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Wag the Dog

DOWN & DIRTY:
Comedy: A political spin doctor tries to save the President's re-election chances by inventing a phony war that will divert the nation's attention away from his sex scandal.

NITTY GRITTY:
Two weeks before his re-election, the President is in trouble. Accused by a teenage girl of sexual misconduct, the White House is nervous that this will blow out of proportion and ruin his chances of winning.

Conrad Brean (ROBERT De NIRO), a mysterious political spin doctor, is brought in to create a diversion. He suggests staging a fictitious war against Albania and White House aide Winifred Ames (ANNE HECHE), with no other choice, helps him set the plan into motion.

They meet with Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (DUSTIN HOFFMAN), who agrees to help produce the "war," simply for the fun of helming such an elaborate production.

Knowing that television is the most manipulative force they have, the three start the story rolling and let the press unknowingly step in and take their plan from there.

Along the way they get help from songwriter Johnny Green (WILLIE NELSON), and consultants Fad King (DENIS LEARY) and Liz Butsky (ANDREA MARTIN). They run into setbacks, but Brean and Motss continually spin the story around in their favor, and at one point create a "war hero" in the form of Sgt. Schumann (WOODY HARRELSON), who turns out to be a drugged psychotic who's been in the stockade for years.

As the election gets closer and others try to derail their plans, the spin doctors do everything in their power to make sure the President is re-elected.

THE ENDING:
The story spins out of control when Schumann is killed by a country redneck for messing with his daughter. Motss spins the death into a 'hero's' funeral. As it looks like the President will be re-elected, Motss has second thoughts and tries to tell someone about the phony war. Brean has his men grab Motss and Motss ends up dead of a heart attack at his swimming pool. Brean disappears to spin control another day.

WHAT EVERYONE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT:
Was this story fictional or a documentary of the Clinton presidency?


 
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Movie posters courtesy of The Nostalgia Factory.