There were three developments in the IRS-targets-the-Tea Party scandal in the past two days, all individually meriting coverage on their own right but, taken together as a package are most definitely newsworthy. Despite this, neither ABC's World News nor the CBS Evening News nor the NBC Nightly News spared even a second of coverage to them on their July 10 broadcasts.

By contrast, time was made to cover stories like country artist Garth Brooks's return to the industry (ABC), the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's start in the big leagues (CBS), and a baby boom in Washington, D.C., nine months after the government shutdown (NBC). Both NBC and ABC briefly mentioned the Emmy Awards nominations and all three broadcasts had time to note the passing of modeling agency executive Eileen Ford. 

On Tuesday's All In show on MSNBC, during a discussion of Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman's primary challenge to Senator John Cornyn, MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman asserted that, "if you don't make outrageous statements," the Tea Party movement will not consider you to be "serious."

Referring to some of Stockman's more controversial statements, Fineman reacted:

On Wednesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes again claimed that House Republicans are waging a "jihad" in trying to cut the food stamp program, asserting that "the GOP's jihad on those in need gets uglier every single day."

The MSNBC also fretted again over the possibility that violent felons may lose benefits while MSNBC contributor Joy Reid tried to link racism against minorities to the battle over food stamps. Reid:

Texas Congressman Steve Stockman (R) weighed in on the recent revelations involving the National Security Agency looking at Americans' phone records with a humorous knock at Chris Matthews' so-called "news network."

Commenting on Twitter, Stockman wrote Saturday, "At this point the only way to prevent people from hearing your conversations is to have them on MSNBC":

At the Hill on Monday, Pete Kasperowicz, employing the establishment press's usual "mean Republicans attack" spin, is packaging something first aggregated on Friday at Michelle Malkin's exclusively as an accusation coming from GOP Congressman Steve Stockman of Texas.

Malkin's credit-denied crew, with the help of citizen activists who did much of the dirty work, detected what I will call "Astro-Tweets," a Twitter-driven variant of the campaign tactic known as "astroturfing," which aims, using a variety of means, to create the illusion of public support for a cause where little or none exists (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Last night on her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow planted a brave smile on her face and ran what passed for a correction of her scurrilous -- and legally problematic -- claim that a Republican congressman "received advance notice" of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.  

As to be expected, such a reckless polemicist could not issue a mea culpa without a healthy dose of self-justification and alleged delight. Here's what Maddow had to say --

"Lean Forward," MSNBC's new slogan suggests. The better to stick a shiv in your opponent's back.

Ethics-averse Rachel Maddow did exactly that on her MSNBC show last night. After disparaging Republican candidates for their gall in criticizing reckless federal spending and government-controlled health care, Maddow made this jaw-dropper of a claim --