The Transactional Model Of Communication In The Movie 'Wag The Dog'

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The transactional model of communication The Transactional model of communication by Barnlund (1970) is the most suitable for describing the problematic message sent by the CIA in the movie “wag the dog”. The plot of the film is based around the White House creating a fake war against Albania in an attempt to deflect the attention away from the president who is currently embroiled in a sex scandal with a “firefly girl”, along with the presidential election only days away. The problematic message occurs when the CIA confront Conrad Brean about the legitimacy of the war to which he responds “but I saw it on tv”. The CIA then send out a message declaring the war is over to which the White House respond by creating a story about how a “hero” has been left behind in Albania. McHugh Schuster (2010) states that “in the transactional model, communication was described as a process of negotiating and creating common meaning” The transactional model is seen during the problematic message of the film as the CIA and White House are both sending (encoding) and receiving (decoding) at the same time and, therefore, described as communicators and this is why the model is described as a simultaneous transaction. According to the CF Tubbs and Moss (2003), “simultaneous implies that, instead of a two-way flow, both people are constantly encoding and decoding messages”. It’s also important to highlight that the passage at which both sides communicate is not direct as they both use the media to

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