Left-Wing Media Watchdog Defends Jennifer Granholm's Wealth After Helping Her Become a Millionaire

Media Matters paid Biden's energy secretary $200K in consulting fees

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm / Getty Images
May 5, 2021

Media Matters for America, a left-wing media watchdog, rushed to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm's defense after the Washington Free Beacon used journalism to expose her financial interest in an electric vehicle company touted by President Joe Biden.

Granholm came under fire earlier this year for raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from left-wing interest groups before joining the Biden administration. For example, she earned more than $200,000 as an adviser to Media Matters and was paid six-figure sums by the progressive foundation American Bridge and the left-wing media company CNN, where she was a political contributor.

Granholm earned another $170,000 on the public speaking circuit and an additional $114,000 from the University of California Berkeley, where she served as an adjunct professor. On top of that, she reported $1 million in "business income" from Granholm Mulhern Associates, the consulting firm she co-owned with her husband, Dan Mulhern.

Granholm's controversial financial assets, which include between $1 and 5 million of stock in Proterra, the electric vehicle company Biden promoted in April as part of his push for a $2 trillion infrastructure package, have been the subject of multiple stories in the Free Beacon in recent weeks.

Media Matters defended its former adviser's wealth in a piece accusing "right-wing media" of inventing a "fake scandal" about Granholm's ties to Proterra—without specifically refuting any of the points raised in the Free Beacon's coverage of the scandal.

In its attempt to defend Granholm, Media Matters conceded that she has yet to offload her seven figures of stock in Proterra. "The [White House] official also said that Granholm was 'in the process of selling off all stock in the company,' which would be completed 'within the 180-day window permitted by the ethics agreement,'" Eric Kleefeld wrote in the liberal outlet.

Buried at the bottom of the Media Matters piece is a kernel of information: "Granholm advised Media Matters prior to entering the administration." While the piece linked to Granholm's financial disclosures in its discussions about Proterra, the dark money group failed to mention how much it paid for Granholm's services—a total of $200,624 in monthly retainers—and its role in helping her become a millionaire.