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:
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.
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
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