Meanwhile, Steven Pearlstein takes the revelations of widespread lender fraud as an opportunity to lecture borrowers on their obligations. Go figure.

But if, as appears to be the case, the overwhelming majority of homeowners facing foreclosure have fallen far behind on their payments, then it is a good deal harder to summon up the same moral outrage over reports that the banks and loan service companies cut corners, failed to keep the right documents and engaged in shoddy and even fraudulent practices. Just because the banks and servicers have screwed up doesn’t mean they and their investors are no longer entitled to get their money back.

Note, by the way, how in one sentence “fraudulent practices” (crime) somehow becomes “screwed up” (oopsie) in the next.

Really, though, what will it take to “summon” “moral outrage”?

Now, two dozen attorneys general and the Justice Department are opening probes. With the press, mainstream and blogs, fully engaged, more revelations are only matter of time.

Here is a story that both involves human tragedy and carries systemic implications. It’s the biggest financial story going.

There are “gates” (well worth the click), and there are a “gates.” This is a real one.

If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014). Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.