THE SHORTCUT FROM RADICAL FRINGE TO A MUCH LARGER AUDIENCE…. New York magazine has an interesting profile piece in its new issue of Alex Jones, the deeply strange conspiracy theorist. If you’re not familiar with his work, the piece certainly helps bring you up to speed.

As Joe Hagan’s article explains, Jones believes there’s a network of shadowy elites — which includes the Bushes, Obamas, Clintons, journalists, Saudis, and Google — who are “trying to enslave the Earth’s population through orchestrated terror attacks and revolutions, vast economic manipulation, vaccines and fluoride, and an ever-widening system of surveillance that includes Facebook.”

Jones is a Truther, an opponent of the New World Order, and a believer in the notion that powerful globalists who run the world are “creating a super bioweapon.” And did you know the super bioweapon is based on mouse pox?

I imagine most reasonable people would consider all of this ridiculous and move on, the way one might hesitate to make eye contact with a mentally ill person screaming these same ideas on a street corner.

But here’s the part of the New York article that stood out for me.

It was Matt Drudge, whose obsessions with overreaching corporations like Google and his daily charting of the most granular signs of the Apocalypse add a nonpartisan element to his site’s right-wing cant, who did more than anyone else to make Jones more visible. “If you had to say there was one source who really helped us break out, who took our information, helped to punch it out to an even more effective level, he’s the guy,” says Jones. “Three years ago, there was almost no news coverage of Bilderberg [an elite conference] in this country; there was an electronic Berlin Wall. Drudge, every year, takes our reportage and links to it on our site.”

Jones says that it’s now “intensifying how much he links to us and promotes us,” recalling how Drudge, this past Christmas, made every link on the site green for the holidays — except links to Infowars, which Drudge published in red. “It was like a Christmas present,” says Jones.

So, the guy whose site is still considered a must-read by much of the D.C. political establishment is trying to bring Alex Jones’ nonsense to the masses.

Just thought I’d mention it.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.