Wag the Dog / Плутовство
The media is the source of contact we Americans keep with the other parts of the world. Without it how would we know what was going on in the globe? Fox News, CNN, NBC, and many others are our sources of information. Numerous people watch the news to see what is going on in other countries and in our own country. The news we hear creates a huge problem of knowledge, because reporters have a bias and we as the people do not know where the information is coming from.
The media shapes people’s worldview. The intense focus on everything that is dangerous makes people believe that the world is more dangerous than it really is. Most of the time we are afraid of the wrong things. For example, I as a teenager am more afraid of getting kidnapped than a nuclear weapon being shot at the United States. The latter is definitely the more dangerous one, but in this day and time the media brings the attention of the American people to a kidnapping case rather than informing them of the ways of Iraq, North Korea, and Afghanistan.
When a reporter is researching a story and trying to gather information, they will want to sell that news as much as they can. The reporter knew that more people would pay attention to the article if it looked like more destruction had happened.
An excellent example of a «reporter» being biased about their information is the movie Wag the Dog. In this movie a man is hired to create a story about something else and take the minds of the American public off of a sex scandal that went on with the President, just days before the election. This film shows that you cannot trust the media for news. The media just receives the news from several sources, probably not even knowing if it is true they put in on the channel to have something to talk about. For example, the reporter in the movie created this entire story up about how the President was sick and going to remain in China for a day. After that the story just got bigger and bigger to try and make Americans like the President again.
As the story grew bigger, many people did forget about the scandal and started to be worried about a possible war with Albania. The reporter had made a hint to someone about a war with Albania and the next thing you know it is on the news channels and at white house press conferences. Anyone that has the right connections can make up news about anything or spin the news about anything. How is the American public to know the difference? Whatever the news channels say, we believe that to be true
When the CIA broke the news that the war was not real, they had to come up with a story to cover up a story. They produced a story about how a soldier was left behind enemy lines and had the name of Schumann. To make the American public look like they were sorry for this man, they went out in the middle of the night to throw shoes in to a tree in order to make the American public believe that many people were behind the President. Poor «Shoe»mann received the greatest support of a war hero and he wasn’t even real.
As a result to cover up their story, they had to hire a «real» Schumann to come home when it came time for elections. They were able to put a sex scandal as the last thing on everyone’s mind. In just eight days the thoughts of the American public changed significantly. What kind of information is being passed today about other countries. It is probably much harder today to make up such stories about other countries, because technology is so good, anyone would be able to see if there was really a war going on in Albania.
«The movie Wag the Dog just shows how easy it is to whip up patriotic frenzy, and how dubious the motives sometimes are,» according to Roger Ebert. I agree with his statement because, how do we know what is really going on out there. What if they were to create false images and commercials like in the movie, how would we know the difference? We would not know the difference. A reporter has the ability to share news and they will share it in a way that seems best for them. They have a bias and they don’t know where the information is coming from, they just want viewers. As a TOK/IB student it is my responsibility to think about such things as where did this information come from and what kind of bias is in it? Oh, by the way did you hear about the B-4 Bomber?
~»Why does a dog wag its tail?» Brean asks at one point. «Because the dog is smarter than the tail. If the tail was smarter, it would wag the dog.»
1)»Why change horses midstream» was originally a campaign slogan for Abe Lincoln during the Civil War.
2)The political talk show at the end of the film lists its phone number as 1-(800)-555-0199. This number is also Lester Burnham’s office number in the film American Beauty (1999) as well as Lowell Bergman’s fax number in the film The Insider (1999).
3)Conrad’s line, «A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow,» is a quote from WWII General George S. Patton.
4)The scene in which shoes laced together are hanging from telephone and electric wires was shot on East Capitol Street a few blocks behind the U.S. Capitol. The production crew left several pairs of shoes behind and they remained hanging on the wires for years.
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