PR fudging

Imagine this. A company has a financial hole that’s $92.9 million big. As a publicly-listed company, they have to report it and issue a public statement, which they do.

So this is how one newspaper, The Washington Post, reported the news yesterday:

McLean technology consulting company BearingPoint Inc. said yesterday that its chief financial officer, Robert S. Falcone, would retire on Nov. 30. Also yesterday, the company said it found a $92.9 million accounting error in its third-quarter balance sheet. BearingPoint spokesman John Schneidawind said that Falcone’s departure and the accounting error were not related.

All the story elements are there, but it’s not exactly what the company announced. Read the paper’s full story (you’ll need to register), then read the company’s press release.

I don’t know this company and I have no knowledge of any background behind its announcement. But I know what a PR fudge looks like.