The Duggars’ days as reality TV stars are well behind them, and at this point, most of the information we receive about the family comes from their social media pages.
Obviously, that gives the controversial clan far greater control over their public image …
… which is why it’s so weird that not a week goes by without a new Duggar controversy.
Most of these start innocently enough, with some random Duggar sharing an update from their private life, and commenters informing them that the activity or belief depicted is either stupid, dangerous, or both.
The latest post from James Duggar definitely falls under the “both” category.
James revealed this week that his brother Jeremiah is teaching him how to fly a helicopter.
“Learning to fly has proven to be challenging, but also some of the most fun l’ve ever had!!” James captioned a photo of himself in the cockpit seated next to Jeremiah.
“And I also have an amazing instructor,” he added, tagging Jeremiah.
Now, several Duggars are licensed pilots, and Jim Bob has been known to purchase second-hand aircraft for his son’s to play around with.
So there’s nothing new about most of this — but according to a new report from UK tabloid The Sun, a time-lapsed video that originally accompanied the pic showed Jeremiah’s wife and child seated in the back of the cockpit.
Not surprisingly, fans didn’t react well to the idea of a novice pilot taking a baby for a ride.
“Did Jeremiah let a student (James Duggar) fly his wife and child?” one commenter asked, according to The Sun.
“I wish I had faith in anything as much as these guys have in cheap, second- hand single engine planes and 30 hours of flight training.
“Oh god, I was thinking the same exact thing. Only 30 hours of flight training… they’re gonna need more than Jesus to take that wheel,” another joked.
“This is literally how entire families die. Like when a dad decides he wants to be a pilot and gets his license and then something bad happens to the little plane…” a third chimed in.
“I couldn’t imagine being so irresponsible as to let a trainee fly my family. Family values, my foot.”
“Seems dangerous, so absolutely on par with typical Duggar risk assessment!” a fourth observed.
Others offered half-hearted justifications, but even the defenders seemed to realize that babies shouldn’t be in helicopters with rookie pilots.
“FWIW James did get his pilot’s license back in Feb. Nonetheless he’s still a new pilot and still learning. I wouldn’t trust him,” one such commenter reasoned.
Jeremiah and Hannah live in a camper van so this is certainly not the first time that their parenting choices have been criticized.
But while most of the trash-talk is just that, this time, it seems there’s real cause for concern.