Without violating his confidence I can tell you that, in my opinion, there is absolutely no shame relating to the matters we discussed-- they have to do with health (that much has been reported elsewhere) and, trust me, absolutely no one would be buzzing about it today if Ryan had matter-of-factly disclosed everything and asked the media not to dwell on it out of respect to the boy.I hope his right-wing critics recognize that, despite his alleged fondness for Barack Obama, Zorn was apparently totally snowed by Jack!.
Note: On further consideration, I suspect that Zorn-bashers will just say that media-liberals like Eric think there is "absolutely no shame relating" to matters of public sexuality.
UPDATE: Zorn addresses the lies of Jack!:
So I asked him: Does all this material in the files have to do with the health situation that we spoke about?Okay, I guess we can safely say that Eric Zorn is not particularly fond of Jack! Ryan.
He remembered our conversation clearly and said, very directly, man to man, dad to dad, that yes, it did. He was doing what any father would do.
Now it turns out that he was lying, not just to me, but to all the reporters and Republican honchos whom he had assured that there were no personally embarrassing allegations in those divorce records.
In fact, as we learned Monday, Ryan's ex-wife alleged in divorce filings that in 1998 he took her to sex clubs in New Orleans, Paris and New York, the last featuring "cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling," she said.
I can't blame him for wanting to keep those sorts of allegations under wraps. They're very personal, they may reflect only a minor and brief dalliance in the "Eyes Wide Shut" world; or simply a nasty invention during the custody wrangle.
The measure of Jack Ryan's character is not that he had a rough divorce, or that he may have or may at one time have had unconventional sexual interests. It's not even that he didn't spill every juicy detail when reporters came nosing around.
Few will fault him for not being perfect or heedlessly forthcoming.
The measure of Jack Ryan's character is that he continues to invoke his child to advance the increasingly flimsy idea that he has higher priorities than his own ambition.