Firstly I don't consider a digital print second class. Not in any way.
Secondly the "under glass and 4 feet away" reference was to the way portraits of the 20x24 size are viewed. "Sniffing the print", is the humorous term often given to photographer types that when seeing a print have the need to look at it from 4 inches away while everyone else is looking at content from a proper viewing distance.
I don't think any people and very few photographers can tell the difference in a good digital print and a good analog print holding it in their hand. I've seen many times top pros that were fooled by some of the best photographers demo on what digital is capable of and in the "blind taste test" they very often got some wrong.
As for the deception aspect, well that's too far out to even mess with. As I alluded to previously, there is no such thing as THE analog print or look. And there is no such thing as THE digital print or look. And when most photographers migrated over from analog to digital we already had a style or look or a way we like the print to look and we merely duplicated that look.
Granted digital is far more of a chameleon in terms or what you can do and I guess that bothers some people but calling that deception is pretty silly.