Obama Calls Out Newsweek. We Respond.

Who says news mags are dead? At a town hall in North Carolina this afternoon, President Obama gave a shout-out to this week’s cover of Newsweek:

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."  I bet you found that news a little startling.  I know I did. Now, it's true that we've stopped the freefall.  The market is up and the financial system is no longer on the verge of collapse. We're losing jobs at nearly half the rate we were when I took office six months ago.  So, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession. But that's little comfort if you're one of the folks who have lost their job, and haven't found another….

OMG, Obama still reads Newsweek?! Yippee! Eat it, Time! Oh wait, he was sort of trashing us, wasn’t he? This cannot stand. Here’s the response from Daniel Gross, who wrote the article, and guess what: He thinks Obama didn’t read the piece, considering he went on to articulate the very same argument that the article actually makes. (You've gotta at least read those subheads, Mr. Prez.) Here’s Dan:

We're happy to be the president's rhetorical device – Gross's Second Law of Journalism holds that the only thing worse than being attacked in the media is being ignored in the media. And it's hard to imagine President Obama being startled by anything. But, in our defense, we'd note that the cover's declaration of the recession's end is punctuated by an asterisk that warns, "Good luck surviving the recovery." 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. The article then goes on – as Obama's speech does – to discuss the impact of the stimulus package passed in February and the importance of health care reform to the economy's longer-term health. 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.

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