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Montana Standard Editor 'Not Surprised' By Level Of Vitriol Against Media

(Flickr/Cory Doctorow) (

Reaction in Montana and around the world to the Gianforte misdemeanor assault charge has been varied. 

California GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter speaking to the press Thursday on Capitol Hill said assaulting a reporter is not appropriate behavior "unless the reporter deserved it," according to a tweet posted by Associated Press reporter Mary Clare Jalonick. 

Montana Standard editor David McComber says he's not surprised by the level of vitriol against the media, and it's not a recent development.

"It started during the presidential campaign, during the Trump campaign, and it certainly wasn't helped by 

It certainly wasn't helped by the President saying that media is 'the enemy of the people'

the President saying that media is 'the enemy of the people,'" said McComber. 

McComber cites one of the foundations of our country is a free press. He's unsure if this assault charge against Gianforte will impact today's election since about half the expected voter turnout has participated in early voting. 

One Gianforte supporter McComber talked to this morning in Butte loved this. 

"'It's about time a reporter got his butt kicked for getting in somebody's face,'" McComber said, quoting a Gianforte supporter. 

He also talked to quite a few people who were disgusted by it. 

McComber says this puts a premium on Montana Democrats' efforts to get out the vote since Montana voters can register and vote on the same day. 

Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence and the President's son, Donald Trump Jr., were in Billings to campaign on behalf of Gianforte. It was noted in press coverage that part of Gianforte's campaign speech included an impersonation of a reporter

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.