My, but it's fascinating the different ways that newspapers can present what is, at its core, the exact same AP wire service article. And whoda thunk that the staid, stolid Chicago Tribune would outsensationalize the former Murdock paper the Chicago Sun-Times in its headlines? And that the most detailed article (also built partially on the AP release) would be in the St Louis Post-Dispatch, which, for all that it serves downstate, is still an out of state paper
Chicago Tribune | Candidate Ryan says he won't quit over sex charges (registration required)
By Maura Kelly Lannan
The Associated Press
Published June 21, 2004, 9:01 PM CDT
The former wife of Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan claimed in divorce documents released Monday that he pressured her to perform sex acts in clubs while others watched. Jeri Lynn Ryan, an actress best known for roles on TV's "Boston Public" and "Star Trek: Voyager," said in the documents that she angered Ryan by refusing. She did acknowledge infidelity on her part, which she said took place after their marriage was irretrievably broken. In the documents, Jack Ryan denied the allegations, saying he had been "faithful and loyal" to his wife.
In a news conference Monday, Ryan refused to comment further on the allegations, saying his response in the court papers spoke for itself. "I am sticking by the exact things I said five years ago," he said.....
Ryan releases divorce records (Chicago Sun Times)
June 21, 2004
BY MAURA KELLY LANNAN
Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan pressured his wife, actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, to have sex in clubs while others watched, she charged in divorce documents released Monday. The "Boston Public" and "Star Trek: Voyager" actress said she angered Ryan by refusing. She did acknowledge infidelity on her part, which she said took place after their marriage was irretrievably broken. In the documents Ryan denied the allegations, saying he had been "faithful and loyal" to his wife.....
Ryan file details sex allegations
By Kevin McDermott
Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau
U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan pressured and tricked his then-wife into going to sex clubs with "cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling" and tried to get her to have sex in front of others, she alleged in 4-year-old court records released Monday. In the records from a June 2000 child-custody battle, Ryan's ex-wife - television actress Jeri Ryan of "Star Trek: Voyager" and "Boston Public" fame - alleged that the Republican millionaire's pressure tactics included suggesting once that she owed him a trip to a sex club because he had eaten dinner out with her. In other instances, she alleged, he took her on what he said were going to be "romantic" trips that turned out instead to be journeys into places where "people were having sex everywhere."
Ryan himself distributed the records Monday, ahead of a California court that was going to release them next week. Ryan and his ex-wife had earlier fought their release, citing concern for their 9-year-old son. In the documents, Ryan generally dismisses the allegations....
(A digression before the discussion: what on earth are both the Tribune and Sun-Times doing quoting a wire service article for a piece where they had to have both been present? Perhaps they're saving the copyrighted articles for Tuesday, when they've had a better chance to analyze the papers.)
Presentation aside, the allegations are moderately damaging. Republican analysts are reportedly saying that it's a mark of Ryan's status as a political novice and of the poor advice he received from outside political advisors unfamiliar with Illinois politics that he didn't simply release these documents during the primary or right after the primary and have done with it. That said, the allegations are such that if he had released the records during the primary, he would almost certainly never have been the nominee of the Republican party; these allegations are so thoroughgoingly sordid that many people would have refused to vote for him--and may well do so now.
The official stance of the Republican party right now is to wait and see what happens.
Ryan files allege visits to sex clubs
June 21, 2004 (Los Angeles and Chicago)
The private life of Republican senate candidate Jack Ryan is now very public. Divorce records released Monday night show he allegedly asked his actress wife, Jeri Ryan, to have sex with him in front of strangers in sex clubs. In the court records Ryan denies it and says nothing more. [...] The state Republican Party chair, Judy Baar Topinka, is not exactly issuing a ringing endorsement. During the primary, Jack Yyan told Topinka there was nothing damaging in the court documents. Well, now, Judy Baar Topinka says she is going to need time to assess what is in the documents before deciding how to proceed....
Not the sort of ringing endorsement that Ryan had hoped for, one suspects; certainly not very encouraging, especially since the party hierarchy wasn't entirely happy with Ryan in the first place. And, of course, all of this rebounds to the advantage of Democrat nominee Barack Obama; he can make his case on the political issues to the people virtually unchallenged for the next few weeks while Ryan tries to haul himself out of this personal morass.
I don't know how harmful these records will be to their son. After all, he's a bit young to understand what's being discussed, as are his classmates. That said, if the judge truly felt that release would harm him, one wonders why he felt that the people's right to hear these allegations outweighted the harm being done. Thing is, ultimately, even if they're true, these allegations are not quite relevant to his positions on the issues. His divorce really doesn't matter. At least, that's what Obama said before the release of the records.
Of course, that's a traditionally liberal position, isn't it? And Ryan's not a liberal, and the irrelevance of one's personal life to one's political positions has never been a hallmark of conservative beliefs. So he's kind of screwed, really.Posted by iain at June 22, 2004 01:26 AM