Just trying to RELATE…

My critical analysis of “Wag the Dog”

Posted in Assignments by meshae on February 16, 2009

The movie “Wag the Dog” is a very interesting movie! In regards to the PR practitioner, the basic value orientation he followed was situational. Situationalists think only of the end result and throughout the movie, decision after decision was made based on what would happen at the end. The capacity in which the PR practitioner was hired, in my opinoin wasn’t unethical, but the way he carried out his assignment definitely was. He falsified information that affected not only his client, but the entire United States. The PRSA code of ethics clearly speaks about “the free flow of accurate and truthful information” and how it ” is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society.” The Code also discusses loyalty and honesty. The PR practitioner did everything he could to make his client the top “candidate.” But everything in one’s power is not always ethical.

The title “Wag the Dog” is basically a play on words and shows that society as a whole will believe things, even if they are not true. With everything new piece of “news” the PR practitioner released, the public latched on to it. “Wag the Dog” is relevant in that it shows how we as a society are so quick to believe information the media relesases, especially when it pertains to politics. To a certain degree, we allow certain media to exploit us.

As far as how the PR profession is looked upon based on this movie, I would say that it could be seen in a positive or negative light. On one hand, the PR practitioner did what he was  hired to do, however, he also went against a written code of ethics.


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