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Remembering “Wag the Dog” as we ponder Trump’s North Korea tweet

Wag the Dog, Barry Levinson’s political satire in which Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman fabricate a war to divert attention from a presidential sex scandal, turns 20 this year. The film has found new relevance in the age of Trump, when seemingly impulsive tweets–often fired off on a Friday–have served to distract the public and media … Continue reading “Remembering “Wag the Dog” as we ponder Trump’s North Korea tweet”

Wag the Dog, Barry Levinson’s political satire in which Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman fabricate a war to divert attention from a presidential sex scandal, turns 20 this year. The film has found new relevance in the age of Trump, when seemingly impulsive tweets–often fired off on a Friday–have served to distract the public and media outlets from more pressing topics. But there is no more pressing topic than nuclear war, and so Trump’s tweet this morning, in which he warned North Korea’s Kim Jong-un of consequences should he act “unwisely,” is especially disturbing, as was his warning earlier this week of “fire and fury.”

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Some see a distraction tactic. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But whether it’s intentional or not, the weekend news cycle has been set.

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About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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