Skip to content

David Brooks’ airport hamburger


The whole world is laughing at David Brooks, the conservative columnist for the New York Times who sees himself as a great moral oracle and moral leader. Brooks posted a picture on X (formerly known as Twitter) of the hamburger he had bought at the Newark Airport. His tweet said: “This meal just cost me $78 at Newark Airport. This is why Americans think the economy is terrible.”

He was instantly busted by people on Twitter, who pointed out that the hamburger and fries had cost $18, and that the remaining $55 was the bar tab — whisky, apparently.

Brooks, like his conservative colleague Ross Douthat, also a conservative columnist at the New York Times, is actually pretty lucid and reasonable much of the time. But it’s important to keep in mind that the New York Times has some very hard-ass copy editors, and Brooks’ and Douthat’s columns have to get through those copy editors before they get into print.

Maybe it’s a cheap shot on my part, but I’m going to take this opportunity to interpret the hamburger tweet as evidence for my argument that all conservative discourse is derp, because there’s always something not quite right, both morally and cognitively, inside a conservative mind. I’ve written on that subject here, here, and here.

Had Brooks had too many glasses of Scotch? Maybe. But that’s no excuse. A normal mind, even on the fourth whisky, would look at the $78 tab and think, “Dang. I just spent $17.78 on a hamburger and $55 on Scotch.” But not Brooks. He’s a great moral oracle and moral leader, after all, so he moralizes, spins, and lies, without any real reflection, all in one short tweet. He trusts his conservative gut. It’s a given to him that non-conservatives are always the ones who are mistaken. He can’t even be fair and rational about evaluating what is literally right under his nose. He baits us — trolls us, even — with the deception.

Show me a conservative, any conservative, and I’ll show you someone with some wires crossed inside their head.

Source: Wikimedia Commons


  1. Dan wrote:

    I’ve had my fill of derp for today.

    I avoid the news unless I am deliberately seeking something out. Well, I had to check the veracity of a conservative coworker’s assessment of the Canadian Parliament’s faux pas of applauding an actual Nazi, much to my coworker’s delight. He called out their “hypocrisy” for condemning the Freedom Convoy truckers as Nazis.

    Evidently, this thing about thanking a Ukrainian Nazi for fighting against the Soviet Union was accidental, and the Canadian government has since walked it back. I hadn’t heard of it because I stay out of the news because it’s all bad, and most of the reporting of that incident seems to come from right-leaning websites. But, I had to do a little digging to see if any Freedom Convoy drivers were actually far-right operatives, and as a matter of fact, four men were indicted for attempting to murder Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers as part of a right-wing plot.

    Anytime a conservative tries to point out the hypocrisy of liberals, I tend to think there’s a lot more to the story. They’re willing to think that riots in protest of police violence (a la Minneapolis in 2020) are the same as the January 6th storming of the Capitol, as long as it suits their thinking.

    I’m so checked out politically thanks to the culture war nonsense. I know there are legitimate issues involving our education system and economic inequality that aren’t going to get addressed any time soon.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Dan: Unfortunately, as an old newspaperman, I’m addicted to the so-called news. Back in my days as a copy editor, I often used to say that I’d like to line up all the reporters in the room, then walk down the line and slap the sh*t out of each of them. Nothing has changed. Some good works gets done, to be sure. But on a slow news day the derp is waist deep. They’re a herd. Lacking any real principles, they look to the herd for validation. At each level including the elite level to which Brooks belongs, they all know each other, synchronize their output with each other, and celebrate each other.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  3. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    Ha ha ha ha

    Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *