My Shiny Sheet Saga

It all began with a talk by Chase Chief Jamie Dimon on the economy at The Four Arts February 6. In its coverasge,The Palm Beach Daily News dropped the ball. They ignored what Dimon had to say but fully reported a noisy protest from global warming activists disrupting the event. (You can read it here.)

So I wrote A Letter to the Editor, thinking it would never see the light of day. (It did a week later). And here is the letter as printed and just as I wrote it:

Opinion: Letter to the editor, Posted Feb 15, 2020, criticizing a Daily News story regarding the appearance of Jamie Dimon at the Four Arts:

Story on protest ‘a PR man’s dream

Your coverage of Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s talk at the Four Arts [Feb. 6, 2020] gave the protesters exactly what they wanted: free publicity, while Mr. Dimon’s fascinating talk was largely ignored.

I bet the protestors had quite a celebration party after seeing such wonderful words with their names and website listed in full in Palm Beach’s newspaper of record. It was a PR man’s dream come true.

They were worth at most a one paragraph mention in the story you didn’t write.

And perhaps a sidebar on how they got away with hardly even a hand slap for a flagrant disruption of the peace.

Meanwhile you owe your readers a belated report on what Mr. Dimon had to say.

Bill Condie
West Palm Beach

Editor’s note: Bill Condie , a former consultant to the New York Law Journal, was news editor at different times for both the New York Daily News and the New York Post.

The letter must have struck a nerve because the paper, apparently acting upon my suggestion, or perhaps Four Arts executives rightly blasted them independently, belatedly reported the talk on February. 8. The letter itself appeared on February 15.

Another chapter was added March 6:

Four Arts scraps lecture policy
Group reverses course on barring
nonmembers from O’Keeffe series talks

By Jan Sjostrom
Daily News Staff Writer

The Society of the Four Arts has scrapped its three-week-old policy of restrictingaccesstoitsEstherB.O’Keeffe Speaker Series to members only.

The organization began admitting nonmembers to the Tuesday afternoon talks this week for composer-conductor Eric Whitacre’s presentation.

The change “better respects our motto of ‘Four Arts for Everyone,’” President and CEO Philip Rylands said. “I regretted that people might have been disappointed coming to

these important lectures. I looked at empty seats and thought they could be filled more generously.”

The Four Arts began banning nonmembers after seven environmental activists disrupted J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s Feb. 5 Q& A with Four Arts trustee Bonnie McElveen-Hunter. Nonmembers were allowed to watch live telecasts of the talks in a conference room in the Rovensky Building.

Palm Beach police, who were hired to provide security for Dimon’s lecture, issued written warnings for trespassing to the protesters, barring them from the Four Arts for one year.

The police continue to guard the series, “so people shouldn’t be anxious,” Rylands said.

High attendance for some lectures in the 700-seat Gubelmann Auditorium contributed to the decision to restrict access to members.

So far this season, there have been full houses for talks by Dimon, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and Republican strategist Karl Rove.

But attendance has been sparser for other talks. Lectures by biographer Evan Thomas drew only 195 attendees, Museum of Modern Art Director Glenn Lowry 247 and Whitacre 181. The Four Arts closed off about 180 seats on the sides of the auditorium for Whitacre’s presentation.

Meanwhile, the number of nonmembers watching the talks in the screening room was 60 for Rove, 43 for Thomas and 40 for Lowry.

The change doesn’t guarantee that nonmembers will gain a seat in the auditorium. They’re not allowed to buy tickets until 2:30 p.m. on the day of the lecture and they’re admitted on a spaceavailable basis.

Upcoming lectures likely to be in high demand include a double bill of CNN commentator Paul Begala and Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson on March 17, and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace on March 24.

If a lecture is sold out, it will be screened in the Rovensky Building.

On-site parking is available only to members with Four Arts decals starting at noon on Tuesdays.

jsjostrom @ pbdailynews. com @ sjostromjan