GIVEN HOW OFTEN Tucson's business community complains about The Weekly, you wouldn't think we'd serve as a model for a local business journal. So imagine our surprise when we were perusing a recent column by Rod Smith, the new editor of Inside Tucson Business, and heard a remarkable echo of a recent Skinny observation about KTUC performance artist Tom Hassey.

We're generally amused by the fact that Smith is attempting to bask in The Skinny's vast prestige by penning an second-rate column called Scuttlebutt, a pathetic potpourri of insipid puffery and irrelevant natterings posing as hot gossip on the street--like, to cite a couple recent imbecilic examples, what washed-up movie star is staying at which Sedona resort, or how a 16-year-old Scottsdale kid had a saguaro fall on him. And we don't particularly care that he also uses expressions like "Cheers!" in print with absolutely no kitschy intent, a writing offense for which anal disfigurement by Hells Angels should be the standard punishment.

No, what really ticks us off about this no-account dolt is his direct borrowing of The Skinny's material. Above, left, is an item from The Skinny of July 3; to the right is an item from Scuttlebutt, published July 14.

Mr. Smith, The Skinny provides these items as a service to its readers, not as an aid to lazy ding-a-lings sorely lacking in imagination. And while we do admire your audacity in maintaining you simply wrote your little item from some bland press release sent to you by the Republicans, we'd like to suggest that you find some original material or pay us a fair fee to ghost your column. TW

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