Al Roker’s usual gig co-hosting The Today Show still includes weather reports, which is why he was sent to cover the massive hurricane bearing down on the Louisiana coast this weekend. But the broadcast that aired on NBC Sunday morning was anything but his regular gig.
On Sunday morning, Roker broadcast live from New Orleans on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd. The broadcast happened as Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm flirting with Category 5 winds, was nearing landfall with its epicenter just outside of New Orleans. The landfall comes on the 16th anniversary of the same region’s tragic Hurricane Katrina, which is why the video of Roker battling a huge storm surge was particularly harrowing.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 29, 2021
While the video shows the power of the storm and the dangerous potential for people in its path, it was also a bit of weird TV. As in, why did NBC put Roker so close to a storm that’s so dangerous. I mean, this is how the broadcast started.
— The Artist Formerly Known as @DanWeiner (@ReallyDanWeiner) August 29, 2021
A lot of people had reactions to the Meet The Press clip, which quickly went viral amid a lot of concern for the people of the Gulf Coast. And concern for Roker, a 67-year-old weatherman put directly in harm’s way.
being a weatherman is weird because you spend like 360 days a year joking around and pointing at maps inside a cushy studio but then every now and then they make you go outside to stare Satan in the mouth as you both face down the apocalypse https://t.co/SAsgnD0tb5
— Brian Grubb (@briancgrubb) August 29, 2021
Why is this still a thing? Is anything helped by sticking near-elderly weathermen out into a hurricane that you're supposed to be evacuated from? This is stupid and dangerous for no reason at all.
— boredsuburbanmom (@mamagrumpypants) August 29, 2021
We have all seen hurricanes before. You don't have to kill Uncle Al to show us what they look like. This is grossly reckless and not at all necessary or instructive.
— Blue Heron Farm (@BlueHeronFarmTX) August 29, 2021
hear me out: just buy a wacky arm waving inflatable man instead of making him do this
— Ben Buehler (@sourcerolls) August 29, 2021
Al Roker out there nearly getting swept away by Ida is in the dictionary next to the word “unnecessary.” And you see when Uncle Al starts explaining truth and facts about what Ida is forecast to do, Chuck Todd was ready to end the segment. A TREND. https://t.co/KjSpDtroS0
— Liz Dwyer (@losangelista) August 29, 2021
Dude is 67.
He should not be out there.
Doesn’t 30 years of working for NBC get you a studio gig?
— YS (@NYinLA2121) August 29, 2021
Hopefully Roker, and everyone else in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, stays safe this weekend.