We recently reported that New York Times Opinion columnist David Brooks had posted a photo of a burger and fries and a drink, opining how expensive his meal was. He wrote, "This meal just cost me $78 at Newark Airport. This is why Americans think the economy is terrible."
The backlash was swift–Using the platform's "Community Notes" feature, sleuthy folks quickly revealed that the most outrageously expensive part of the meal was the whiskey, not the actual food. The Community Note reads: "Based on the similar table, glass, chair, sheet and cut of fries, this is the Smokehouse Restaurant in Newark Airport Terminal A. The burger and fries cost $17."
So, really, David Brooks spent $17 on food and about $50 on a glass of whiskey.
X user Evan Sutton sums up the critique: "The funniest thing about @nytdavidbrooks transparent attempt to make his $50 airport whiskey into a story of working class economic pain is the internet sleuths who immediately found the price of his burger based on the visual evidence in the photo."
Brooks has recently issued a mea culpa. Politico explains:
New York Times columnist David Brooks acknowledged he had "screwed up" after his social media post complaining about the price of a meal at Newark Airport went viral this week.
"An upper middle class journalist having a bourbon at an airport is a lot different than a family living paycheck to paycheck. And when I'm getting sticker shock, it's like an inconvenience. When they're getting sticker shock, it's a disaster," Brooks said in a Friday interview with PBS' William Brangham.