The movie Wag the Dog shows many different forms of PR that are used today. Unfortunately, the film shows the unethical views of a Public Relations practitioner and his involvement with the government. This movie is funny, smart, and makes one really think hard about the views that we hold towards our own ethical dilemmas.

In my eyes, the PR practitioner is a situationalist, or utilitarian. He bases his decisions on what would do the most good to the largest amount of people, or what would do the least harm.  He knows that he is creating a story that is false, but in his eyes it would help the greatest amount of people if the President were re-elected. He considered the client’s interest, the public’s interest, and his own personal values and made his decision based on that.

According to the PRSA Code of Ethics ( the practitioner is unethical throughout the entire movie. He did not act as a responsible advocate for his client and to the people of the United States. He was not honest in any way because of the completely fabricated story. He didn’t hold accountability for his own actions. He was just worried about the money. However, I must say, that he was very loyal to his client.

The film is named Wag the Dogbecause the creators are playing off the fact that the American public is very similar to a dog. They are eager to believe whatever the media throws at them and happy to go along with it. We as Americans enjoy getting caught up in our emotions and patriotism. Just like a dog, we will go where ever our master leads us… and if there is something enticing at the end destination, we will go all the more willingly.

The positive attributes that this movie portrays to the public about PR is that the people that hold Public Relations jobs are darn good at what they do. Most people look at these professionals as smart, creative, and driven human beings and this movie definitely shows these qualities. On the other hand, some of the stereotypes that came into light about PR professionals is that they are unethical and will do anything to make their own client look good. It makes it seem that most are just out for the money.