Voters cast their ballots early for the midterm elections at the Government & Judicial Center in Noblesville, Ind., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Voters cast their ballots early for the midterm elections at the Government & Judicial Center in Noblesville, Ind., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
PHOTO: Michael Conroy/AP
Now playing
01:30
Media storylines heading into the midterms
senator bill nelson 11132018
senator bill nelson 11132018
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:03
Nelson: Scott should recuse himself
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks to supporters after she was declared the winner over former Gov. Phil Bredesen in their race for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Franklin, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., speaks to supporters after she was declared the winner over former Gov. Phil Bredesen in their race for the U.S. Senate Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Franklin, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
PHOTO: Mark Humphrey/AP
Now playing
01:26
Meet the Republicans who held onto the Senate (2018)
Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar is greeted by her husband
Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar is greeted by her husband's mother after appearing at her midterm election night party in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Miller
PHOTO: Eric Miller/Reuters
Now playing
01:33
Minorities, LGBT make history in 2018 midterms
PHOTO: WJLA
Now playing
02:01
Hear from the Democrats who took back the House
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:50
Abrams vows to remain in gubernatorial race
PHOTO: Spectrum News NY1
Now playing
02:05
Ocasio-Cortez: This is a movement for justice
PHOTO: KXAN
Now playing
02:07
O'Rourke congratulates Cruz on his victory
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:57
Tapper: This is not a blue wave
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:11
Van Jones: It's a rainbow wave
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 20:  U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen (D-NV) speaks during a rally at the Culinary Workers Union Hall Local 226 featuring former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on October 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Early voting for the midterm elections in Nevada begins today. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 20: U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen (D-NV) speaks during a rally at the Culinary Workers Union Hall Local 226 featuring former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on October 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Early voting for the midterm elections in Nevada begins today. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Now playing
01:45
CNN projects Jacky Rosen elected to US Senate
Additional Embargo:   Additional Source(s):    Date Shot: 11/6/2018   Shipping/Billing Info:     Description: Projects: None  Cost Center: Atlanta National Desk / 20100101   Created By: DHackett  On: 1541544461  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional Embargo: Additional Source(s): Date Shot: 11/6/2018 Shipping/Billing Info: Description: Projects: None Cost Center: Atlanta National Desk / 20100101 Created By: DHackett On: 1541544461 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PHOTO: WSB;
Now playing
00:59
Brian Kemp: Confident victory is near
2018 Elections Primary Clean path
2018 Elections Primary Clean path
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:49
Pelosi: Tomorrow will be a new day in America
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:36
The Democrats who might lead the House
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:54
DeSantis thanks Trump in victory speech
PHOTO: KXAN
Now playing
01:44
Cruz: This election was a battle of ideas
(CNN) —  

Fox News is apparently allowing host Sean Hannity to appear as a “special guest” at President Donald Trump’s final rally of the midterm season.

Hannity’s involvement was promoted in a Trump campaign press release on Sunday afternoon. Rush Limbaugh will also be there, the campaign said, promising “special guest appearances” by both men at the rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Monday’s rally plan reaffirms how the Trump White House and parts of the conservative media ecosystem have effectively merged. Many Trump fans have cheered this development, but it opens up Hannity and Limbaugh to criticism. After all, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was never a “special guest” at a Barack Obama speech. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly was never a “special guest” at a George W. Bush event.

So it’s quite a sight to see a Trump press release promoting TV and radio stars as his “special guests.”

Hannity is not a journalist, but he works at a hugely popular network with “News” in its name, alongside staffers who have to follow policies that forbid this type of political involvement.

Perhaps that’s why Fox News reacted to the press release by saying that Hannity is not sponsoring the rally or campaigning for Trump.

A Fox spokeswoman said that Hannity will host his 9 p.m. show from the rally site, and he will interview Trump there.

The White House’s communications team, led by former Fox News co-president Bill Shine, set up a similar on-site interview in Las Vegas in September. Trump arrived at the arena, walked up to Hannity’s stage for a live chat, then began his rally. It was a made for prime time package, and Monday looks similar.

But the Trump campaign isn’t making a distinction between interviewing the president and showing up at the rally as a “special guest.” The campaign’s website encourages people to sign up for tickets to the event “w/Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, & Lee Greenwood.”

It is unusual to see Limbaugh showing up at a rally like this. The Trump campaign pointed out that Cape Girardeau is Limbaugh’s hometown.

Trump’s “willingness to bring them out on the campaign trail highlights once again how little space now exists between the White House and conservative media,” professor and columnist Nicole Hemmer told CNN.

Hemmer, the author of “Messengers of the Right,” about the history of conservative media, acknowledged that the merger is not surprising, “but it is a crucially important characteristic of the Trump administration and the conservative movement more broadly.”

Given the midterm trends favoring Democrats, Hemmer said Hannity’s and Limbaugh’s appearances are “more a show of solidarity than a celebration of success.”

Hannity and Limbaugh, the kings of conservative talk radio, have been emphasizing GOP get-out-the-vote efforts on their respective shows.

By going on Hannity’s show on the eve of the election, Trump is guaranteed one more chance to speak directly to millions of his most loyal supporters. Hannity averages more than 3 million viewers a night.

In the past, Fox News has shown reluctance to have its talk show hosts participate in political events, even though some of the hosts openly campaign for the GOP on their shows.

In 2010, Fox forced Hannity to cancel his plans to appear at a Tea Party rally in Ohio.

At the time, Rupert Murdoch said, “I don’t think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any other party.”

Times have changed.