Last week, apropos of nearly nothing, The Hollywood Reporter ran a fawning cover story on Conan O’Brien. “REVENGE OF THE NERD” blared the headline, while the article itself gushed over the star’s “relaxed and happy” appearance and how, two and a half years removed from his debacle at NBC, the star has “no regrets.” Ratings for Conan, O’Brien’s TBS show, while never good, have rebounded of late, from losing-to-Chelsea Lately embarrassment to Colbert-trailing near-respectability. But the bulk of the discussion regarding Conan’s place in the late-night firmament uses words that make the show seem less like a success and more like the fevered, PowerPoint dreams of an overcaffeinated marketer. The story, like most written about O’Brien these days, points to “new viewing platforms” and recent accomplishments “invading the digital space” — buzzy nonsense that suggests a multi-million-dollar talk show ought to have the same long-term goals as Keyboard Cat — and the word “Twitter” is tossed around liberally, as if its very invocation can ward off the evil spirits of viewer stagnation and basic cable irrelevance. “If success were only about ratings, we’d just run Westerns all the time,” TBS president Steve Koonin is quoted as saying, an oddly backhanded defense of his decision to extend O’Brien’s contract through 2014.