July 29th, 2009
03:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama mocks Newsweek cover, Newsweek hits back

[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.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Caron

    Why, oh why, would Newsweek have a cover like that? My guess is to get people to buy the issue. But when I saw the title I was wondering if they were kidding. It sounds like George Bush declaring Victory in Iraq a tad bit too early.

    July 29, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. George W. Bush

    Mission Accomplished!

    July 29, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Wildfiya

    Who is the president hear, you guys, the papers, Or Barack Obama? Who has the last say besides Jah? Is it not the president. The more they try to make Obama look bad, the more Victorious he shall be. Help to make the world a better place, instead of focusing on things that really dont benifit us as a People/Nation. Obama has got my vote with his Health Reform Plan. We Love you OBAMA.

    July 29, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. chelle

    It just kills me when people "accuse" President Obama of using a teleprompter like it is something bad. Most people making speeches use them now – it's 2009. Would you rather he used handwritten notes like Lincoln, Roosevelt etc.?? What an idiotic thing to criticise. Apparently there was a need for the technology or it would exist on every newscast and awards show. The man is smart, writes brilliantly, and is actually familiar with grammer and sentence structure. Hmmmmmmmm GWB used teleprompters and STILL got it wrong "the decider who decides"

    July 29, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. tess

    has anybody noticed how thin skinned o'bama is? he absolutely can not take any kind of criticism! what an arrogant fool!?!?!?

    July 29, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Sherrie F., Eugene Oregon

    I can only figure Newsweek must be increasing and adding new SURPRISE fees just like the State of Oregon is doing right now! It looks like the rich have already found loopholes to get richier as the poor won't be able to afford to go out in public to speak AT ALL, won't be able to afford the internet to post or even afford a stamp to write of such grief that we are to the point of unbearable suffering with no relief in sight! Further hush the poor and struggling? Shame on THIS country and those who say this recession is over as my very last dime is being taken for MORE fees without even enough to take my child to the INCREASED FEE PUBLIC PARK... as panic of winter, school expenses and MORES FEES are right around the corner from our fortunate to STILL have swelting 106 degree plus non air-conditioned home today(although I couldn't afford the electric bill to run one anyway now)!

    July 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. Zero.

    Barack Obama's famous last word when he talks? "Y'know" Y'know?
    Your not Stupid like me..

    July 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Allen, Cypress

    Oh Republicans, get off your high horses! The President borrowed a page out of your own playbook and now, you don't like it. The Republicans have never seen a headline that is favorable to liberals that they've never expoited. Sure he used the Newsweek headline to make his point, that's exactly what Republicans would have done. Good move, Mr. President. It's time we as Democrat start playing the same game with the Republicans. Enough Already for bipartisanship. If the Republicans don't want to get involved in geting this country back on track after eight years of running it down by the Bush administration, we Democrats need to do it ourselves, and we'll take the blame as well as the criticism.

    July 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Jay

    Well, if we want to get technical, people wouldn't have freaked out last October if not for the media talking about how bad things were, maybe this is a reverse psychology approach to the economy.

    ...And Republicans don't want the nation to fail, just the nation to fail why Democrats are in power so they can take power back, it is just the same cycle that has been in motion since Lincoln won his election.

    July 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Barry NiFong, Hawaii

    Maybe Newsweek will start printing honest stories about what is really going on now. If we don't start paying down the deficit, this country is going to go into hyper inflation like Japan during the late 90's. Then your dollar won't be worth much, PRINT THAT.

    July 29, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Rick Hirtzel

    When I received my newsweek I had to take a long stare at cover. Perhaps its real intention is to give us much needed hope. I have been out of work 6 months after losing my job and my reality is that its very frustrating to continue t look for work-never been unemployed before but i keep plugging away with high personal convictions ad spirits. Is Obama now going to comment on everyday facets of ou lives-just like the gates debacle.

    July 29, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Brian

    shows you how clueless New Week really is. They must be trying to sell magazines in these times..... Nothing like a catchy front page and endorsement from the president.

