Matt Miller: Which Hat Is He Wearing?: "I have always kept my editors and producers at my various outlets informed...
...about my business activities, and have routinely made disclosures on air or in print where a reader or audience member should know of such work to avoid any conflict.... I advised on strategy, policy and communications, and helped lead work on two reports issued by McKinsey’s education practice on the achievement gap and on elevating the teaching profession in the US. At Burson, I advised clients on external communications and reputation matters, and helped with client development...
I like Matt Miller a lot.
I would trust him in congress to do the right thing. I would agree with 80% of his votes--both when he supported the Democratic leadership and when he dissented from them. I would not agree with everything: I would furiously argue to him that we need to wait until interest rates are above the economy's growth rate before we start to worry about reducing the national debt relative to GDP, and he would listen (but probably not agree). I would furiously argue that the collapse of retirement savings as defined-benefit pensions have been replaced with 401(k)s means that we need not a smaller but a larger Social Security system, and he would listen (but probably not agree). If I lived in CA-33, I would be very happy voting for Matt Miller in the general election. I would be unlikely to vote for him in the primary however--but that is because I think that Ted Lieu's chances in the general election are sufficiently greater as to make him worth the primary vote even though I think Ted Lieu would make a marginally worse legislator.
But I have 218 saved emails from email@example.com. None of them mention "McKinsey" or "Burson" or "General Electric".
Indeed, until I read Lee Fang, I had (somehow) been under the impression that the bulk of Matt Miller's earnings these days came as a "journalist and author"--his columns for the Washington Post Syndicate, his Los Angeles KCRW radio show, and so forth, with speeches to corporate audiences and other stuff adding perhaps a quarter to the total--an annual sum in the five figures as part of an income in the six figures, near the top-1% boundary of $400K/year or so.
I did not know that he was pulling down seven figures, with $300K/year from McKinsey, $450K/year from Burson-Marsteller, and more
Matt: this is a problem. Call yourself a business consultant. Say that your principal occupation is not being a journalist, but rather what you do to add value to what your clients do. I think that being part of McKinsey's education-improvement practice is (or can be) an honorable calling--but if you describe yourself as a journalist, people will not believe that you think it is.