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Defining the Elite Media

Some viewers have asked me to explicitly define the fabled "elite media" and so I will try with some illustrations and examples.

New York Times writer Frank Rich (search) continued his savage attacks on "The Passion of the Christ" (search) movie, Sunday.

Even though most who have seen the film -- including the head of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League believe it is not hateful towards Jews -- Rich is smarter than all of us. If you see merit in this movie you are either a moron, a sadist and/or an anti-Semite according to Mr. Rich.

And that is the foundation of the elite media: It knows -- you don't. Their slogan might be "We report. You're a dope."

Frank Rich's rantings have now become embarrassing both to him and to The Times. I mean, disagreement about an issue is one thing. Trying to destroy someone like Mel Gibson is quite something else.

The New York Times is ground zero for the elite media and you would think executives at that paper would understand how detached from American reality it has become. But they do not. In fact, one day before Rich's column, The Times music critic gave thug rapper Ludacris (search) a positive review. That's right: In the world of The New York Times, Ludacris is good; "The Passion" is bad.

While The Times sets the agenda, the rest of the elite media is comprised of a large number of urban newspapers, National Public Radio (search) and PBS (search).

Many think the TV network news operations and Hollywood executives are part of that club, but there is a subtle difference: Entertainment and TV news operations need you, the folks, to survive. Thus, while they are mostly sympathetic to the elites and generally follow their lead, they have to be careful. Believe me, CBS executives are none too pleased about the recent anti-Christian comments made by Andy Rooney (search) and Walter Cronkite (search).

Likewise, the weekly news magazines like Time and Newsweek. Again, they sympathize with most of the positions taken by the elites, but they too must be cautious. Alienating the masses would be death for those publications.

Generally speaking, the elite media believe that the majority in this country -- white Christian Americans -- are prone to oppressing the minority. The elites rightfully point to the civil rights struggle as an example of how the majority can hurt a minority until the forces of reason stepped in.

And the elites firmly believe that not much has changed in 40 years; that white Christian-Americans must be kept in check, or they will violate minority rights.

Thus, when federal judges rule that God must be taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance (search) or that the Menorah (search) and the Muslim flag can be displayed in New York City Public Schools but the Nativity scene cannot be. The elites rejoice; more punishment for the tyrannical majority.    

Of course, this kind of thinking leads to gross unfairness. The pendulum has swung. It is the majority that is now under siege in this country. Today the special interests are often the ones doing the oppressing.

It goes without saying that the elite media will almost always favor political candidates that espouse high taxes for the evil rich; higher spending on the poor -- even if the programs are wasteful and ineffective -- and more restrictions on corporations, which the elites believe are oppressors as well.

If you go up against the elite media it will not be pretty. You will be branded a bigot, racist, anti-Semite, [a] homophobe. You will be called a fundamentalist, or an ultra-conservative. Elites don't debate. They attack and marginalize.

We invited Frank Rich on this program tonight, but of course he declined. Rich typifies how the elites operate. I would be pleased to debate this man on the merits of his arguments. But that would be beneath him. In reality, he's a coward. In his mind, he's enlightened.

Think back eight years ago when the Fox News Channel did not exist. Outside of The Wall Street Journal, which puts forth a conservative philosophy, the elites had the national information flow pretty much to themselves no one could stand up to them.

Now the landscape has changed. And while our competitors at NBC and CNN still can't figure out how Fox News has become so powerful, it’s very simple: We are not the elite media. For example, we don't feel the 66 percent of Americans who are against gay marriage are fools and bigots. And we don't think that our opinion has more validity than your opinion, no matter what it is -- we give voice to all points of view, including the elite one.

But that doesn't cut it in the halls of media elitism. The attacks on Mel Gibson by The New York Times and others prove that we are now in an age where control of information flow has become a serious war of words. The elites believe it is them against the howling mob. And the elites are true believers.

And that's The Memo.

--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com

Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Bill O'Reilly