Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves to indulge in the logical fallacy that a TV show that is not massively popular cannot possibly be very good. The latest is Sarah Stites, qwho spends her April 18 post bashing the TV show "Girls" upon the end of that series:
The media love to analyze Girls. Somehow, despite its low viewership, Lena Dunham’s raunchy show about four millennial women finding their way in New York City captured the fancy of the journalistic world – from Jezebel to the New York Times. Now, in the wake of the final episode, writers and critics are “mourning the end of an era” with the loss of the “influential” HBO series.
But, amidst all the ruminations on the show’s legacy, no one is asking: what does the journalist-hype for Girls say about the media?
The final season’s debut was watched by only 519,000 viewers, Hibbard noted, with a poor Nielsen rating of .2 among adults ages 18-49.
But the writers who loved it, really loved it. And even if they didn’t love it, they wrote extensively about it. In other words, ratings didn’t seem to mean much.
The media has promoted the idea that Girls is a reflection of our culture today. In reality, it’s more a reflection of a distinct segment of society: the bubble of liberal, feminist writers.
“I'm sure there are people who watched this show who didn't see a reflection of them or their lifestyle,” HBO CEO Richard Plepler conceded, “but there were millions and millions of people who did.”What kind of people? The young, New York-based writers working for feminist outlets? The liberal journalists immersed in the progressive culture Girls promotes?
Of course, Stites would never admit that she's bashing "Girls" from her own bubble: that of right-wing activist media critics.
She would never admit that films that pleased people like Stites and her MRC co-workers for conforming to their political agenda -- such as "For Greater Glory," "13 Hours" and the "Ben-Hur" remake -- were low-quality films because they were box-office failures. To the contrary: they would somehow blame the "liberal media" for the films' failures. Heck, the MRC never even admitted that the films were unpopular.
That bubble is just as real as the one Stites accuses the "liberal, feminist writers" of being in.
Stites makes her contempt for "Girls" more than clear:
Let’s be clear. Girls normalized avoidable messiness. It promoted free sex and wild living. It encouraged irresponsibility by suggesting that it’s just a phase, instead of encouraging young women to strive for better.
So to Girls I say: good riddance.
Let's be clear: Just because Stites didn't like the plot doesn't mean it's a bad show or an artistic failure.