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Barack Obama's campaign has been the most successful end-run of the mainstream media machine in American politics. But the senator's plan to text-message his announcement of a running mate at 3 a.m. Saturday —- deliberately out of step with the MSM news cycle — was beaten to the punch by a collusion of two factions: Experienced reporters out to get the scoop, and people close to the politicians who didn't get the gig.

Some news organizations managed to interrupt the séance between the campaign and its supporters by finding out that Senator Joseph Biden would be the nominee and jumping the announcement by a few hours, after midnight on the East Coast. As soon as Senator Obama began calling the non-nominees, names began leaking out, and the New York Times, MSNBC and others ran stories saying that all signs pointed to Mr. Biden. It was a small victory, but one that served as a reminder that the press will not abide any old script the campaign puts out. John King of CNN was first to confirm the news. “You knew that there was treasure buried out there and it was just a matter of going and finding it,” Mr. King said in the press area at the Pepsi Center. “They want to make the rules one way, and we say, ‘No, if there is a piece of information, it is our job to go and get it.’”

(Photo by AP/Alex Brandon)