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Al Roker Defends His Hurricane Coverage

Viewers say 67-year-old is too old to be out in such storms, and he responds, 'try to keep up'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2021 6:27 AM CDT
Updated Aug 30, 2021 6:51 AM CDT
Al Roker Defends His Hurricane Coverage
A screen shot of Al Roker in the storm.   (YouTube/NBC)

(Newser) – One of the reporters out in the storm as Ida pummeled Louisiana on Sunday was 67-year-old weatherman Al Roker. As Mashable notes, social media clips of Roker, including one from NBC all but boasting that he was being "pummeled by waves" as the storm bore down on New Orleans, set off some controversy. A typical sentiment: "Why is this still a thing?" asked one critic responding to it. "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." Roker caught wind of this type of criticism, and he was not having it.

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  • "For all those who were worried about me out on #lakepontchartrain covering #Ida a) I volunteered to do this. Part of the job. b) My crew and I were safe and we are back at our hotel and c) for those who think I’m too old to be doing this, try and keep up," he wrote in an Instagram post.
  • Later, during an appearance on MSNBC, Roker doubled down, per Today. "I volunteered to come out here. I've done it for 40 years," he said. "Our crews, we all make sure we are safe, and we're not going to do something to put ourselves in harm's way. As much as I love the weather and love NBC, I'm not going to risk my life for it."
  • As for the age thing: "'He's too old to be doing this'? Well, hey, screw you," said Roker. "OK? And try to keep up. Keep up, OK? These young punks. I'll come after them. I will drop them like a bag of dirt."
(Read more Al Roker stories.)

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