New York Press columnist Russ Smith has given former Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnicle, who now writes a weekly piece for the N. Y. Daily News, as rough a going-over as this veteran newspaperman has seen in decades.

Smith virtually accuses Barnicle of plagiarism for lifting segments of a piece Jimmy Breslin wrote for Newsday on April 29, in his New York Daily News column on May 21. Smith’s comparison of much of what Barnicle had to say with Breslin’s observations concluded:

“Perhaps this isn’t outright theft. But it comes close. Closer than Barnicle who seems like the tourist he is in that column, possibly knowing that it was a Romanian driving that livery car. Then again, that was another area of trouble for this washed-up hack in Boston: he invented anecdotes for his Globe columns.

Barnicle’s latest column in yesterday’s Daily News, relies heavily on E-mail he says he received from two U.S. Army soldiers in Iraq recently. The extensive comments the two men allegedly made to the columnist, don’t sound like the real thing. There’s something Barniclese about them!”