PA Lawmaker Demands Weather Channel Meteorologist Apologize for Insulting Punxsutawney Phil

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HARRISBURG — A state lawmaker from western Pennsylvania has some harsh words for a Weather Channel meteorologist who supposedly insulted Punxsutawney Phil.

State Rep. Peter Daley, D-Fayette/Washington, wrote a letter to Stephanie Abrams, asking her to publicly apologize for remarks she made on air on Groundhog Day, calling Phil “just a rodent.”

Daley called her statements “unprofessional” and “demeaning.” Daley said, “Phil is ‘just a rodent’ as much as the Grand Canyon is just a ditch, the pierogi is just a snack, and the Pittsburgh Steelers is just another football team.”

State Rep. Peter Daley, D-Fayette/Washington Photo:

State Rep. Peter Daley, D-Fayette/Washington

“Pennsylvania’s seven-month budget impasse, its underfunded public schools, and even its unique weather–it can be under a flood and drought watch simultaneously–are fair game for derision,” Daley said. “However, disparaging Punxsutawney Phil–a legendary weather prognosticator for 130 years–on Groundhog Day is unacceptable and uncouth.”

His letter reads in part, “I was offended by your on-air comments describing the groundhog as a ‘rodent.’ Your negativity was appalling and demonstrated your ignorance toward this popular American tradition, the people of Pennsylvania, and the loyal viewers of the Weather Channel.”

Daley added that he hopes he can muster some bipartisan support around Phil and use that to make progress on Pennsylvania’s state budget, which is seven months overdue.

You can read the entire letter here.


  • Valfreyja

    Maybe that state lawmaker should worry about passing last year’s budget instead of what the weather channel said about an irrelevant rodent.

  • Barry Ressel Jr

    Apparently, Peter Daley had nothing better to do that day for my state. Get to work and do something positive Jerkwad.

  • Stacey V

    Pennsylvania lawmakers cannot find the time to pass a budget but this guy can find the time to defend a freakin groundhog! I cannot believe that this “news” story appeared as an alert on my phone! SMH!!

  • Franko

    Really, with all the crap that needs to be done and changed and updated in this state in regards to budgets, archaic laws, companies leaving the state, etc, this is what a politician considers a priority ?

  • Steven A

    So please someone tell me… How is this ok? We complain about politics and in pa we are complaining about our budget issues, but one pa rep gets butt hurt cause the groundhog was called a rodent? Excuse me Rep. Daley but my kids need there education, if you would pass the damn budget maybe they too would relize the goundhog is just a rodent too!! Shut up and pass laws! Don’t worry about what people call things or people, that’s child bs!

    • Susan Kline

      To all the critics:
      No sense of humor any more? I agree legislators have more important issues to address, but this probably took 5 minutes to write. Register your complaints to more legislators than just this one. I am a former Pennsylvanian and I appreciate his sense of humor (and defense of Phil!). It’s a joke, folks.
      Susan Kline
      Parkville, MD

      • Valfreyja

        It’s not time to sit and laugh when your house is on fire. Small towns are begging their courts to let them take out million dollar loans. It ill soon be time to negotiate next year’s budget and we don’t even have the last one in place. Our obstructionist lawmakers have thrown us under the bus in a time when Pennsylvania is a mess even with a balanced budget.

        It’s not time for a sense of humor. This anger is frankly way overdue. Our state’s a laughing stock because of these do nothing vultures.

      • Maggie Grace

        Susan Kline: Are state employees without paychecks a joke to you? What about schools closing and vital state funded programs being stopped because there is no money in the PA budget…is that a joke to you, too? I can assure you that the fuss and buzz about calling Phil a rodent (which he is), probably got more attention the day this whole fiasco happened, than working on the LONG overdue state budget. So excuse us folks, who to you clearly have no sense of humor, because we are annoyed that this butt of a PA lawmaker found more time to dedicate to defending that freakin’ rat in a hole, over spending time getting budget issues handled. People in PA are rightfully angry that the budget impasse continues, yet again, because our ELECTED lawmakers don’t do their jobs. To see this goofball making such a stink over something so stupid is a real slap in the face to every Pennsylvanian.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.