The backlash continues for The Today Show's weatherman Al Roker, who finds himself the target of Don Imus fans after making an on-air joke last week about epileptic seizures.
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on last Thursday's show. "Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in . . . "
Although Roker issued an apology later on the same show, bloggers are labeling him a hypocrite for poking fun at a medical condition after pushing so hard for Don Imus to be fired for his offensive remarks.
If NBC is going to fire "shock jock" Don Imus for making a joke in poor taste about a women's college basketball team with 10 members, what will they do about a weatherman making a joke about the 2.7 million people in the U.S. that suffer from epilepsy (according to the Epilepsy Foundation) and the one-third of them that suffer from uncontrollable seizures? asked a column on radio industry Web site FMQB.com.
Postings on forums at www.epilepsyfoundation.org express outrage toward Roker, and an online petition was launched at http://www.petitiononline.com/NBCROKER/petition.html that calls on NBC to give Roker the boot for the same reasons that it fired Imus.
"I started joking about it. I want to make this clear - I was not joking about epilepsy or anyone who suffers from epilepsy," Roker said in his on-air apology during a weather report. "We understand and know that this is a serious affliction and would never joke about that. We were joking about the logo - not about epilepsy. If anybody was offended, I heartily and really humbly apologize."