For 8 Years, A ‘Wall Street Journal’ Story Haunted His Career. Now He Wants It Fixed


David Folkenflik
September 7, 2021
Stymied at every turn, accused of things he never did, Robert Shireman figured this summer that, finally, he knew how best he could reclaim his reputation. He asked The Wall Street Journal to correct a story it published about him back in 2013.
Shireman was tired of what he says are false allegations. Claims that, as a top official in the U.S. Department of Education, Shireman illegally provided information to a hedge fund investor who was seeking to make big money by betting against the stocks of for-profit colleges. Claims that he was corrupt. Claims that he left public life disgraced.
There’s no evidence — none — to support any of those claims, despite two federal investigations. So, Shireman argued, the newspaper was obligated to correct the story, or even re-report it.
The Wall Street Journal did not explicitly make those allegations in that eight-year-old article. But its report suggested Shireman might be caught up in something corrupt, despite the lack of any firm evidence to make that case.