Wag the Dog—Critical Analysis

In Wag the Dog, the PR Professional went to many extremes to solve the problem at hand…whatever that problem may be. From creating a false war, to creating a false war hero, this character did whatever was necessary to restore goodwill to the President. Because of this, I would classify the PR Professional’s value orientation as situational. The Professional was willing to have the Producer, who was the brains behind all of his plans, killed when he threatened to leak top secret information. He believed that doing this ‘little’ bit of harm would outweigh the mess that would happen if the truth were revealed.

The PR Professional is clearly unethical on many accounts. First of all, is the issue of honesty. The PR Professional was is no way, shape, or form honest with the public. He created an illusion, an idea that he sold to the public and put the full weight of the White House behind him for clout.

I personally find the phrase ‘Wag the Dog’ ingenius. It is simply a play on the idea of a dog, or the public, having control over their actions or thoughts. In this case, ‘Wag the Dog’ means that the PR Professional and his team are telling the public what to think; they are in control.

He has confirmed the one thing that I have had to defend when I tell people that my major is Public Relations; that all PR Professionals are liars out to decieve the public into buying into a false reality. It is a major sterotype that is amplified in the movie to the point of being comical.


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