Wag The Dog

By Bob
January 28, 1998

Lee Harvey Oswald, an extremist communist sympathizer, killed President John F. Kennedy. Jack Ruby, a patriotic nightclub owner, killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Marilyn Monroe committed suicide. Sirhan Sirhan, a political extremist, killed Robert Kennedy. James Earl Ray, a racial extremist, killed Martin Luther King. Neil Armstrong was the first man on earth to walk on the moon. Henry Kissinger was a ladies man who kept company with one beautiful young starlet after another. President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace after being involved in illegal activities. During the Persian Gulf war, American "smart bombs" flew down the chimneys of fortified Iraqi bunkers, blowing them to pieces. Other theories of how each of those events took place have been brought up in the past, but always by conspiracy theorists who have no credibility.

All of the above are true statements, right? Wait -- don't answer that question until you've seen Wag The Dog, a film now in theatres that has the cynical theme, "Everything You've Ever Known May Be A Lie."

In Wag The Dog, the President of the United States is caught in a front-page sex scandal. A highly-placed presidential advisor (Robert De Niro) is brought in to "spin" the situation. He concludes that the only way to save the President's upcoming reelection bid is to create a story that is so big it blows the sex scandal onto the back pages of the newspapers. He brings in a highly-successful movie producer (Dustin Hoffman) and tries to convince him to "produce" a non-existent war between the United States and a little-known foreign country. At first, the movie producer is skeptical that such an effort could ever fool the American people. To convince him, the Presidential advisor tells him that the filming of the "smart bombs" blowing up Iraqi bunkers during the Persian Gulf war was done in a warehouse, using 1/10 scale buildings. Hoffman replies, "Really?!!" De Niro reels him in when he grins and says something like, "I don't know. Could be."

The rest of this extremely-timely and disturbing film involves the deceptive duo putting their plan into action while having to constantly adjust the "plot" of their production to get around problems that surface, like rethinking their strategy when a Senator who is running against the President attempts to "end" their production early. Incredibly, several lines in the film are word-for-word exactly the same things that have been said by our President and his supporters in the most recent days of the current Crisis In The White House. Even more incredibly, the Wag The Dog audience finds itself rooting for the bad guys in their efforts to deceive the American people -- more evidence as to how easily we the public can be manipulated by those with the right skills. The end result was that I left the theatre a lot more skeptical about what I read in newspapers and see on television.

So, is Bill Clinton a lying, long-term sexual predator who has repeatedly used his positions of political power to sexually harass women? Did he have a twelve-year affair with Gennifer Flowers, impregnating her 18 months after marrying Hillary, then giving her $200 to pay to abort the child he had fathered? As Governor of Arkansas, did he repeatedly use State Troopers to secretly transport him to sexual liaisons with willing lovers? Did he indecently proposition and then expose himself to Paula Jones in a hotel room? Did he have an affair with a twenty-one year-old White House intern in 1996? Did he proposition, fondle, and/or have sexual encounters with one or more other White House employees and interns? Did he lie about one or more of the current allegations while under oath? Did he ask others to perjure themselves under oath to protect him? If the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces committed adultery, will he get away with it, even though several other high-ranking military personnel have been disciplined and/or punished in recent years for having committed exactly the same offense? Are the current allegations against the President just the tip of the iceberg? Is Hillary Rodham Clinton the highest paid prostitute in the United States, willing to ignore and even help cover up her husband's infidelities in order to continue being the most powerful woman in the free world? Or, are all the allegations of the past several years really the result of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" to "get" the President, as the First Lady has claimed?

I don't know. Could be.

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