Wag the Dog (A Critical Analysis)

16 02 2009


Trailor for “Wag the Dog”





1.) Of the three basic value orientations (discussed in Chapter 2 of your textbook), what basic value orientation does the PR practitioner embody? Provide at least one example.

    Of the three basic values orientations in our textbook, the PR practitioner would embody the situationalist. While his decisions may have been extreme, he was thinking of what would cause the least harm to the president. While this could be arguable because of the harm it brought to many other citizens, he still was trying to make a decision that would keep the president in a good light since, after all, he was working for him. Examples of this are found all throughout the movie. One of the best examples (which almost sums up the entire movie) is where the PR practitioner decides to make up a fake war in Albania to keep the public from concentrating on accusations that the president had engaged in sexual relations with a young girl.

2.) According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, how is the PR practitioner unethical?

    According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, the PR practitioner is unethical in a multitude of ways. First of all, under the Member Statement of Professional Values, he violates the code of honesty. He, in every way possible, is extremely far from honest. He lies to the public about literally almost everything in every situation. He also violates the code of fairness. Because he is lying to the public about a large amount of things, he is considered to be extremely unfair. He also violates almost the entire PRSA Code Provisions as well as the PRSA Member Code of Ethic Pledge.

3.) What is the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog, and how is it relevant to the situation involved?09wag-1

    The phrase Wag the Dog is pertaining to the fact that the dog usually controls his own tail. For the movie, the phrase is a metaphor. The dog is the public and the tail is the government and the PR specialists behind the scenes. The government is technically controlling the ideals and the opinions of the people by lying about multiple situations.

4.) In your opinion, what positive or negative stereotypes has the PR practitioner confirmed in his role in this movie?

    In my opinion, the PR practitioner has definitely confirmed many negative stereotypes. While it is a positive thing that he is loyal to who he is working for, the negative outweighs the good. The negative is that he lies to the public and completely violates the PRSA Code of Ethics.




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