It isn't new either. The bitch review has been in existence as long as writers. Walter Scott had a long-standing hatred of his antagonistic reviewer Francis Jeffrey in the Edinburgh Review. Even going so far as to publish himself anonymously in a different series of novels against his own already anonymous works to escape what he felt was a personal antipathy.
p&g was minded of the bitch review when reading a recent UK Times newspaper poetry critique. It concerned the new title Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds. I suppose the tone is set in the opening line:
"Sharon Olds (b1942) is the leading contemporary exponent of the “confessional” mode in American poetry..."
Goodness me! Twenty years ago when I was studying poetry at Ohio State University Sharon Olds was already known as a leading American poet. Period.
The reviewer goes on to pull apart her work in a patronising way that suggests she doesn't know how to string a line together. Odd. Sometime poets work like that in my opinion. Anti-structure. Not a stanza crime just a technique.
Anyway you can see what you make of it here http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/culture/books/fiction/article1174550.ece (afraid you have to log in...)