NEW YORK — Television weatherman Al Roker is largely standing by his Twitter shellacking of New York City’s mayor for keeping public schools open during a snowstorm.
But he is apologizing for a tweet forecasting “1 term” for Bill de Blasio.
Roker said on NBC’s “Today” show Friday that tweet sent a day earlier was “below the line.” It was but one of several tweets he sent ripping the city over the decision.
Roker said he understands that some kids depend on school meals, and that working parents have trouble arranging backup child care. But he said other cities face the same issues and still close their schools.
He said it’s also a challenge for a working parent to scramble to get children to a school that stays open and then may have to close early.
De Blasio said Thursday that keeping the schools open was the right decision.
Roker’s tweet rant began at 8:40 a.m.: “@NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools Maybe the Mayor and School’s Chancellor should let us know when they would actually close schools?”
With Gov. Andrew Cuomo declaring a state of emergency for New York due to the weather, Roker continued blasting the mayor through the morning:
“@NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools snow policy is ridiculous. Tell people to stay off the roads. Stay home. But send your kids/teachers/staff in?”
Then: “Why are schools all around NYC closed? It’s going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed.”
Then: “So now my daughter’s NYC public school is being let out early. @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools Is it worth putting kids’ safety at risk?”
Then the tweet he apologized for:
“I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term.”
DiBlasio dismissed Roker’s tweets at a media briefing on the storm, saying he would not base city decision’s on forecasts by the “Today” weatherman.
“I respect Al Roker a lot, watched him on TV for many many years,” de Blasio said. “It’s a different thing to run a city than to give weather on TV. I respect all the meteorologists out there, but the one I respect the most is called the National Weather Service.”
Roker, based this week in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics, replied by posting: “Mr. Mayor, I could never run NYC, but I know when it’s time to keep kids home from school.”