In the most recent example of the power of social media, and how quickly the format invites confrontation, newscaster Al Roker and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are embroiled in a bit of a row over the recent non-closure of New York Public Schools during a hefty snowfall on Thursday. De Blasio and school chancellor Carmen Farina sent NYC kids to school during major inclement weather that caused accidents, deaths, state of emergencies and school closures in the surrounding communities, just not NYC. When asked why during a press conference, the chancellor had the nerve to go on record to say “It has stopped snowing. It’s a beautiful day outside.’’
Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, but most people beholding that slushy, freezing maelstrom the city suffered through on Thursday would be hard pressed to call it a beauty. Apparently, normally jovial weatherman Al Roker caught wind of this while covering the Sochi Winter Olympic Games and came out the box like the gimp on Twitter, taking personal digs at the Mayor.
“I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio (SIC) forecast: 1 term.”
However, if you were expecting anyone to take the high road here, then you’re sorely mistaken. Di Blasio got off a few down low jab of his own.
“I respect Al Roker a lot, watched him on TV for many, many years . . . It’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV.”
“Mr. Mayor, I could never run NYC, but I know when it's time to keep kids home from school,” he offered in closing. Today, on the Today show, Roker apologized for the “one term” remark, though he stood by the rest of his remarks.