Western media keeps searching for the "Korean gov't made K-pop" and the "dark side of K-pop" storylines because they don't take K-pop seriously. It's inconceivable that K-pop is popular because it's good; it has to be some sinister plot that dupes gullible people.
The going theory on K-pop has always been that K-pop fans are stupid (often because they are young, women, and POC), and at some point the trend will peter out because the K-pop production companies will run out of dumb people to fool.
This is why the Western media coverage of K-pop makes little effort to listen and analyze the music itself, or trace back the history of the Korean pop music scene to understand the origins of the phenomenon that we see today. It's entirely disrespectful.
I made this very point (in a longer format) in this post: http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2019/12/taking-k-pop-seriously-in-2020s.html
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