Controversial New York Times columnist David Brooks is under fire online following a deceptive post on X, aka Twitter, about the state of the American economy.
Brooks posted a photo of a burger, fries and what appeared to be a double shot of whiskey on the rocks he had at the Newark airport, which he said cost a staggering $78.
Brooks then cited the situation as illustrative of why so many Americans feel the economy is in a bad place.
Along with the photo of his meal, Brooks' post read:
“This meal just cost me $78 at Newark Airport. This is why Americans think the economy is terrible."
Airport food is expensive, of course, but it's not that expensive, as anyone who's flown recently knows. So pretty much immediately after posting, Brooks was hit with a wave of mockery and criticism on X.
But then X users started doing some sleuthing, and some eagle-eyed frequent travelers used the details of the photo to deduce that Brooks had eaten at the Newark airport terminal A location of the popular New Jersey barbecue restaurant 1911 Smoke House Barbecue.
Soon, a community note was appearing under Brooks' tweet reading:
"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."
The stiff drink Brooks seemed to have enjoyed with his burger and fries aroused even more suspicious, since nothing jacks up a restaurant tab faster than booze, of course.
But then things heated up even more when the restaurant in question got involved. Once they got wind of the controversy, they took to social media to bring the receipts on exactly what Brooks' tab amounted to. Their pointed Facebook post read:
"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."
Oh snap. The information from the restaurant's Facebook post has now been added to the community notes of Brooks' post, too.
Naturally, people on X have had quite a bit to say to Brooks about his dishonest post, and each response became more hilariously absurd than the next.
Brooks has since apologized for the post, giving a mea culpa for how "insensitive" it was—which is, of course, not what he was criticized for in the first place. It was lying about how much his food cost.
For their part, however, 1911 Smokehouse and Barbecue has set the record straight in the shadiest way possible. They recently introduced a "D Brooks" special that includes a burger, fries and a double whiskey on the rocks for a cool $17.78.