The White House's communications director says that Fox News is little more than a wing of the Republican Party.

"The reality of it is that Fox News often operates as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party," Anita Dunn told CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday. "And it’s not ideological. I mean, obviously there are many commentators who are conservative, liberal, centrist, and everybody understands that. What I think is fair to say about Fox is — and certainly the way we view it — is that it really is more of a wing of the Republican Party."

Dunn was responding to Kurtz's question about her appearance in a Time magazine article, published Thursday, in which she described Fox News as "opinion journalism masquerading as news."

"They are boosting their audience," Time quoted her as saying. "But that doesn't mean we are going to sit back."

Time described Dunn as "the general" in the White House's war against Fox News:

The take-no-prisoners turn has come as a surprise to some in the press, considering the largely favorable coverage that candidate Obama received last fall and given the President's vows to lower the rhetorical temperature in Washington and not pay attention to cable hyperbole. Instead, the White House blog now issues regular denunciations of the Administration's critics, including a recent post that announced "Fox lies" and suggested that the cable network was unpatriotic for criticizing Obama's 2016 Olympics effort.

"They’re widely viewed as, you know, a part of the Republican Party," Dunn said on Kurtz's Reliable Sources. "They take their talking points, put them on the air, take their opposition research, put them on the air, and that’s fine. But let’s not pretend they’re a news network they way CNN is."

This video is from CNN's Reliable Sources, broadcast Oct. 11, 2009.

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