1997 Barry Levinson film about spin doctoring a political scandal


Wag the Dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Wag the Dog is a 1997 black comedy film produced and directed by Barry Levinson. The screenplay by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet was loosely adapted from Larry Beinhart's novel American Hero. The film stars Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro, with Anne Heche, Denis Leary, and William H. Macy in supporting roles. Just days before a presidential election, a Washington, D.C. spin doctor (De Niro), distracts the electorate from a sex scandal by hiring a Hollywood film producer (Hoffman) to construct a fake war with Albania. The film was released just prior to the Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan by the Clinton Administration. ..."

Cast and Crew

Robert De NiroConrad Brean
Denis LearyFad King
Willie NelsonJohnny Dean

Video Products

Wag the Dog (New Line Platinum Series) (1998), 29 Jul 1998


Government Keeps People Poor, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Jun 2006
Enumerates five ways by which government keeps people in poverty
"As the great movie Wag the Dog illustrated, politics is show biz and pageantry. What counts is perceptions. Results — or the lack thereof — don't matter because in short order the public will be distracted by something else anyway."
Related Topic: Government


Wag the Dog (1997), by Stephen W. Carson
"Hilarious satire of Washington manipulation. The president needs a war to distract from an embarrassing incident with a young girl, (amazingly, made pre-Lewinski I believe), so with the help of a Hollywood producer a war with Albania is staged. If only Washington's distraction wars were simply theatrical!"