IF there's one thing that online news proves without any shadow of uncertainty, it's that there's no knowing what will capture the popular imagination.

Stories you slave over, spend weeks researching and arranging interviews, stories about issues that will have a real impact on readers' lives... and they get, say, 500 views.

Six paragraphs about a new Krispy Kreme branch opening and you've attracted 250,000 pairs of eyeballs.

Not everyone wants to read an in-depth analysis. They just want to know where to purchase a doughnut.

Fair enough.

Those with an interest in television are not so sanguine when their more cerebral efforts are rejected in favour of high fat, low nutrition fare.

The National Television Awards raised eyebrows and ire when Mrs Brown's Boys was named Best Comedy. Yes, that Mrs Brown's Boys, the one almost universally critically panned and named the worst sitcom ever made by one TV critic.

It's appeal, for many, is utterly unfathomable. A quick glance at the online reaction and you see people in deep despair that the end of democracy is upon us.

And is it any surprise, they say, this is the country that voted for Brexit. This is the country where the ballot boxes ushered in the reign of Boris Johnson.

Mrs Brown's Boys was up against Derry Girls, Sex Education, After Life and, it would break your heart, the extraordinary Fleabag. What is Brendan O’Carroll's show but a straggling group of village am-dram rejects tasked with improving a panto knock-off Mrs Doubtfire. Why it hasn't been subject to a letter writing campaign from bona fide drag acts, I will never know.

This NTA win is the equivalent of Victoria Wood going up against a bank manager telling a fart joke and the fart joke taking the prize.

The populace can no longer be trusted to vote, it is finally clear. Britain's decision making skills can no longer be trusted.

But look, surprise at Mrs Brown's Boys winning a public vote is an admission of life in an echo chamber bubble of smug cultural certainty. Despite its alleged lack of nutritional value, it routinely brings in the popular prize at the NTAs. It was voted the best sitcom of the 21st century so far in a Radio Times poll of 14,000 people.

It also routinely scoops in the largest festive TV viewing figures.

In 2012, the show had 11.6 million then 10.7m viewers, making it the most-watched programme on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. The following Christmas it attracted 9.4m viewers then 9.7m in 2014.

By 2018 its Christmas special attracted 6.8 million viewers. Only a third of that watched Fleabag series two. Yet it seemed that everyone and their granny was glued to Phoebe Waller-Bridge's bite-sized series due to the amount of coverage it earned from the media - news stories, features, think pieces, interviews.

In this way are echo chambers built. The media culture vultures loved Fleabag and so saturated their coverage with the show until it falsely felt like loving the show was a universal experience.

Yes, Fleabag was to be adored, a nuanced tragi-comedy of groundbreaking lyricism. But not everyone wants to invest the emotional energy needed to take on an an unlikeable, painfully middle class woman hobbled by her worst impulses.

They don't want to be lectured or forced to think. They just want to slob in front of a predictable Irish mammy whose worst peril is running out of teabags.

What a neat illustration it is in the divide between the cultural elites and the ordinary folk. The people expressing disgust at the success of Mrs Brown's Boys are those who find a vote for Brexit or the Conservative party unfathomable - and are the same people helping perpetuate the country's divide with their sneering.

The same forces influence the appalled reaction to Tate Britain advertising for a "head of coffee" on a salary of £40,000. Comparisons were made to curators who earn a measly £37,000. Yet a curator is not a head of department; it is a different level of role.

To rage that someone doing a manual job – even at management level – might earn more than someone in a cerebral position is to make an arrogant fool of yourself.

Mrs Brown's Boys falls into the same category of scorn as The Masked Singer, both programmes the masses like to consume and the elites like to condemn.

Enjoyment of these unchallenging things forms part of a wider backlash against progressive – or "woke" – ideals. Back at the NTAs and host David Walliams's joke mocking shamed actor Laurence Fox – who entered an unedifying (for him) race row with a black audience member on Question Time – fell on unsympathetic ears.

There is a solid demographic of people who are fed up with what they see as increasingly rigid progressive ideals who feel clamped by the modern liberal consensus. Brendan O'Carroll speaks for them when he says that he declined his grandson's request to use the show as a platform for environmental campaigning.

"It never made an episode," he said, "As I thought, ‘No, it’s too serious’."

Liberal ideals are being subjected to a wokelash, and telling people what they should and shouldn't culturally consume is not going to help build any bridges between divided factions.

While the unfettered snobs are busying themselves expressing disgust that someone might like to watch television trash, there are serious TV and film industry issues.

In France, feminist campaigners are taking on the country's prestigious film awards after Roman Polanski's latest movie was nominated for 12 Césars.

The Oscars are posthumously inaugurating basketball player Kobe Bryant into the hall of fame.

While men with questionable anti-women histories are being praised, the Oscars has announced a Best Director shortlist devoid of women with predominantly white shortlists in other categories.

These are cultural issues deserving exploration, not the inane popularity of Mrs Brown's Boys.