There’s No Evidence the Duggars Are Pitching a New Show in Which They’d Counsel Abuse Victims August 19, 2015

There’s No Evidence the Duggars Are Pitching a New Show in Which They’d Counsel Abuse Victims

The best and worst thing about the Internet is that a bit of information can spread far and wide very quickly. That’s a major problem, though, when the information was on quicksand to begin with. Let me show you what that looks like in practice using 19 Kids and Counting.

Last month, after TLC canceled the series following the Josh Duggar‘s molestation scandal, Star magazine (a tabloid) quoted an anonymous source saying this:

“The family can’t afford to not have the show — it is their main source of income, and with a family of that size, without it they’re in enormous trouble,” says a friend, adding the Arkansas couple are willing to beg for forgiveness to get the cash flowing again.

“They know they have to at least pretend to be sorry about what happened, and now they want a spin-off where Jim Bob and Michelle would give advice to abuse victims — even though they’re in denial about their culpability in Josh’s crimes.”

So the Duggars supposedly wanted a show in which they would give advice to abuse victims. That’s the rumor. We don’t know who this “friend” is, or how close that person is to the family. TLC hasn’t confirmed it. The Duggars haven’t hinted at it publicly.

It’s just unconfirmed gossip.

But that didn’t stop unreliable source after unreliable source from making a big deal out of that rumor.

And then my Patheos colleague Michael Stone at Progressive Secular Humanist spread it even further, wrongly suggesting that “industry insiders” knew about this “pitch” the Duggars were making.

There are no “industry insiders.” There’s no “pitch.”

It’s just unconfirmed gossip.

And then Raw Story amplified the story even more, linking back to Stone, with the headline “Desperate Duggars pitch TLC new show where they counsel sex abuse victims: report.” (Only the last word there suggests this may not be happening.)

And others are still spreading the bad information.

So let me say it again: There’s no evidence whatsoever that the Duggars are pitching this show.

Until there is, we should all know better than reporting hearsay with no substance, going for the cheap clickbait, and ignoring that whole “skepticism” thing we claim to love so much.

Here’s what we do know: On August 30, TLC will air a special called Breaking the Silence focusing on the horrors of child sex abuse. It will feature two of the Duggar sisters who were among Josh’s victims.

TLC has announced no further collaborations with the Duggars. Hell, it’d be stupid of them to throw even more money at a family that pushed advertisers away as quickly as they did. It’d be a public relations disaster. There’s no shortage of vapid people willing to put themselves in front of the cameras (Survivor, call me), so why would TLC even bother?

In any case, none of these stories about the Duggars’ supposed new show have any merit. There’s plenty of reason to criticize the Duggars. This isn’t one of them. Not without more reliable information. So let it go.

/EndOfRant

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