Take issue with John Bolaris' penchant for mock turtlenecks if you must, but cut the guy some slack on last week's "Storm of the Century" gaffe already. The NBC-10 weather mogul received more than 1,000 nasty emails--and even a few death threats--after his prediction that the region would awaken to a snow "bomb" early last week fell flat. (While other stations also hyped an impending storm, Bolaris remained in blizzard mode long after his counterparts retreated, even advising people to take last Monday off from work.) Thankfully, Bolaris says, his more loyal viewers have begun rallying behind him. "I feel a heck of a lot better," he said late last Friday. "It was like I was beneath the lowest form of human life. I know people were panic-stricken, but I was only trying to do my job." What saves Bolaris--who, in much earlier days, had a tendency to work his cutesy-pie demeanor on air as much as his meteorological skills--is that he really, honestly digs what he does. "It's true," Bolaris laughed. "When I see something I've never seen before, I'm like a kid at Christmas. It's not that I want death and destruction, but I really get juiced up about it. That is how I've been since fifth grade." At one point last week, Bolaris was so down about his blizzard faux pas that he considered walking away from weather altogether. "I felt like leaving and regrouping," he said. "It wasn't what I had dreamed about anymore. I was dreaming about being the hero of forecasting, and this wasn't my dream." But what really bugged Bolaris was what he felt was undue criticism from the media. He could handle winning the Daily News readers' poll--in which Bolaris was dubbed the weather "Hype King"--but the suggestion that he harped on the storm to increase ratings really got him hot under the collar. "There was a storm," he said. "I was trying to give a heads up about a potentially life-threatening situation, and that's what it looked like at the time. But the media--the Daily News and talk radio--kept saying, 'How dare Channel 10 and John Bolaris hype this storm for the sake of ratings.' That is what put a dagger in my heart." There was more to come: Bolaris was booed at the Sixers game when his face popped up on the jumbo scoreboard, and radio stations from Seattle, Boston and Canada called to request on-air interviews. He was even invited to appear on Howard Stern. "I don't know," he sighed. "Maybe this all happened for a reason. I'm glad I have been here for some time. If it were my first year, I would have been escorted out of town. But that's not going to happen. I got an email from someone telling me they still wanted me in their living room. It's kind of like I was put on the earth to do this."


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.