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.

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