Longtime New York Times columnist David Brooks finally addressed the firestorm surrounding his tweet griping about the “terrible” economy — and said he should have never have written the “insensitive” post.
Brooks, 62, claimed in a Friday interview he was making a “joke” when he complained that his boozy $78 airport dinner was reflective of the everyday struggles American families face amid ongoing inflation.
The political commentator said he was in a state of “sticker shock” when he was handed the bill for his hamburger and a tall glass of whiskey, which he imagined ordinary people experience when they visit the grocery store.
“But the problem with the tweet — which I wrote so stupidly — was that it made it seem like I was oblivious to something that is blindingly obvious: that an upper-middle-class journalist having a bourbon at an airport is a lot different than a family living paycheck to paycheck,” Brooks told William Brangham on PBS.
“I was insensitive. I screwed up. I should not have written that tweet. I probably should not write any tweets … I made a mistake. It was stupid.”
The tweet — which attracted more than 36.4 million views since Wednesday — spurred a frenzy of memes and ridicule aimed at the columnist, whom many accused of being out of touch.
“This meal just cost me $78 at Newark Airport. This is why Americans think the economy is terrible,” Brooks wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, alongside a photo of a burger, fries, and a honey-colored liquid on the rocks.
The owner of 1911 Smoke House BBQ, the in-airport restaurant where Brooks bought the costly dinner, said the journalist would have had to have downed two doubles to rack up the hefty bill.
Thousands posted their own versions of Brooks’ tweet — many of which included bottles of liquor and a measly side, ranging from deli meat slices to their pet dog’s kibble.
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