Al Roker's Sorry For 1 Tweet, But Not For Blasting NYC Mayor

Friday, February 14, 2014

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision not to close the city's schools Thursday has, as The New York Times says, become "another headache" for the Democratic chief executive.

"As big flakes accumulated in a messy morning rush on Thursday, the decision drew rebukes from parents and principals alike, who swapped tales of stranded buses and mostly empty classrooms on a day when fewer than half of students made it to school," the Times writes.

The mayor, who has been in office just since Jan. 1, had already come in for some criticism from people on Manhattan's Upper East Side. They felt as though their neighborhood's streets weren't cleaned up quickly enough after a snowstorm in late January.

After Thursday's decision to keep schools open, de Blasio was the target of some tartly worded Tweets from Today Show/Weather Channel meteorologist Al Roker. The weatherman was quite blunt about what he thought the mayor should have done: close the schools.

Roker's posts included this biting remark:

"I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term."

Thursday afternoon, de Blasio was asked about Roker's barbs. "I respect Al Roker a lot. I watched him on TV for many, many years," the mayor said. "I respect all the meteorologists out there, but the one I respect the most is called the National Weather Service. And this did — and they just affirmed to us on the call before we came out to you — that this went faster and heavier than their projections last night. And that happens. It is — it's weather. None of us controls it."

Friday morning in Sochi, where Roker is part of the Today show team covering the Olympics, he stood by the gist of his tweets — but did concede that the "1 term" crack went too far.

"Everything else, I still stand by," Roker said, "including the fact that the National Weather Service did forecast that [the storm's severity] on Wednesday."

Roker wasn't asked about whether he's sorry for misspelling the mayor's last name in that "1 term" tweet.

By the way, New York City's schools are open again today.

Our early posts about school closings:

-- VIDEOS: Rappin' And Rockin' School Closing Announcements

-- It's True: Snowiest Places Are Least Likely To Close Schools

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Source: NPR


Comments [2]

Who appointed Al Roker as a political pundit? He should stick to what he knows. Weather. Period.

Feb. 14 2014 03:57 PM
Ashley from New York

Yes, this winter has been crazy and the snow storms pretty unbearable. But if businesses are open, as the chancellor said, the schools can be open. What about the parents who work minimum wage jobs and they have no childcare to watch their children while they have to go to work? If a parent has the fortunate option of either being able to stay at home or having childcare to watch their children, the choice is much easier for them and should they deem outside to be too dangerous, they can make the decision to stay home.

Al Roker is being ridiculous. He only reports the weather - he doesn't have to weigh the choices and make a decision for a city of more than a million residents. For the parents who have no option of finding childcare, will he willingly step in to provide that childcare if the parent has to go to work? And if that parent stays home, what about the ramifications of that if they have no paid vacation days and that means a loss of wages to feed that very child? It's easier to rant about policy when he doesn't have to weigh these concerns.

Feb. 14 2014 01:49 PM

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