Finally, longtime New York Times columnist David Brooks addressed the firestorm surrounding his tweet complaining about the “terrible” economy — and said he should never have written the “insensitive” post.
Brooks, 62, claimed in an interview on Friday that he was joking when he complained that the $78 airport dinner reflected the daily struggles American families face amid persistent inflation.
The political commentator said he was in a state of “sticker shock” when he was handed a hamburger bill and a tall glass of whiskey, which is what he imagined ordinary people experience when they visit the grocery store.
“But the problem with the tweet — which I wrote so stupidly — is that it made it seem like I was oblivious to something quite obvious: that an upper-middle-class journalist with bourbon at the airport is very different from that.” “A family that lives paycheck to paycheck,” Brooks told William Brangham on PBS.
“I was insensitive. I’m drunk. I shouldn’t have written that tweet. I probably shouldn’t have written any tweets… I made a mistake. It was stupid.”
The tweet – which has attracted more than 36.4 million views since Wednesday – sparked a wave of ridicule and ridicule targeting the columnist, whom many accused of being out of touch with reality.
“This meal cost me $78 at Newark Airport. This is why Americans think the economy is so bad,” Brooks wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, alongside a photo of a burger, fries, and honey-colored liquid on the rocks.
The owner of 1911 Smoke House BBQ, the airport restaurant where Brooks bought the expensive dinner, said the journalist had to lower his price twice to pay the hefty bill.
Thousands posted their own versions of Brooks’ tweet — many of which included bottles of liquor and trivial sides, ranging from deli steaks to food for their pet dog.
Writer Joyce Carol Oates, 85, particularly resorted to many diverse jokes.
“(Bar bill: $66. Food bill: $12. Tip: $0 for NYT expense account),” she wrote on X.
In a subsequent post, Oates shared a photo of her cat yawning next to an empty bowl.
“This disgusting meal cost me $7.98, and the food was bad and there wasn’t nearly enough of it, which is why Biden is so unpopular,” she quipped.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”