Retiring ABC journalist Lynn Sherr is trashing Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as not enough of a feminist. “What, exactly, has she done legislatively for other women? What paths has she forged?” Sherr asked TVNewser columnist Gail Shister in an interview published Tuesday morning.
“She seems to have turned it [feminism] on its head. She doesn't seem to care about bringing along other women with her,” Sherr complained as she packed up her ABC News office.
Sherr’s feminist credentials were on display at ABC a dozen years ago when she tossed out the results of her own network’s scientific poll to advance her thesis that the popular culture makes women feel bad about their breasts.
As MRC’s MediaWatch reported at the time (in a NewsBite headlined “Stacked Reporting”):
Do you wonder if reporters make up facts or use questionable information to support their own views? ABC's Lynn Sherr did in an April 26, 1996 20/20 in which she argued “the number one way to get sexy, in many women's minds, is with larger breasts.”
But Washington Post pollster Richard Morin revealed May 19 that Sherr ignored ABC's own scientific poll conducted specifically for the story. Instead she relied on an unscientific Self magazine survey which found that half the women felt their bosoms were “inadequate.” In fact, the ABC poll found only 23 percent had “ever” wished their breasts were a different size. Asked by Barbara Walters whether breast size is most important to men, Sherr explained that the ABC poll found that “It's the face first, breasts come a close second.” Really? Morin noticed that at eight percent, breasts came in a distant fourth place.
During her 1996 “20/20" report, Sherr rued how “suddenly, breasts seem more prominent, more pervasive, and, well, more ample than ever. [Over video from "Baywatch."] What once was a national fixation has become a frontal invasion — defying laws of nature, and decorum....All the hype is creating undo pressures on American women. With so much being pushed up and pointed out, they barely know what a natural breast looks like anymore.”
“How did we get from tossing bras away to madly clamoring to buy Wonder Bras and Miracle Bras and having breast implants?” Sherr asked a psychologist. “Do you think this is demeaning to women, all this emphasis on breasts? Does it forever condemn, if you will, women to a subservient position if breasts are so important?”
In her interview with TVNewser, Sherr cited her credentials as “someone who spent years breaking down doors for women” as she pounded Sarah Palin. Excerpts:
Sarah Palin may say she's a feminist, but ABC veteran Lynn Sherr, a feminist since John McCain's moose-hunting running mate was in kindergarten, is dubious.
"As someone who spent years breaking down doors for women, I think a piece of feminism has to do with looking out for other women," says Sherr, 66. "What, exactly, has she done legislatively for other women? What paths has she forged?
"She's the person for whom all this was done; the beneficiary of all the good works of the women's movement. Yet she seems to have turned it on its head. She doesn't seem to care about bringing along other women with her."...
Naturally, Sherr scoffs at the notion of a "new" feminism. "What's wrong with the old feminism?"
Palin's well-rehearsed spontaneous winks during last week's vice presidential debate, for example, didn't score any points with Sherr. "I'm just as offended by a man doing it. It feels contrived. I just want someone to be a straight shooter with me."