Power In Wag The Dog

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Powerful acts of political representation can position audiences to perceive the accompanying outcomes and values as either positive or negative. Media and governments are able to manipulate the social construct to control and impose political motives on society, bringing out the best and the worst of human nature. Barry Levinson’s thought-provoking, satirical black comedy, Wag the Dog (1997) demonstrates the power that media has in our society and its effects, through an exaggerated perspective, which emphasises the way media manipulates the public 's beliefs, thoughts and the way they interact. Levinson uses satire to reveal the worst of human nature, yet aiming, as satire does, to appeal to the best in human nature. He also satirises the…show more content…
The desire to maintain power and authority is scrutinised in the film and dishonesty and deception in the political area appear normalised, so they can keep their positions of power at all cost, shows us the worst of human nature. The ironic line “Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail, if the tail were smarter, the tail would wag the dog” explains the film 's title, showing us that, in fact, the tail is smarter than then the dog. Conrad Brean being the metaphorical tail to the dog, holds the power, influencing the information being spread through the media, while the dog represents the public, blindly believing what they are told. Levinson depicts the American public as uncritical, oblivious and passive consumers of TV content. He acknowledges the importance of the power of the media through highlighting that public opinion can be swayed to satisfy the needs of the dominant political elite. This is so extreme that it impacts the audience, behind the screen, as they too are part of the society being depicted as gullible and it encourages them to become aware of the media’s potential in its representation of people and
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