Tonight on the TLC network, another season of 19 Kids & Counting will makes its debut. And when it does, the show will spend some of its time documenting the Duggar's eldest son, Josh, as he moves his family to the nation's capital.
When I asked TLC spokesperson Shannon Martin about the plans for how the show will cover Josh's move, here is what she told me:
19 Kids and Counting will cover Josh/Anna's life outside of Josh's new position at the FRC. His professional life will not be followed in the show. Thanks for your email.
Right, so let's talk about his professional life, the basis of my email to Ms. Martin.
The FRC that Ms. Martin mentions would be the Family Research Council, one of the nation's single most hostile organizations when it comes to LGBT people. As you may know, Josh Duggar accepted an Executive Director position with the Family Research Council's action arm, which is precisely why he and his family have moved to DC. In terms of plot line, that is Josh's big story. Over the past year he has gone from being a family man and reality star to also being a senior voice for an organization that the Southern Povery Law Center designates as an active anti-gay hate group.
In his new role at FRC, Josh has not shied away from making his anti-LGBT views known. While serving as a fill-in radio host for his boss at FRC, the jaw-droppingly anti-LGBT Tony Perkins, Josh recently admitted that he sees his lesbian aunt as "choosing" a "lifestyle":
In another appearance, Josh commiserated with Rick Santorum on his "totally correct" assessment of what gay people supposedly do to the American family:
There's also this one, in which Josh questioned the science surrounding sexual orientation before claiming that lawmakers are "giving special rights" to LGBT people:
(*first voice is Josh's cohost for this day, Ryan Bomberger)
[SOURCE: Washington Watch w/ Tony Perkins; 8/15/13]
This is is anti-LGBT advocacy, which is now a major part of his Josh Duggar makes his living. Josh moved to DC so he could work alongside colleagues who admit they want to "export" gay people....
FRC SENIOR POLICY FELLOW PETER SPRIGG: “I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States, because we believe that homosexuality is destructive to society.”
*SOURCE: Gays seek immigration reform [Medill Reports]
MUCH MORE FROM PETER SPRIGG [GLAAD CAP]
...who say gays are "vile" and "held captive by the enemy"...
FRC PRESIDENT TONY PERKINS: Those that understand the homosexual community — the activists — they are very aggressive…everything they accuse us of they are in triplicate. They’re intolerant, they’re hateful, they’re vile, they’re spiteful…Our response to them should be one of love and of compassion. But let me tell you what, it's not love to be silent in the face of those who are advancing an agenda that is destructive to our society and, more importantly, destructive to individuals involved. To me, that is the height of hatred—to be silent when we know there individuals engaged in behavior, activity, and an agenda that will destroy them and our nation. We’ve got to be very careful to guard our hearts — that we in the midst of this battle don’t become so calloused, that we realize they’re not the enemy. The enemy is simply using them as pawns. They are held captive by the enemy…
...and who claim we are possessed by the Devil:
FRC VP OF RELIGIOUS MINISTRIES, KENYN CURETON: "Who do you think is ultimately behind the efforts to advance the radical homosexual agenda, indoctrinate our children, and ruin our military, now? Who's behind the efforts to get God out of government, Christ out of culture, and faith out of public life? Who's behind it? Well, I think we've got a pretty clear answer. [laughter] The Devil is behind it! So, the real enemy…it's not the poor, deluded souls who are advancing these ungodly agendas—they're simply pawns in the hands of their malevolent master. They need to be set free by the grace of God in the person of Jesus Christ—amen?…As you think about this battle in which we're engaged, you need to think about who the real enemy is that we're fighting against here, and that is, the fact is, we're up against the organized, mobilized, demonized forces of hell itself. And really, to the victor goes the prize of the America our children will inherit, so this is a fight we dare not lose. Amen?"
MUCH MORE FROM KENYN CURETON [GLAAD CAP]
These are now Josh's coworkers. Office mates. Colaborers in the "pro-family" movement.
And the thing is, Josh has used his reality TV profile to promote FRC's interests. Check out the following promotion for the Family Research Council's upcoming Values Voters Summit, one of the most reliably anti-LGBT events on the conservative political calendar. Note how Josh pointedly mentions his TLC show in order to drive people to an event that he admits is focused, in part, on "traditional marriage":
We should also note that Josh is slated to speak at the conference, as are his parents and fellow TLC stars, Michelle and Jim Bob.
Josh is using TLC to promote what is probably the single most anti-LGBT political organization in this nation. The fact of the matter is that one of this show's biggest stars is now working for a special interest group that makes attacking LGBT rights its top priority. I mean, just the other day, FRC released a fundraising pitch that admitted the organization wants to "heal" LGBT people and save us from our "unhealthy and destructive" "lifestyles":
FRC uses this fundraising money to pay Josh Duggar's salary! And yet Josh wants LGBT viewers to just overlook the harsh truth in order to buy into a glossy reality TV fiction?
Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. When viewers see shots of Josh Duggar with DC monuments glowing behind him, they should know that he is in that city so that he can help one of the LGBT community's most rabid opponents carry out its agenda. That is what he is helping to plot—it's only fair that his plot lines reflect this, an anti-LGBT political mission for which he himself signed up.
**UPDATE: Tonight's premiere will specifically focus on Josh and Anna's move, with Josh even mentioning that he has to report to work. Here's a clip:
It is completely reasonable for us to ask what, exactly, this work entails.