Brief thoughts on the popular vote, the media, the stakes, and more
1) If one candidate wins the electoral vote but loses the popular vote, that doesn't tell us how the election would've turned out under a popular-vote system. Under a different set of rules, both campaigns would have made different decisions about rhetoric, what issues to focus on, where to spend time campaigning, where to buy ads, where to invest resources in ground organization, etc. Should we change to a popular-vote system? Maybe. It's legitimate to argue as much -- but saying after the fact that the popular vote confers legitimacy this year makes no sense.
2) News organizations that "call" a state minutes before competitors haven't achieved a scoop worth touting. As Jay Rosen puts it, "The extreme opposite of an enterprise scoop is the ego scoop. This is where the news would have come out anyway -- typically because it was announced or would have been announced--but some reporter managed to get ahead of the field and break it before anyone else. From the user's point of view, there is zero significance to who got it first. This kind of scoop is essentially meaningless, but try telling that to the reporter who feels he or she has one .... Journalists who are defending an ego scoop are engaged in an intramural competition that has nothing to do with public service, and everything to do with bragging rights."