The Grayzone is an independent news website dedicated to original investigative journalism and analysis on politics and empire. It was founded and is edited by Max Blumenthal, and a notable former editor and reporter is Ben Norton; Norton left in early 2022 to form Multipolarista (now the Geopolitical Economy Report). From January 2016 to January 2018, AlterNet.org hosted the Grayzone Project (now simply The Grayzone). Since then, it has been independent.
- Max Blumenthal – Founder, editor-in-chief, reporter
- Aaron Maté – Host of "Pushback", reporter
- Anya Parampil – Host of "Red Lines", reporter
In addition to the above, other regular contributors include: Gareth Porter, Dan Cohen, Alexander Rubinstein, Rania Khalek, Ajit Singh, Wyatt Reed and others.
The Grayzone as an outlet has a heavy focus on imperialism and related proxy wars waged by the Western powers against the Global South. In this capacity, they have published extensive reporting on subjects including the Syrian Civil War, attempts at regime change in countries such as Venezuela and Cuba, and debunked allegations of genocide in China.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, The Grayzone reported that bipartisan US elites are using the same playbook as Russiagate to smear China, while deflecting the blame for domestic dysfunction. Subsequently, articles skeptical of Covid-19 vaccines began appearing on the site, with Ben Norton eventually quietly leaving the Grayzone in 2022. In October 2023, Ben Norton wrote a Twitter post to explain his reasoning for leaving the Grayzone:
Why did I leave The Grayzone? Well it's obviously run by an unstable megalomaniac with no coherent principles. He took a hard right-wing turn, intentionally appealing to Trump's "MAGA" followers. He condemned the left as a "cult". Blumenthal and his wife are so close to racist reactionary Tucker Carlson, they invite him to their house for dinner. They have long abandoned any pretense of being on the left and are opportunist contrarians who believe in nothing other than self-aggrandizement.
This post came about as after Norton announced he emigrated to China, Blumenthal took to Twitter to accuse his former colleague of having stolen 70,000 USD from their co-hosted podcast Moderate Rebels as well as having changed the passwords so that Blumenthal could not access the accounts for the podcast. Norton replied to the accusations in the same thread:
Max Blumenthal constantly lies. After I left The Grayzone over his opportunist right-wing turn, he hired a corporate lawyer to threaten to sue me. Note: Later, WE SIGNED LEGAL TERMS OF RESOLUTION, overseen by his attorney. Why did he threaten such an absurd lawsuit? I had created social media accounts for a podcast that we co-hosted but which I singlehandedly produced, edited, and promoted; I always ran those accounts, and he never had access. So, being the bully he is, he used some of his vast wealth to hire a corporate lawyer to try to seize them, ridiculously claiming I "stole" accounts that he never had access to, which I created and always ran myself. I repeat: eventually WE SIGNED LEGAL TERMS OF RESOLUTION, in a process mediated by a mutual colleague and overseen by his attorney. Anyone who doesn't mention those legal terms of resolution is deceiving you.
The Grayzone has experienced severe negative reactions from the corporate-controlled Western media, especially for its extensive reporting basically debunking the Russiagate narrative. The Russiagate narrative was a Russophobic conspiracy theory that claimed that Russian hackers meddled in the 2016 Election to help Trump be elected.
- The Grayzone's "About" Page
- US elites use Russiagate playbook to blame China and promote hostility
- @BenjaminNorton (2023-10-05). "Why did I leave The Grayzone? Well it's obviously run by an unstable megalomaniac with no coherent principles..." Twitter. Archived from the original.
- Geopolitical Economy Report (2023-10-03). "A look inside China: Is this the most sovereign country on Earth?". YouTube.
- @MaxBlumenthal (2023-10-04). "Enough silence. The criminal schemes of Ben "Bait-and-Switch" Norton must be known..." Twitter. Archived from the original.
- "Russiagate" tagged articles on The Grayzone
- Kit Klarenberg and Max Blumenthal (2022-06-07). "Paul Mason’s covert intelligence-linked plot to destroy The Grayzone exposed" The Grayzone.
- Richard Medhurst and Max Blumenthal (2022-06-19). "The Smear Campaign Against Independent Journalism | Max Blumenthal" Richard Medhurst.