AllieSchlumper's Blog

Georgia Southern University

Wag The Dog February 16, 2009

Filed under: Assignments — aschlum1 @ 1:14 am




  • Of the three basic value orientations (discussed in Chapter 3 of your textbook), what basic value orientation does the PR practitioner embody? Provide at least one example.

I would say that of the three basic value orientations, the PR practitioner would embody the Absolutist. He always seemed to do what he wanted in every situation he was in and did not really care about the consequences that could happen to him or anyone else in the situation. One example would be when they lied to the entire country about Sergeant William Schumann who was really a made up war hero and they found out he was a convict. He didn’t care what the consequences would be if the country found out or if the information was leaked.

The PR practitioner was unethical in pretty much all of the six core values in the PR code of ethics. Advocacy because he did not have the publics interest at heart, he just wanted to help the President to win the election. Honesty because he was definitely not honest with the public about pretty much anything. They made up a war, lied up a war hero, and lied about multiple other things. Expertise because he would only make the profession look bad when the public found out what he was doing. Loyalty because he did not honor the obligation to serve the public interest. He was loyal to his client in trying to help the President win the election, but that was not best for the public. Fairness because he took advantage of his position and tried to fool the country and that is not fair.

  • What is the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog, and how is it relevant to the situation involved?

I think the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog is that the dog usually controls his tail and when it wags. The public is the dog and Public Relation practitioners are the tail. In this situation, it is Wag the Dog because of all of the PR practitioners resources with the government and every one involved, they are able to fool the country into thinking and believing things that were not true. By doing this they could focus on more positive aspects of the President instead of the negative ones. So in my opinion, Wag the Dog means that the PR practitioners were able to “wag” the public instead of it being the other way around.

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

I think that the PR practitioner mostly portrayed a negative stereotype. He did many unethical things and took advantage of his PR position. This could have a negative look for anyone in the field of Public Relations.


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