JIM CREES: Being a media elitist

I received a letter this week accusing me, amongst other things, of being a “card carrying member of the media elite.”

Sigh.

Then ... the writer, anonymous as usual, informed me “You should be writing for The New York Times.”

On this last point, at least, we could agree.

Yes! Please! Yes!

Although I suppose it was meant to be an insult, I could only hope (even at my advanced age) to be Times-worthy.

But ... back to the “media elite” comment.

Really???

Do you know me? Do you have any idea?

First of all, let’s try to define “media elite.”

Having worked in this business many, Many, MANY years, I’ve yet to really find a decent definition for “media elite.” I think it is simply one of those catchphrases that people use to bolster some demi-political argument.

For example, “Sure, if you believe the media elite ...”

Or, “The media elite are destroying this country ...”

Or “You must watch Fox News, not the media elite ...”

(Even though, by definition, Fox IS the media, and by popularity and polling numbers they are the “elite.”)

So, what is the “media elite?”

According to Wikipedia, “The elite media is a term used to describe newspapers, radio stations, TV channels and other media that influence the political agenda of other mass media. According to Noam Chomsky, “the elite media set a framework within which others operate.”

“The New York Times is used as an example of elite media by both Chomsky, a left-wing intellectual, and Bill O’Reilly, a right-wing commentator. Thus the term denotes a structural position within the mass media, rather than a particular political agenda. However, the term, like its sibling term “liberal elites,” may be used by conservatives in a pejorative context.”

OK. So let’s move on from there.

I, it is declared by my reader, am a member of the media elite.

That would mean that I have the ability, by definition, to influence some mysterious agenda.

Really?

I don’t have the ability to influence what my Dearly Beloved packs in my lunch. (Yes. I pack a lunch. As a media elitist, I sit at my desk or in the breakroom and chew on a sandwich and spoon up some soup.)

My wife and kids don’t get as fired up about ANYTHING I say, as do some of my more enthusiastic detractors.

Media elite???

OK. I’ll give you point A — “media.”

I do work in the media. I have for years.

But elite???

I drive a Buick with 180,000 miles on the ticker (most of which I put on the clock myself).

Elite?

I just spent a late afternoon on my roof trying to patch a few holes that leaked during the last real cloudburst. The ceiling leaked right where we stand when we cook dinner.

Sigh.

While up fixing the roof, I discovered we are going to need more extensive repairs than I had imagined.

And I’ll probably be doing most of ‘em myself (God help us!).

Elite?

Are you kidding me.

Thanks for the compliment, but you’re WAY off.

I’m mildly concerned my septic system is getting ready to puke.

Doesn’t sound like an “elitist” worry to me.

If I were more “elite” I’d be paying people to do what I generally end up doing myself.

I had to clean some seasonal flotsam and jetsam off the bank the other evening after a day’s labor as an “Elitist” (I live on the Muskegon). I slipped and took a dive into the river, which is still (despite recent warm weather) shockingly cold.

Yep. I not only was “elite” but I looked “elite.”

I wonder how we’re going to pay for both me and my wife to go to New York to visit our grandbaby.

I’ll tell you how. She goes. I stay.

Yessir. Elite.

Because flying overseas is so incredibly expensive, I wonder if I will ever see my in-laws again in this life.

Ahhhhhhh. It’s good to be one of the elite.

And really ... media elite.

Do you really, Really, REALLY think I have any influence on anything?

Seriously.

Come talk to me some time.

I’ll explain to you what “elite” is ... and what I ain’t.

“Media elite” is simply a shinola phrase to explain away any opinion that you don’t happen to hold.

“Media elite” is like “Hollywood liberals.”

Oh. Are Danny Aiello, Stephen Baldwin, Pat Boone, Drew Carey, Adam Carolla, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson or Kelsey Grammer “Hollywood liberals?”

Not likely.

Are Susan Lucci, Dennis Miller, Chuck Norris, Ted Nugent, Adam Sandler, Tom Selleck, Jessica Simpson, Gary Sinise, Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis a “Hollywood liberal?”

Hardly.

So ... is Jim Crees one of the “media elite”?

I can only hope.

In the meantime, until I receive my “media elite” certification, I’ll be up on the roof fixing the leak, or sitting on the porch trying to figure out how we can afford four tires (at one time, ‘cause they’re all shot) for the Buick.