This summer, 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair conducted a poll purporting to measure Americans' ethical views. But the poll asked some rather strange questions, and offered some offbeat possible responses for people to choose from — leading to some amusing results.
1) When can we lie to little kids?
2) Where did the US go most wrong?
Though the US has been responsible for some pretty terrible things in the past, it's a bit strange to ask Americans to pit them against each other and decide which is the worst. But the poll found some interesting differences by age. "While slavery is the by far the top choice of Americans under 65," the poll writeup says, "it is third among those 65 and over (22%), edged out by the Vietnam War (24%) and the treatment of Native Americans (23%)."
3) Supermarket express lane ethics
The US public is staunchly opposed to the apparently widespread problem of supermarket express lane abuse, with a clear majority saying they think multiple pieces of the same fruit should count as multiple items. Strangely, though, 20 percent of respondents apparently think there should be different rules for different shoppers.
4) Which city do you think is ickiest?
5) Americans don't think Dick Cheney should get to go to the front of organ transplant lists
This result shows again that the real story here is the poll's author, who apparently decided to bait Americans by asking whether Dick Cheney should get special status on organ transplant lists. 98 percent of respondents didn't agree, though, and preferred to allocate organs to the sickest, the young, or to parents with little kids.