Elite Daily is a relatively new media site that specializes in what one article describes as the “first true editorial product of the post-sex-tape era. It specializes in two kinds of attention-trawling: Luxurious images of beautiful people doing things that require a lot of money, like looking at each other on yachts and driving along cliffs and also frank and sexist outrage trolling.”
The site itself, dedicated to generation Y, offers that it’s “the premier online destination for aspiring men and women alike.”
Yet perhaps what makes the site, which manages to get its hands on inside scoops on celebrity misbehavior, so tantalizing is its origins and the writers it hires.
The site’s cofounder and CEO, David Arabov, is purportedly the son of badass jeweler Jacob Arabo, who has served time for conspiring to launder $270 million in drug money.
Also writing for the outlet is Ashton Tyler, who claims to have done blow with Lindsay Lohan and to have given Justin Bieber his first joint.
According to Tyler’s bio, “It is safe to say Ashton has done it all and seen it all.”
Interesting indeed. Why write about scandal when he can create it himself?
Yet what’s most compelling about the site is perhaps how it managed to get its hands on some major money off-the-cuff. And here’s where my jaws dropped:
“TechCrunch wrote that Elite Daily ‘sees between 120 and 150 stories cross the home page’ every day. Elite Daily actually posted an average of 43 stories a day from June 26th to July 24th. Their highest post count was on July 8th, when they posted 88 stories; their lowest was Sunday, June 30th, when they posted one.
According to the internal statistics that they provide to advertisers, Elite Daily receives more than seven million unique visitors a month. TechCrunch said that Elite Daily saw 8.5 million uniques in May.”
In other words, there are a lot of you out there that are desperate to read the scintillating stuff that Elite Daily specializes in: the tantalizing fantasy that these rich, snobby kids represent. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in the jet scene, because jet-set kids always love to read up on each other and see who the real deals are.
The Awl claims that the authors of the site have a tendency to use fake model images as their own bio icons — because one has to look good when writing about the jet-set crowd.
The writing itself is a combination of literary pretension and shock-and-awe tabloid fluff, and like most tabloids, they bait readers with a headline but give them nothing really substantial.
Choice articles include “The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Brains,” “The New Age Slut” and “Disney Princesses Didn’t Fuck Me Up,” which attempt to explain how women became sluts with game and money. One can imagine how this caters to the typical Elite Daily reader, or the aspirational reader, who secretly imagines himself to possess just as much game as the authors, and who also harbors contempt for women but gladly puts up with them when they offer sexual gratification.
According to The Awl, “Cuffin’s listicle ’15 Easy Steps to Managing Your Mistress’ synthesizes Elite Daily’s class aspirationalism with its obscene misogyny so harmoniously as to seem parodic. To ‘manage’ a mistress requires money—lots of it. And of course, if you have money—lots of it—a mistress is one of the ‘things’ you will spend it on. Keeping a mistress is part-and-parcel of the kind of conspicuous consumerism articulated across this website.”
Then again, who doesn’t mind vapid, overt consumerism buoyed by the virtues of how us men ought to self-affirm our sexual prowess and rightful pecking order? Of course the lesson is obvious: have money and you will rule. If you don’t have money, then go get some, or at least fake it.
But perhaps this reflection below best explains the essence of Elite Daily and its jet-set aspirational readership:
“The site is the flagship of ill-making consumerism, the rap video-inflected fever-dream of the suburban upper middle-class who can catch a glimpse of the actually famous but can only dance on the tables near them. It creates a world wherein the only measure of value is money. But this conception of having money refers only to spending it, to purchase obscenely expensive cars and acquire ludicrously beautiful women (‘bitches’). It is part of the wider cultural death-rattle of a segment of society that believes America is a meritocracy and that access to fabulous wealth might be a question of working harder and wanting it more but also mostly comes to those who deserve it.”
Let me reach for my Champagne glass and we’ll continue.
“It is a world of willful intellectual poverty. It is a world of child-people who think think they are elite, or that they will be elite, but mostly don’t actually comprehend that there is a gaping chasm between them and the truly elite, that there is a another world of the real elite for whom power comes first, with money being the happily created byproduct.”
If anyone really wants to get a handle of who the media entity’s readers truly are, perhaps a casual glance at the below will explain. This all prompts me to ask, “What is happening to intelligent writing and critical thinking, and why do the writers and editors at Elite Daily have to pretend to be trophy items when they can explore why such trophy people exist in the first place?”
Then again, this could all be a comment on the current state of media and its tendency to cater to rich, snobby kids. Or maybe it’s a reflection of the constant fascination for the hyperbolic, insignificant and just plain blowhard spectacle that is throwing daddy’s money on some half-naked table dancer who’s only there because she needs the money and the $400 bottles of fizz that these kids believe will bring them closer to God.
The Awl concludes their article with, “The top search term that currently brings people to Elite Daily, according to Amazon’s web measurement company Alexa, is the word ‘ass.‘ The second highest is ‘a rich woman seeks husband.’ Then comes ‘best ass,’ and then comes ‘asses.’ The other day, ‘jets’ was showing up in these top search results, but that has since fallen off, replaced by searches for the name ‘Elite Daily.‘”