Newseum visitors read the new sign in the World News Gallery regarding yesterday's incident in Montana.
It reads "The Republican candidate in a special congressional election in Montana was charged with assaulting a journalist after the reporter asked him a question about health care policy. It was the latest in a string of attacks on press freedom in the United States.
Ben Jacobs, reporter for The Guardian, reported that he was "body-slammed" and his glasses broken on May 25 while attempting to interview Greg Gianforte, candidate for the U.S. House, about the Republican health care plan. Jacob's account was supported by reporters for Fox News and BuzzFeed who witnessed the attack.
It was the latest in a series of incidents in which journalists have been physically assaulted or arrested while reporting the news, including a Congressional Quarterly reporter pinned against a wall at a federal government office in Washington, D.C., a public radio reporter arrested after questioning a Trump administration official in West Virginia, and an Alaska Dispatch News reporter slapped by a state senator after he published a critical story.
The Committee to Protect Journalists denounced the attack saying, "Public figures in Montana and through the U.S. should condemn the violent assault of a reporter by a congressional candidate." Freedom House, an organization that monitors press freedom around the world, has cited the Trump administration's "hostility toward the fundamental principles and purposes of press freedom" as causing decline in press freedom in the U.S."