Humorless Liberal Scolds Take Potshots At Punxsutawney Phil

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Liberals on social media took shots at Punxsutawney Phil on Thursday’s annual celebration of Groundhog Day.

The groundhog climbs out of his burrow every Feb. 2 to predict the longevity of the winter season. Legend has it that if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter, and if he does not, spring will come early. Media figures and users on social media attempted to criticize the groundhog and the holiday for not taking climate change and the supposed dark history surrounding the tradition into account.

Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz first defended former Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who dropped a groundhog at the Staten Island Zoo Groundhog Day ceremony in 2014. The groundhog, named Charlotte, was found dead in her enclosure three days later from “acute internal injuries” likely caused by the fall.

“It’s Groundhog Day so here’s my regular reminder that de Blasio did nothing wrong, that rodent jumped,” Gertz said. “On the other hand I would definitely read, say, an @owillis twitter story about de Blasio leading a team of failed 2020 Dem presidential candidate on a heist of Punxsutawney Phil.”

He then pointed out how Punxsutawney Phil is immortal because he drinks the “elixir of life” out of summer. The famous groundhog also has a wife named Phyllis, who does not receive the elixir and thus is not immortal like her husband.

Punchbowl News founder Jake Sherman spoiled the tradition by pointing out the commonly known fact that it is just a centuries-old tradition and thus not based on fact. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Mayor De Blasio Has Tough Time Holding On To Groundhog) 

“A reminder: The length of winter has absolutely nothing to do with whether a random rodent “sees his shadow.” We are a world power that has sophisticated technology. We don’t have to rely on this silliness,” Sherman said.

A handful of other journalists and left-of-center media figures accused Punxsutawney Phil of ignoring climate change.

Democratic New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin invoked Punxsutawney Phil to promote suing oil and gas producers.

Sources trace the age-old tradition back to 1887 when people arrived in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to watch the groundhog climb out of his burrow. It likely originated from the Germans, who believed that a badger was a weather prophet at the Candlemas celebration held Feb. 1. The Dutch in Pennsylvania later replaced the badger with the American groundhog after they had immigrated to the U.S.