Conflicting Perspectives

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

The study of conflicting perspectives is revealing:
it stimulates thinking and promotes varied and challenging viewpoints.

In contemporary society, the media is integral to the functioning of the political process in order to inform the public, yet simultaneously, it can also present corrupt and falsified information which misleads public opinion. The film Wag the Dog, communicates this paradoxical impact of the media by showing how it can both expose issues for the benefit of the public, and also manipulate the representation of information to manipulate people. The article “Political Spin Checklist” interrogates the spin used to alter public opinion, and recognises the need for the public to be aware of this when reading or viewing reports. Both texts communicate the role of the media, and emphasise the necessity for members of the public to realise that media releases are constructions of reality.

Wag the Dog presents the role of the media to inform the public about national and international issues, however it contradicts this through hyperbolising corruption within the industry. By using film as the medium of production, Levinson appropriates a contemporary issue to popular modern culture. Wag the Dog targets an educated audience with an understanding of American politics due to the film’s genre as a political satire. This audience brings with it preconceived ideas, such as faith in America’s democratic system, which are then challenged by exposing ‘backroom politics’. Through election, Americans seek to safeguard values such as democracy and freedom, and it is legitimate that information regarding their leaders should be published.   The construction of the song “American Dream” evidences the high levels of patriotism attached to the process of election. The media’s responsibility to keep people updated is shown in the initial reporting of the purported sexual misconduct by the President. This demonstrates the...