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.”
Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2017
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.
— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) August 11, 2017
When an autocrat is cornered and flailing — as Trump is on Russia and TrumpCare — he often lashes out violently to consolidate power.
— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 28, 2017
A post I wrote in February has become newly-relevant this week, as Trump threatens nuclear war from the golf course. https://t.co/2S344TbASy
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) August 11, 2017
What’s a bigger story than a collusion investigation? The threat of nuclear war. Wag the dog.
— Anjali Khosla (@hellomountfuji) August 11, 2017
If you don’t want to be accused of a Wag the Dog strategy, don’t have the lawyer representing you in the FBI probe tweet about North Korea https://t.co/1EOs8AGYeB
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) August 9, 2017