Political and special interest groups have "unprecedented influence" over "the images the public sees every day" in the news and social media, charged Sharyl Attkisson, a CBS News reporter who quit her job in March.
Attkisson told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" her years as a reporter at the network told her there were "overarching things at play" in decisions made about what stories the network would air.
"It's bigger than just a person or a couple of people or an ideological bent. It's unprecedented influence on the news and the media, Facebook, social media, the images the public sees every day by outside forces," Attkisson said Tuesday.
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Attkisson said CBS News axed stories on controversial subjects she investigated, including Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and Obamacare, according to Fox News.
Because of pressure from special interest groups, she said the network had a "tendency to shy away from any stories about the powerful and those in charge."
The pressure was not limited to the administration of President Barack Obama, Attkisson said, explaining that was just one influence on network newsgathering.
"You look at government as being one facet. You look at special interests. And you look at corporations being, I guess, three branches of the same problem," she said.
The atmosphere was such that Attkisson said reporters "just don't want to go up against the government." She said pressure on networks in covering "watchdog stories" about "corporations, charities, government" could continue no matter what party was in charge in Washington.
Attkisson is writing a book about her experiences as a reporter titled "Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington," due for release in November.
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