Wag the Dog
1) What kind of portrait does the film paint of American politics?
2) Why do we never see the President?
3) After his visit to the Oval Office, the producer, Stan Moss, says, " I felt very much at home in there." What does he mean? What is he saying about American politics?
4) How are concepts like "nationalism" and "patriotism" used by politicians and their spin doctors – in the film and in real life?
5) How are the media portrayed in the film? (their role in politics, the behaviour of the journalists) To what extent do you find this realistic?
6) According to the film, what do people notice and remember about wars in far-away foreign countries? Could this be true?
7) Is there any character in the film you can sympathise with? Why/Why not? If not, is this a weakness in the film?
8) Do you recognise any of the tendencies portrayed in the film from the political life of your own country?
9) What examples can you think of where the media have printed or broadcast stories or pictures which turned out not to be true?
10) How should these examples influence the way we see news pictures and news programmes?