Today show weatherman Al Roker kissed and made up with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on the program this morning when the mayor came to cut the ribbon on the show’s revamped Rockefeller Center outside space. It’s part of Today’s campaign to hang on to the ratings bump it enjoyed in Sochi, which put the show back on top of the morning show pile.
“We’ve got Mayor Bill de Blasio,” Roker announced, though he needn’t have bothered – the mayor was hard to miss, towering over the Today show team, and Roker barely came up to his shoulders. ‘We’ll get this out of the way,” Roker opened. “We had a little chat about school closings and snow; we both want the best for school kids and our city.”
The mayor agreed. “Al, look, I think together letting the people know what’s going on with the weather, letting people know how to be safe — that’s something we do together.” He invited Roker to join the city’s sanitation department – they’re in charge of snow removal – saying, “This could be a new part of your career.” Roker accepted the invitation, noting his dad was a bus driver and drove a bus that also cleared snow. Ten days earlier, while his show was in Sochi, Roker apologized for suggesting de Blasio would be one term and out over his “goofball” decision to keep schools open when a major winter storm that was pounding the East Coast hit NYC. “That was below the line,” Roker acknowledged. It had been part of a blizzard of tweets from Roker about the mayor; he’d also blasted de Blasio for blaming his call about the schools on the National Weather Service. “Why are schools all around NYC closed? It’s going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed,” Roker tweeted angrily, among other things.
Roker made so much noise that when de Blasio held a news conference to defend his decision to keep schools open, he got asked about Roker’s tweets. “I respect Al Roker a lot..I’ve watched him on TV for many, many years. It’s a different thing to run a city than give the weather on TV,” de Blasio answered. Roker to mayor: “Mr. Mayor, I could never run NYC, but I know when it’s time to keep kids home from school.” Watch here: