New York Times columnist David Brooks has apologised for putting out a widely mocked social media post complaining about the price of his airport restaurant bill.
“I screwed up. I should not have written that tweet,” Brooks said during Friday’s episode of PBS NewsHour.
Brooks courted ridicule and derision on X, formerly Twitter, this week, with a post showing his dinner at a New Jersey airport restaurant and a caption noting how expensive it was, Fox News reported.
The photo showed a hamburger, fries, a salad, and what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage. His comment read, “This meal just cost me $78 [USD] at Newark Airport. This is why Americans think the economy is terrible.” That is about $120 Australian dollars.
Social media users slammed Brooks’ post, calling him an “elitist” and mocking his attempt at social commentary.
Shortly after posting, the restaurant that supposedly served Brooks’ meal, 1911 Smoke House BBQ, even criticised his post on Facebook, posting a status which said, “Looks like someone was knocking back some serious drinks — Bar tab was almost 80% and he’s complaining about the cost of his meal … keep drinking buddy — we get paid off everything.”
The restaurant’s owner Maurice Hallett commented on Brooks’ post, telling the New York Post they may name a special after the journalist.
“It’ll be a cheeseburger and a double whiskey,” Mr Hallett said.
He also guessed that Brooks ordered “two doubles” of whiskey, which cost between $28 and $29, to account for the almost $80 price tag.
Brooks apologised for the social media incident during the PBS program, saying it was intended to be a “joke,” but it ended up being “insensitive.”
He began, saying, “Yeah, well first, it started out hatched in my mind as a joke ‘cause – if you looked at what I was eating it was bourbon and a very fattening hamburger and fries. I can’t afford to make bad lifestyle choices.”
“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 paycheque to paycheque.”
Brooks continued, “And when I’m getting sticker shock, it’s like an inconvenience. When they’re getting sticker shock, it’s a disaster.”
Finally, the columnist added, “And so I was insensitive, I screwed up. I should not have written that tweet. I probably should not write any tweet.”
This article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission