On Monday, the hosts of NBC's Today invited left-wing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly-renovated plaza outside Rockefeller Center's Studio 1A, with Matt Lauer gushing: "And look who stepped in here, the new mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio. Mr. Mayor, it's nice to see you....you're here for a great reason....to help us cut the ribbon and usher in a new era on our gussied up plaza here." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
De Blasio gave a resounding endorsement of the morning show: "It's great to be here....It's beautiful, it's beautiful. Let me tell you, people love this part of our town and this makes it even better. And I think it's going to be an exciting addition to New York City. All I can say is come visit. Wherever you are in the country, come visit and be a part of this." Co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Thank you. The Mayor said so."
After Guthrie counted down, de Blasio took a large pair of scissors and cut an orange ribbon tied across an newly-constructed Today show arch in the center of the plaza. Guthrie declared: "Mayor de Blasio, thank you so much for helping us make it official."
Minutes later, weatherman Al Roker seized on the opportunity to "bury the snow shovel" with the Mayor after harshly criticizing de Blasio's poor handling of a recent snow storm: "And we'll get this out of the way. We had a little chat about school closings and snow. And we both want the best for the school kids out there. And our city." [Listen to the audio]
As part of the highly choreographed segment De Blasio replied:
And, Al, look, I think together letting people know what's going on with the weather, letting people know how they can be safe, that's something we do together....So I'd like you actually to join us, this is the sanitation department official hat. And if you'd like to come out and join us with snow clearance, this could be a new part of your career.
Roker happily took the "DSNY" cap and exclaimed: "I'd love to do it. My dad was a bus driver and he used to drive a snow-clearing bus. So I'd love to do this. New York's strongest."
As the two shook hands, Roker fawned: "Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for coming by....We really appreciate it." De Blasio responded: "My great pleasure."