I’m often amazed by the buzzwords and phrases the PR people create. They lend heavy connotation to words that lacked weight before. As a writer, I have to respect their cunning use of language. But “media elite” has always baffled me, so the recent bashing of the media elite sent me to my friend Merriam-Webster for help.
Elite, noun, 1a: the choice part 1b: the best of a class 1c: the socially superior part of society 1d: a group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence 1e: a member of such an elite — usually used in plural.
The choice part? Hey, that’s not so bad. Who wouldn’t want to get their news from the choicest of journalists? The best of a class? Well, that might depend on which class we’re talking about. The socially superior part of a society? A group that exercises much power or influence? Now we’re getting into dangerous territory.
We can appreciate the choice part. When you order fillet mignon, you want to eat the choice part of the cow. We can appreciate the best of a class — the brainiac who aces every test in school. But the rest is too much. It’s undemocratic. Besides, we independently minded Americans don’t like to think anyone could really influence us that much anyway, right?
If you don’t like the media elite, dissent all you want — they can take it, it’s what they signed on for. Choose not to be influenced by them, and use the democracy of the web to choose a non-elite media for yourself.
Here’s the rub: In your search for non-elite media, did you find the choice part, or the best?