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Movie Analysis On Wag The Dog Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 1351 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The movie entitled ‘Wag the Dog’ was directed by Barry Levinson which deals with the relationship between the president the media and the public in the country but most importantly, it focus on the abuse of political powers by the leaders.

The film is from 1997 and its timing frame is about 1 hour 37 minutes long. The title of the film comes from the saying in America why does a dog wag its tail? In natural sense to wag a tail simply means to shake it back and forth, which dogs do any time they are happy. If the tail is wagging the dog, then the consequence will be that the dog will be made to be stupid. In short term “the tail wagging the dog” signified or refers to something that has greater meaning such as a war being driven by something less such as sex scandal. The description of the title set the satirical tone of the movie which is a comedy about how public opinion was manipulated through the means of media. Through this film, people are now enlightened to know what the government can do with a little false-flag media.

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Never the less the film entails about a president who was officially accused of having a sex with a young teenage girl who belong to a society related to the girls scouts in the white house two weeks before the presidential election, which a media expert was called upon to fix the problem by causing or creating a ”fake” war with Albania to draw the public attention away from what has happen. The media specialists were able to divert the whole sex scandal situation through the film producer named Stanley Motss (played by Dustin Hoffman). we can see that through this movie, media uses images, symbols and signs in order to divert the public’s attention on problems that may not be relevant to them but what they may need to ‘complete’ their lives. This method was derived from the concept of the period called the ‘postmodern’ where people brains were soaked in such signs, symbols and images. This has also made the public to think that it is reality, mean while it is not but the media’s version of ‘reality’. It is quite an understanding that Motss uses this style to derive the public attention away from the president’s sex scandal in the movie. The movie success lies on the believe that film does not fail to explain its basic ideas and impressions.

In the beginning part of the movie, the background was dark and mysterious as Conrad the spin doctorthe spin doctor the spin doctor the spin doctor and the president’s advisors Robert DeNiro were having a conversation concerning the issue of the sex scandal and sorting out how to divert the public attention from the issue. With this, we can see that a specific setting is used to infer the secrecy of a dark setting as most unveiled plans are made underground without the notice of the public. This ways is represented the same way as in the present days where most gang members will do the same. Already we can see Conrad’s character as being too much demanding, pessimistic and also intelligent as he was the one who brought the formation of the fake war with Albania. He brought the idea and was the leader of the whole operation and he makes sure that all the plans went well as planned. Stanley Motts is seen as a Hollywood producer that Conrad visits to help him on producing the fake war. Stanley Motts acts comparably to any other film producer in the present days as all they ever thought about is acknowledgment (credit) towards a particular project to become famous by achieving something great and to be known.

Moreover Conrad and Motts had same ideas of creating a fake war to divert the sexual disaster away from the public. As the saying goes, “Great minds think alike”, This apply to other politician, Conrad has been in the system for a while and he knows how to cut the grass as he offers a position of being an ambassador to Motts; however Motts wants to do it as a pleasure. This shows how politician can turn one’s mind by mentioning the ways of giving a reward which in this case we have seen that the position of an ambassador is guarantee. Moreover, whatever the politician says cannot be seen as a believable fact even through their line of expertise as they try to ‘spin’ information on somebody, we can see that Conrad plays his own part on Motts to motivate him to produce his fake war. From this point of view, we can say that Conrad is seen as the president’s spin doctor because the president relies on Conrad to make the situation change away from the public connoting the close relationship existing by the president and Conrad.

During the media scene of building the war, a young teenager girl was used, to act as an Albanian girl, in fact she is an actress being given such a role to run through an empty studio. However, the young girl was holding a bag containing chips instead of a white kitten as Motts could not find the kitten he needed. In the order hands the white kitten was edited by the use of technology instead of the bag of chips in which she was holding, this is to show how media can easily be used to play around with images, by using modern technology which the viewers will not have an idea whether it amount to the reality or not. Moreover the media has made us to understand that it is not everything that we see or hear that is truth. The white kitten that was edited signifies purity, peace and clarity onto the public and makes them more interested in the lost girl at war and not the president’s sex scandal. Latter on the village, sirens and sound effects of somebody screaming were added. This information was played on the evening news and it touches so many hearts of the American people. They unknowingly trusted what they are seeing because it is on the news. at this point we can see how the media was use to quickly changes people’s minds into another dramatic concern at hand which is similar in our contemporary society where we get soaked into some certain advertisements, such as a magazine avert were you actually see most of the models, and you will be amaze because they are considered to be beautiful.

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Furthermore Conrad and Anne were having a brief talk with a CIA agent claiming that the Albanian war was all a trick. We can see that Politics is shown within the movie where Conrad ‘spins’ and change the whole statement convincing the CIA agent that the war was ‘real’. At the same time, we see another side of Anne, as she does not seem to be involved in the operation which shows the weak side of her character due to the penalties that she may face if she is caught. Another sign of peace and purity was shown during the producing of the war where a young ‘Albanian’ girl offers the president an offering of helping her and her mother. At the same time, the president offers his coat to the young teenage girl’s mother which indicates that he is giving her shelter and pity towards her feelings due her suffering in the war.

Among many manipulations of the two devise are the creation of a fake war with the poor Albanian villagers, stage event congratulating with the president on his effort to Albania and the final a public inter-relation campaign used to sympathize for the death soldier after the fictionalized war was put to end by the CIA.

In conclusion the film Wag the Dog is an interesting and suspicious film that have entirely manages to side up political matters of our modern society. If our entire connection with the reality of politics is through the means of media, or if politics is separated from our ordinary world to the point that we only co-operate through that terrible little box (media), truth will become a frighteningly subjective concept. Moreover, the film has also made us to understand that, we are nothing but pencil in the hands of our manipulators this means that it is not every information we hear that amount to truth.


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