Not just for calling the scandal “phony,” though. His ire peaks when Carney sneers at him for pushing the GOP party line, which is not something you say to a guy who’s worked very, very hard to build his “no labels” media brand. How much water does this Joe need to carry for gun-control fans before the White House cuts him a break on the “party shill” accusation? Good lord. Oh, and by the way — Scarborough’s right in the substance of his criticism. Carney did indeed initially spin the IRS scandal as a Cincinnati issue back in May, before evidence surfaced that IRS officials in Washington had input too. What makes the scandal “pretend,” apparently, is that Issa hasn’t laid it on Obama’s doorstep. That’s how much Jay cares about the targeting in this case, his lip service to “inappropriate” conduct aside.

As your companion reading, enjoy — and I do mean enjoy — Reid Cherlin’s piece in The New Republic demanding the end of the pointless, mind-numbing pantomime of accountability that you and I know as the daily White House press briefing.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy