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Top Obama officials also sounded off over the weekend over excessive executive bonuses for companies that received federal bailout money. Swift action from the White House followed Wednesday, as the administration told reporters that it would be forcing the top seven recipients of bailout dollars to dramatically slash pay for their top executives.

But for Fox, a driving force behind stories that have hurt the White House politically, including the exposure of ACORN in a prostitution “sting,” the criticism allows it to claim that it is the only network not shilling for the administration.

“It’s probably been PR and marketing we couldn’t have bought,” said Chase Carey, deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer of News Corp., which owns Fox News.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and presidential adviser David Axelrod said on Sunday that Fox is “not a news organization,” and pressured other TV networks and news outlets not to follow Fox’s reporting.

“It’s not really news; it’s pushing a point view,” Mr. Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous.” “And the bigger thing is that other news organizations, like yours, ought not to treat them that way, and we’re not going to treat them that way.”

• Sean Lengell and Jennifer Haberkorn contributed to this report.