Vanity Fair poll: We're a Walmart nation

On Sunday, Vanity Fair and 60 Minutes unveiled their latest news gathering technique: polling. The magazine and news show plan to run monthly surveys to determine the opinions of the American public, and will use the pieces to inform their writing and programming.

One of the poll's most interesting findings was that 48 percent of respondents felt that Walmart "best symbolizes America today." The discovery -- and the magazine's extreme surprise at it -- suggests that Vanity Fair has a lot to learn about the American people, or at least that fairly large proportion of the American people who live outside of Manhattan. The magazine's take on the poll was predictably smug, stating that the respondents who saw a connection between Walmart and the country "might have meant that cynically. (But only a cynic would really think that.)" In other words, Vanity Fair is suggesting that there are three possible explanations for Walmart's popularity: the respondents were either making an ironic statement about America, were cynical, or were clueless.