[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/29/art.newsweek.cnn.jpg caption="Obama is mocking Newsweek's latest cover."](CNN) - Newsweek magazine got some unsolicited PR Wednesday from President Obama, but it wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of periodical's latest issue.
At a North Carolina town-hall health care event, Obama asked if anyone had seen the latest cover of Newsweek that boldly declares, "The Recession is Over!"
"I don't know whether you've seen the cover of the latest Newsweek magazine on the rack at the grocery store, but the cover says: 'The Recession is Over,'" the president said as part of his prepared remarks at the event.
"I imagine you might have found that news a little startling," Obama continued. "I know I did."
Obama went on to say while certain indicators are improving, like the stock market and home sales, "That's little comfort if you are one of the folks who have lost their job."
The article in question - with the sub-headline of 'Good Luck Surviving the Recovery' - actually says much the same as Obama did Wednesday - that leading indicators appear to suggest the recession is nearing an end, but the recovery is likely to be a slow process.
"When economists proclaim a recession over, they're celebrating a technicality: they mean economic output has stopped contracting," Newsweek's Daniel Gross writes. "And while that is good news, you might wait a while before adding Judy Garland's rendition of 'Happy Days Are Here Again' to your iPod."
UPDATE: Gross has issued a response to the president in a posting on Newsweek.com entitled, "Obama rips Newsweek's cover. We rip back."
"The article notes—as Obama's speech does—that the discussion surrounding the end of the recession is largely a technical discussion ("GDP growth alone can't feed a family, or a pay a mortgage") and that we face tough economic times and a recovery that will feel a lot like a recession," says Gross.
"It's common to hear journalists complain of being overworked. And in this case, it's true. In addition to writing the first draft of history, we seem to be writing the first draft of the president's speeches," he also says.