Wag The Dog Analysis

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Mass media and spin doctors portrayed in Wag the Dog The film Wag the Dog, produced and directed by Barry Levinson, is an American satirical black comedy from 1997, loosely based on Larry Beinhart’s novel American Hero (Imdb.com). The film, written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet, follows a Washington D.C spin doctor, Conrad Brean, on his mission, a few days before the presidential election, to distract the population from the President’s sex scandal with a girl scout. He hires a Hollywood film producer, Stanley Motss, to construct a fake war between the Unites States and Albania in order to distract the public in hopes of a re-election of the President. Released one month prior to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and the President’s subsequent…show more content…
Furthermore, the film also showcases the mass media’s influence on the American people. Similarly, to Wag the Dog, the mass media played a big role in covering the attacks during the Clinton administration. Believing that Bill Clinton started these attacks to sway attention away from the scandal, perhaps it is not a coincidence that the media was used as it reached a lot of people and could easily swift the attention of the viewers. Moreover, Wag the Dog also portrays politicians as experts in public manipulation through mass media. While the use of media during elections is common, the use of “fake news” to cover up a sex scandal, both in the film but also in “real life”, is an arguable presumption, but one that I find to be true. Comparing the film and reality, Wag the Dog depicts an idea that I feel to be truthful about American politics – politicians will do anything to cover up a scandal, even construct such “fake news” by the help of a spin doctor and a Hollywood producer. In my opinion, mass media is depicted truthfully as a source of manipulating the viewers. However, the people’s reaction to the news, in my opinion, is not truthfully depicted. I do not believe that Americans are as gullible and susceptible towards the mass media’s content as depicted in the film. Personally, I believe that the press and the public are capable of exposing and not fall for the deception showcased in this film, that being the fake war. I think there is an element of truth in the portrayal of the mass media as a way to manipulate the American people, however I do not think the American people themselves very truthfully

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