Al Roker is sorry (kind of) for a tweet about New York Mayor de Blasio
NEW YORK -- Sometimes, Al Roker gets all hot and bothered about the weather.
Thursday, for instance, when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that more snow fell in the city than had been predicted, weatherman Roker took to Twitter to contradict the mayor and criticize the city’s decision to keep schools open in the inclement weather.
For that, he’s sorry.
Appearing on the “Today” show in Sochi this morning, Roker apologized for a comment that he said was a little “below the line.” He had written that his “long range DiBlasio forecast” was one term.
“I have one tweet I do regret,” he said on air. “In the heat of it, I’m very passionate about the weather. I made a prediction that there would be only one term of his administration. I apologize for that.”
In total, Roker had nine separate posts about the weather, the forecasts and the fact that schools weren’t closed Thursday. His daughter attends a NYC public school. Roker was especially enraged that de Blasio blamed the National Weather Service predictions as being off.
In the “Today” show interview, Roker said he stood by his other remarks on Twitter, and only regretted the one-term comment.
“It’s about safety, safety first for children,” he said. “Parents who can’t afford to stay at home, I get that too. But again, what’s more difficult? To know that your kids are going to stay home or to have to all of a sudden figure out how to get them home when school lets out early?”
Roker wasn’t the only one to criticize de Blasio for keeping schools open in a storm that dropped nearly a foot of snow on the city. The head of the teacher’s union released a statement calling the decision “a mistake,” and hundreds of parents, students and pundits took to Twitter to complain.
“It could rain rotting corpses and still, schools would be open,” one user wrote.
In a press conference Thursday, de Blasio repeatedly defended his decision to keep schools open.
“The bottom line is we had a lot of information, and based on the information we had, it was clear to us that we had to make the decision to keep schools open,” he said.
De Blasio hasn’t had the easiest first weeks in office. He’s been hit with snowstorm after snowstorm. During his first storm in office he was criticized for skimping on plowing some wealthier neighborhoods in the city. Then, he was caught on camera eating pizza with a fork, which some New Yorkers saw as elitist.
For his part, he has appeared to take some of these criticisms in stride. Appearing on the “Daily Show,” de Blasio joked with Jon Stewart about unleashing a plague of locusts on the wealthy Upper East Side of New York. When Stewart tried to make the mayor eat pizza with his hands, he pulled a knife and fork out of his suit pocket.
When asked about Roker’s comments during the press conference, de Blasio said, to laughter, “It’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV.”
And, according to the Wall Street Journal, when spokeswoman Marti Adams was asked why de Blasio canceled a weather-related press conference Friday, she responded, “He’s Skyping with Al Roker.”
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