The epitome of bad language scholarship has got to be Daniel Cassidy, who for years churned out utter falsehoods about Irish origins of English words. He had a PhD and a teaching position somewhere (presumably he wrote enough good stuff to get tenure, then went off the deep end), so he had the credentials to be taken seriously by the media and general public. I’d slap him, but he died a while back.
But I think there are relatively few writers who consistently get it wrong and continue to write about language. Bryson is the only other one that springs to mind, and he isn’t “clueless,” just a hapless and sloppy researcher. And he gets stuff wrong in a wide variety of categories, not just language.
Truss has only written the one book, as far as I know. And I’m not sure if I’d slap her or toast her marketing genius. (I’d probably slap her and toast the marketing department of her publisher.)
Most of the others are like Joan Acocella, who weigh in with a single utterly clueless piece, but then never write about language again.
And there are few who continually churn out dreck about language, but pretty much no one reads them, so they’re not worth a slap.
(Note that the Queen’s English Society folded this week because of lack of interest. No one stepped up to take on any of their officer positions.)