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What thoughts could be generated in an essay based on the theme of conflicting...

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riceharvester | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 1, 2013 at 1:35 AM via web

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What thoughts could be generated in an essay based on the theme of conflicting perspectives in Wag the Dog and Thank You for Smoking?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM (Answer #1)

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In both films, conflict perspectives are offset through media perception.  "Spin" becomes the critical element in both films when it comes to resolving conflicting perspectives.  Nick Naylor and Conrad Brean are masters in their fields for navigating conflicting perspectives.  These perspectives are generated by opposing political forces and other interests.  The idea of conflicting perspectives becomes evident in how Nick and Conrad are able to create diversions from these perspectives in order to advance their own agendas.  Constructing a "fictional" war in order to substantiate the Status Quo of political power or indicting studies that indicate tobacco as being a dangerous product are both ways in which conflicting perspectives is navigated.  Part of this navigation rests in being able to offer even more conflicting perspectives in order to confuse the issue. Conrad's "support" of the war in Albania is to confuse and confound the public, whose initial conflicting perspectives are set aside in the interests of nationalism and patriotism.  Nick Naylor and other members of the MOD Squad not only indict the studies that reflect the dangers of their various products, but also create false equivalencies to confuse even more conflicting perspectives that are offered.  For example, in suggesting that Wisconsin cheese is more dangerous than tobacco, one sees how confusion of conflicting perspectives is a strategy that Naylor employs in order to achieve his end goal.  The conflict of perspectives seen in both films becomes an integral part of each narrative regarding public perception in the modern setting.

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