Not conceding in this election isn't a surprise. It's probably more surprising that concession vs. finishing the election had become so commonplace. The math does predict the winner accurately at a certain point, but fact is fact. All the votes need to be counted, then the determination can be made.
The degree to which fact, policy and procedure are weaponized in political (and legal) battles continues to amaze me. Something as simple as the requirement to count all the votes before declaring a winner becomes a tool in arguments of all kinds. The most visible instance today is the refusal to concede the elections. (More candidates than the President have not conceded yet.)
The two instances of concession being weaponized in the media are questions shouted at senators as they are walking past and reporting that other country's leaders make reference to the "previous President" in conversation. Let's take a look at this.
When asked, "Did you congratulate Joe Biden?", more than a few responses have been "There's nothing to congratulate." This is in fact true. The matter of fact responses (or emphatic in some cases), doesn't really give the reason why the official makes this response. It's because the vote has not yet been determined. Technically, until the Electoral College votes, the election is not complete. So this is an appropriate response, the media should put it into context. Of course an opponent (or proponent) of another party will harbor the desire to win, that's really all that is being said.
Reporting the British Prime Minister who supported the President as saying the "previous President" is another instance. It was surprising the media actually included the context, the Prime Minister went on to say he is looking forward to working with the new[sic] President as well. Allies should want to work together, so this is appropriate when reported in context.
Weaponizing these responses to attempt to force a concession may be the motivation, but who knows. In some sense, it is a form of bullying that is insidious. Frankly, this is bullying is what helped Trump get elected in the first place. Trump is pretty good at bullying so he knows how to play the game. (Look into his younger years, you'll learn how this was cultivated.) Regardless, such treatment in the press is as damaging as the curt responses being publicized. The right thing to do is to publicize the leaders point reasoning, in context. This is very difficult to do in the press where little more than quips are published in video media. Nobody spends the time to read a newspaper article as was commonplace in the past.
What does "to concede" mean anyway? I like to look up terms in the dictionary. I'll reproduce the deficients from may Mac's dictionary here:
con·cede| kənˈsēd | verb
1 [reporting verb] admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it: [with clause] : I had to concede that I'd overreacted | [with object] : that principle now seems to have been conceded. • [with object] admit (defeat) in a contest: he conceded defeat. • [with object] admit defeat in (a contest): ready to concede the gold medal.
2 [with object] surrender or yield (something that one possesses): to concede all the territory he'd won. • grant (a right, privilege, or demand): their rights to redress of grievances were conceded once more. • (in sports) fail to prevent the scoring of (a goal or point) by an opponent: the coach conceded three safeties rather than kick into the wind. • allow (a lead or advantage) to slip: he took an early lead that he never conceded.
DERIVATIVES conceder noun
ORIGIN late 15th century: from French concéder or Latin concedere, from con- ‘completely’ + cedere ‘yield’.
Basically it means "completely yield". Hmm, if you want to keep face with your constituents on the "Right" (that's a direction by the way)... you'd not" yield completely" until the "fat lady sings" — i.e. the Electoral College votes. That's what they've cultivated in the populace and what they believe is expected. It is appropriate to say: "It is likely the Electoral College will vote in favor of Biden in this election, I'll wait to comment until then." This should be the response to deflate rhetoric regarding the matter. This is just plain civil, and something we should expect from our leaders and reporters.
So, objectively, the methods used by reporters are as damaging to public divisiveness as is the political climate. What to do about this? I'm not sure, maybe I'll explore it in the future. But it seems like an editor's job... hmm. For now, let's try to look at the entire picture vs. supporting demonization in all it's forms.