Wag The Dog: In Light of the Media
As much as I would like to quote and in the process explain the title of the movie "Wag the Dog", I refuse to. The simple answer to the 'why' would be because every other critic who has attempted to review this film has done it. As witty and demanding of the intellect this film may be, there is a fun side to it. One can actually laugh it up as well as reflect and relate this film to the current world situations.
In brief, the movie deals with a would-be President of the United States who is suddenly hit by a scandal involving a Firefly girl and to 'deal with the situation', in comes the spin-doctor (De Niro), who suggests that a bigger diversion, a war nontheless. To aid him in this, he calls in Hollywood producer (Hoffman) to fashion a war after his fancy. A war with who? Albania. Why Albania? Because nobody in the States know much about them and the sound of them is menacing. So they go international with this war of theirs, without any movement of troops or money. And the public took the bait, because hey, if its on T.V., it must be real!
With added, yet unexpectedly, help from the larger media, the story started to take a spin, and glimpses of videos here and there tied the knot. The United States was at war with Albania, and the President was going to act Jesus.
So who is this dog here? Is it the media who are gulping down the facts and swallowing the story at large and transmitting it to the nations? Or is it we, the public, who are being blind-folded and misguided in this charade? The latter would be the likelier answer, although they are both correct to a certain level.
This movie's undertone can be used to interpret Bill Clinton's hoo-yaa, the landing in the moon, the oil disputes of Iraq which resulted in the 9/11, and even this recent piece of news of how American wishes to test shooting down stray missiles to compete with the Chinese. Of course the Iraqi war didn't exactly happen before this movie was shot, and the directors are presumably hand-in-hand with Micheal Moore on it being a conspiracy theory revolving around oil.
Sadly I haven't been able to get a hold of Primary Colors, and I did catch glimpses of West Wing, but not enough to do a comparative study. But there is one movie which can be said to be its spiritual brethren, The Candidate. Common theme: the media have greatly corrupted the political process by turning citizens into sound bite conditioned morons.
In conclusion, I just want to add that this happens everywhere really. Look at when the current government in our country came into being; the media flashed them as good soldiers and aired their caliber and zeal till the public were convinced that this was the only way out.
Tags: TV , Reality , Movies
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