This article was really well-written, I must say. And I am thoroughly impressed.
But here’s what crossed my mind while reading this:
This article targets Ross more than the show did itself.
Eventually, the Friends audience — roughly 52.5 million people — turned on Ross.
Ross was most definitely not the most hated character on the show. In fact, it would seem that if any were hated more than the others, they were Monica and Rachel, “the obsessive” and “the spoilt”. In fact, both of them only came off as better characters near the ending of the show. Certainly, Ross was the intellectual of the six, then again he himself had these weaknesses.
The point you were trying to put across was entirely correct, that America is growing stupider by the day. But the unfortunate analogy you used wasn't entirely true. Here’s the thing- let’s say that the characters of this particular show did indeed promote bullying of the “geeks” and “nerds”, then it was more Joey than Ross. It was Joey who was portrayed as the “stupid” one, and there were several jokes made at his expense. So if the show glorified making fun of intelligence, then it also encouraged making fun of the stupid. What it also did, was to make fun of every character weakness. Monica’s OCD behavior, Rachel being spoilt, Phoebe’s weirdness, and Chandler’s commitment problems.
Of course, making fun of anyone’s weakness isn't ethical, but then again it was all done in good faith. To say that Ross and the other characters were single-handedly responsible for bully-culture, and nerd-phobia, is like saying Donald Trump is responsible for bringing down the nation’s IQ.
Oh wait, that is true…