I don't equate 'elite' with the 'best'. I agree that we all should seek to learn from the best, but the use of the word 'elite' introduces all kinds of political connotations which have nothing to do with photography. Perhaps this is what people are reacting to instead of artistic considerations. From dictionary.com:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
3.the attitude that society should be governed by an elite group of individuals
- The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.
- The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.
- Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.