reilly’s perch at Fox or Duggar’s work to deny rights to and spread hate against LGBTQ people, and these are stories about violence against women, ignored and unpunished. There are so many stories like them.

It is true that both of these men have built their careers claiming their bigotry as morality and hatefully judging, blaming and castigating others. And because of that, there is a particular kind of stink that comes with reading about the crimes they are alleged to or have committed. But make no mistake: the silences around these cases aren’t unique. Bill O’Reilly and Josh Duggar faced zero consequences for their alleged actions and crimes because that’s how these things tend to go.

Duggar released a statement Thursday night calling his abuse “wrongdoing,” and said that he “took several steps” to address it with his parents and church so that he wouldn’t end up “ruining [his] life.” Set aside how Duggar’s statement frames the abuse in terms of how it may have affected his own life rather than the harm he did to other human beings, and the confession remains chilling. As does every detail in the police report that came out this week.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were aware of their son’s abuse and waited to report it. Instead of going immediately to the police or entering Josh into an intervention program for juvenile sexual predators, they chose to “deal” with it themselves. The Duggar parents …read more


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