On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow issued a tweet promising to release President Trump's 2005 tax return during her 9 p.m. show. In fact, Maddow was so convinced that she was about to drop the biggest journalistic bombshell since Watergate that she drew out the revelation for as long as possible in an attempt to build the suspense-- and was scooped by the White House, The Hill, The Daily Caller and Fox News as a result.

Lengthy ramble costs Maddow her chance to break the story

Unfortunately for Maddow, her plan to break the Trump tax return story backfired spectacularly, as Fox News' Tucker Carlson beat her to the punch while the MSNBC host appeared to go off on a 20-minute tangent about Trump's ties with Russia before she even got to the meat of the much-ballyhooed story.

In fact, it took Maddow 23 minutes before she got to the part about Trump's 2005 tax returns, which showed that Trump paid $38 million on $150 million in income. Although Maddow had spent much of Tuesday promising her viewers an "exclusive" bombshell, the lengthy, pious, self-righteous opening lecture cost Maddow her opportunity to break the story.

At 8:59 p.m., Kaitlan Collins, White House Correspondent for The Daily Caller, was the first to release the nuts and bolts of Trump's 2005 tax return, citing the same numbers that Rachel Maddow would repeat almost thirty minutes later. At 9:07 pm, while Maddow was still midway through her opening statement, The Hill also reported that the White House had just released the information that Maddow was still nowhere close to reporting.

Adding insult to injury, by the time Maddow got around to talking dollars and cents, Tucker Carlson of Fox News had already finished his reporting of the story, thereby making MSNBC appear like the last news outlet to arrive at the scene.

Social media mocks Maddow

Social media users were much amused by the fact that Tucker Carlson and a slew of other rivals broke Rachel Maddow's "exclusive" story before she did, while others were busy giving a minute-by-minute description of Maddow's pompous lecture, wondering when the MSNBC host was going to get around to delivering on her promise.

If nothing else, Maddow did manage to provide a "teachable moment" to America's next generation of reporters; if you want to be the first to break an exclusive story, don't get bogged down in a 20-minute opening monologue.