Fake news in the political realm has become increasingly common in recent weeks and months, with many politicians and citizens alike pointing fingers at social media behemoth Facebook Inc. (FB) for its role in allowing phony stories to promulgate. It turns out that the epidemic of fake news extends beyond the political realm, or at least that's what billionaire head of Bridgewater Associates Ray Dalio has suggested. Dalio claims that a recent story by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has portrayed his firm unfairly and with bias. Here is a breakdown of his claims, as he wrote recently in a post on LinkedIn.
Distortion and Fraudulent News the Same?
Dalio said that, in his opinion, "fake and distorted media are essentially the same problem in different degrees." According to his claim, WSJ employees Rob Copeland and Bradley Hope visited Bridgewater offices to fact-check certain pieces of information for a story. Dalio indicated in his post that Bridgewater made an agreement with Copeland that the firm would be able to vet the story and its presentation before printing in order to confirm its accuracy. However, Dalio says that the final presentation of the story was distorted and that the Journal ignored the written objections submitted by Bridgewater representatives.
What's in the WSJ Article?
The content of the Journal's article that Dalio found objectionable is a set of claims about the work environment of Bridgewater. The publication interviewed a selection of unhappy employees and former employees of the firm. According to Dalio, the large majority of Bridgewater employees are quite happy in their positions with the company, and Copeland and Hope presented a biased and incomplete representation of what the environment at his firm is really like. According to Dalio, he "explained to them that they were mischaracterizing and they chose not to convey anything that didn't fit with the story they wanted to write."
Broader Implications and WSJ Response
Dalio's complaint concludes with a broader cautionary word to the American people: "I suggest that rather than worry about what's true about Bridgewater, which probably won't have an effect on your life, you worry instead about the systemic risks arising from fake and distorted media."
Benzinga reported a response from a Wall Street Journal representative to Dalio's claims. The publication stands behind its story on Bridgewater's work environment, as well as the reporters involved with preparing and presenting the report.