The Grayzone Exposed: A Propaganda Machine Tied to Authoritarian Regimes and Disinformation

Max Blumenthal on Russia Today
Max Blumenthal on Russia Today

The Grayzone” – a website that’s earned a reputation for spreading disinformation, promoting authoritarian regimes, and denying the reality of human rights abuses and genocide. Led by Max Blumenthal, this group of bloggers has deep ties to Russia, with many of them having worked for RT or been guests on their shows. Besides Blumenthal, other members of the collective are: Aaron Maté, Anya Parampil and Alex Rubinstein.

Their narratives often align with Russia’s propaganda, and they’ve been criticized for pushing pro-Russian conspiracy theories and denying the horrors of war and genocide. They’ve even been described as “pro-Putin, pro-Assad ‘left-wing’ propaganda combined with gutter journalism.”

The Grayzone’s invitation to the 2022 Web Summit in Lisbon was famously cancelled, but this didn’t stop them from continuing their controversial work. They’ve also been linked to the Chinese Communist Party, having been cited in CCP-controlled media over 300 times, and appearing on China’s news channel CGTN.

When it comes to discussing atrocities committed by authoritarian regimes, the Grayzone remains noticeably silent, suggesting that they’re not impartial journalists, but rather propagandists who side with dictators and murderers. This was further reinforced when some of their writers were rewarded by an organization that apologizes for the al-Assad regime.

So, the question remains: who is funding the Grayzone’s agenda-driven propaganda?

There are some hints, though.

Much of the journalism Blumenthal produced during the early years of his work conveyed a strongly anti-Assad message. But, on December 2015, Blumenthal traveled to Moscow—all expenses paid by the Kremlin—to attend a gala dinner, hosted by Vladimir Putin himself, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of RT, the international TV network owned by the Russian government. When he returned to the U.S., his position on Bashar al-Assad—and on U.S. intervention in Syria—had turned around completely.

Only a month after the RT bash, Blumenthal founded something called “The Grayzone Project,” — a one-stop propaganda shop, devoted largely to pushing a pro-Assad line on Syria, a pro-regime line on Venezuela, a pro-Putin line on Russia, and a pro-Hamas line on Israel.

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