Conservatives are howling about the IRS targeting Tea Party groups applying for nonprofit tax exemptions.

Well, welcome to our world. Nonprofit journalism has been going through the same thing for the last few years, with almost none of the screeching—even though journalism organizations had a much better case for tax exemptions than did the Tea Party groups.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: The IRS targets a particular kind of nonprofit applicant for special scrutiny. Scrutiny comes from the Cincinnati office, works upward to Washington, D.C., and leaves applicants in limbo for years. After years of rubber-stamping approvals, the review comes amid a surge in applications in a murky part of the tax code. Some suggest politics plays a role in favoring some applications. The IRS itself specifically questions applicants about their political activities.