    July 29, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. elana

    As usual, CNN, your "headline" is always "over the top"! Perhaps you need to get ahold of a Webster's Dictionary and look up the word "mock"!!!! Get with the program!!! WE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, ARE SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED OF THE PRESS MANIPULATING THE TRUTH!! President Obama's remarks were in no way "mocking" the magazine cover! GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

    July 29, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Obamanation

    What an obamanation!! The cover picture certainly misleads what the article is really about, but do you think Obama has time to read Newsweek, with everything else he must read? It just goes to show, and Obama especially should know, Don't judge a book (or a magazine) by its COVER.

    July 29, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Asian4Hillary

    That's what Obama and Biden has been saying RECESSION IS OVER. Now, he has the GALL to mock his OWN stupidity? THE KNOW-NOTHING-IN-CHIEF is at it again! Please make it 2010 and 2012 next month. This NONSTOP LIES and PANDERING of Obama to the thinking impaired of this country is giving me nightmares day in and day out!

    July 29, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Working Class American

    C'mon CNN . . . I would hardly call what he said "mocking"! Stop trying to incite controversy where there isn't any!

    July 29, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Shawn - GA

    I am uneasy about this trend from our President, first this cop situation and now this.... He makes comments that if a little research was done he never would have made.

    Did he not hire good fact finders? is he shooting from the hip too much?

    Please for the Love of God don't attack me with Bush this or that, no where am I defending anything in the last 8 years of speeches. I am speaking about our President now and no past President's actions have any bareing on that.

    July 29, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. boboh

    At least Obama showed he is smarter than Colin Powell since he did not use a double negative.

    July 29, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Scott the Independent

    Being aware that in a country with free education to as high as undergraduate that most people will not read for social reasons. Meaning most don't read instruction manuals, directions or the entire cover of a mag. Most Americans seem to like their information abbreviated. As a result many will see the cover smile and move on. Not understanding the wit of the title. The President just put the attention grabber in perspective he did not mock the mag. Stop with the stupid stuff already will ya.

    July 29, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Guts to Say it

    Can someone please muzzle this man
    For he knows not what he speaks

    READ Mr. President !! READ the article before commenting on the cover !!! READ the whole story before going off ..

    and please .. no off the cuff remarks .. please stick to your prepared speeches ..

    I voted for him because I thought he was an intelligent person and a good speaker who would be able to improve our image in the world .. at this rate .. forget the world .. he is making it VERY difficult for even his supporters to forgive his errors and keep supporting him

    I pray for a Dictator in 2012

    July 29, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Stephanie

    WOW dems and repubs alike all you do is whine back and forth..to dems I say "spend more time reading the actual policies and see how awesome they are (smirks)" and to repubs i say "stop hating the man in charge do something about it, start rallys for the next presidential election to get a GOP in the white house again if you hate Obama so much"

    all of you shutup and quit your moanin about who hates who and whose fault it is let's just come up with a solution already geeze!!!!!!!

    July 29, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Aristotle

    He's just upset that NEWSWEEK has dared to run an issue without him or Michelle on the cover . . .

    July 29, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. destined

    Newsweek is the "progressive magazine", they were simply helping to prop their POTUS. Why would Obama bite the hand that feeds his image?

    July 29, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Georgian

    Obama never claimed "Mission Accomplished."

    July 29, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Chris

    Only seeing half the cover, I thought it was excellent satire; "THE RECESSION IS OVER!!!" on an enormous balloon...that would have been priceless. As such, the big fat asterisk should have been enough of a clue to any dolt reading it that this is not a ringing endorsement heralding the end of hard economic times. Or maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't start spending like you worked at Lehman Bros. after they discovered credit default swaps.

    Who remembers that Obama-as-Muslim-militant New Yorker cover from the campaign season? That was HYSTERICAL!

    Anyway, Obama's off-the-cuff, reactionary comments disappoint me, first the Stupidly comment, and now this. He's too smart a man to engage in such shallow pontificating.

    July 29, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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