The Daily Beast Thinks Perry is Beastly

Okay, I’m a little late to the party on this one, but apparently The Daily Beast found out that Rick Perry swung by Beta after the debate instead of by Leede Arena. No surprise; Beta is known as one of the more conservative, southern fraternities on campus (exhibit A: conservative rap duo and Review staffers The Young Cons are brothers). Professor Greg Slayton from the Tuck School of Business hosted a debate watch party there earlier in the evening. It’s hardly surprising that a candidate would want a friendly environment after a debate.

The Daily Beast apparently doesn’t think like that, and instead preferred to play the Sins of the Past game. For those of you who aren’t aware, Beta used to have a hellraiser reputation back in the early-to-mid ’90s. A particularly ugly incident led to derecognition in 1996. The frat was only allowed to return a few years ago and his since gained a reputation as one of the least rowdy on campus. 

Take a step back a moment. Though the Beast article is factual, is it really necessary? What does Beta’s history have to do with anything? The answer, of course, is nothing, though the Beast would like you to think otherwise.

For a man who’s been getting shellacked for his association with a controversial hunting camp, you’d think Perry’s advance team would take special care to keep him from sticky spots. But his choice of venue Tuesday night was a frat house that had been kicked off campus for its own bad behavior.

Yes, and? The Beast wants to indict Perry for picking a frat house–which for all intents and purposes is not the same organization it was fifteen years ago–to prove that Perry is…what, exactly? Racist? Homophobic? If not, why even bother mentioning Beta’s history at all? Of course, The Daily Beast can’t outright call him that, so it’s best to prove it by insinuation. Good grief, does the Beast think that the Perry camp deliberately went out of its way to find a frat that had issues over a decade ago?

This wouldn’t even be an issue if Perry hadn’t hunted in an area with a racially charged name. Poor judgment on his part? Sure, but it’s not like he named the place, either.

There are many, many legitimate criticisms to be made of Rick Perry, but this is not one of them, especially as it unfairly casts a pall over Beta’s current brotherhood. 

Sterling C. Beard

H/T William Bishop ’12