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This Could Be the Last Journalist--Pity the Business

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Russ Smith, who started and ran the New York Press, used to write a column for the paper that was one of the first unfiltered critiques of the obnoxiousness of media people, wounding its subjects far more than the New York Press's circulation or stature warranted. (Gawker would makes its fortune off that kind of leverage.)

Several years ago, Smith retired from the newspaper business, an early casualty of the death of print, and returned to his hometown of Baltimore to raise his family and run a website of his own, Splice Today, a place of eclectic comment, where he still does some forensic work on the New York media trade. His post yesterday, about Lloyd Grove, a figure--albeit a ludicrous one--in the New York media world, is worth recapping.

Grove now writes for Tina Brown's Daily Beast, and Smith, in his post, upbraided him for his latest in a more or less regular stream of hardly-making-any-effort columns. This especially "silly" one, in Smith's description, is about Obama as a brand, and about how that brand might be damaged by the oil spill: "What a novel hypothesis!" Is Smith's riposte.

Let me second Smith's umbrage, not just regarding Grove's lazy columns, but about Grove himself as a new archetypal figure in downwardly mobile journalism.

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