Why Your Hometown Columnist Sucks: Stephen A. Smith

We're not even going to get into his show on ESPN, which we've well-documented elsewhere. We are here to discuss the many sins of Stephen A. Smith the writer, the columnist. The man absolutely refuses to back up any of his written assertions with sources or facts. A guy who routinely sends in columns between TV appearances via a BlackBerry. Yeah, that's the new journalism, we suppose. More on that after the vital statistics:

Name: Stephen A. Smith.
Columnist: Philadelphia Inquirer.
Attended: Winston-Salem State University (Rams).
Nicknames: Screamin' A; The Little Mouth That Could.
Most often seen on: "Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith," "Old School/Nu School."
Best summing-up on a blog: "He s an inaccurate reporter who drums up controversy to coincide with his controversial image." [NJ.com]
Most resembles: Spike Lee, but younger, better dressed, in better shape.
Little-known fact: Played basketball at WSSU for Clarence "Big House" Gaines, who also once coached a slightly more famous player, Earl Monroe.
Constantly hounded at: Philadelphia Will Do.

Where were we? Oh yeah, sportsbusinessnews.com had an article recently which recounted the time that Smith, strapped by time constraints connected to his various TV appearances, pecked out one of his twice-weekly Inquirer columns on his BlackBerry.

"Oh, Lord. Once upon a time, maybe five years ago, anyone filing a crucial column via a thumbs-only device would have been busted down to covering high-school cross-country meets." [Yellow World]

Perhaps it's best to keep Stephen away from paper and ink, however. The results can turn out like his column on WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, who recently admitted a lesbian relationship with former assistant coach Alisa Scott. "Now, far be it for me to wax eloquent over the sanctimonious arena of professional ethics," writes Smith. "But if someone — anyone — even thinks of hiring Scott after Swoopes' coming-out party, an investigation should begin. Immediately."

Later, in the same column: "Homophobia in women's sports is huge," Pat Griffin, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, said on my ESPN2 show, Quite Frankly.

It must have been a bitch getting all of that wrong-headed tripe in on a BlackBerry, as a production assistant applied makeup. In turning to the Dark Side, Stephen A. Smith has become everything he is supposed to hate. We figure it won't be long before this star implodes. Looking forward to that inevitable high school cross country story, though.

Stephen A. Smith Archive [Philly.com]
Unpardonable Interruptions [Slate]