"Wag the Dog" - Film Review.

Essay by zagapoUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2003

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

The plot of "Wag the Dog" has the President getting into an unrecoverable scandal two weeks before re-election. The President of the United States apparently had a sexual encounter with an underage Girl Scout in the Oval Office. The president's opponents get wind of the story and use it to their advantage. Facing a desperate hour, the White House enlists a spin-control doctor, Conrad Brean, to divert the nation's attention by inventing a war with Albania. Conrad gets assistance from a presidential aide, and a Hollywood producer named Stanley Motss - together, they have to create the appearance of a war by utilizing the power of the mass media. To excite the American people to the horrors committed in that poor European nation, Motss hires a young woman to act out a skit in which she is running across her Albanian village screaming that she has just been raped by terrorists.

Through a two-day process of computer animation and a hand-held camera, a fake war is unveiled before the public's eyes.

This comedy focuses on the machinations of power as a presidential spin doctor teams with a celebrated Hollywood producer to manufacture a fake war. Brean decide that the best way to get the public's mind off the scandal is to give them something bigger to think about, thus they invented a war. They manipulated the media by carefully leaked news of the fake war to the press and make it to the evening news, and everyone is reporting about the outbreak of hostilities between the United States and Albania, even though no troops have been moved and no shots have been fired. However, as the scam began, White House Press Secretary told the reporters that there is absolutely no truth to the rumors about the war in Albania.