Sean Hannity (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Here come CNN’s Dana Bash and Dylan Byers with an authentic media-oriented exclusive: Newt Gingrich, a vice-presidential short-lister for Donald Trump’s campaign, flew out to Indianapolis on a private jet furnished by Fox News host Sean Hannity, the CNNers report. The purpose of the trip, which took place on Wednesday morning, was a meeting with Trump himself.

A risible response came from Hannity, who has shown extraordinary kindness to Trump this campaign season, even going so far as to orchestrate a round of applause for his bigoted proposal to ban Muslim entry into the United States. “I have known New Gingrich since 1990 (I emceed his event the night the became Speaker of the House in 1994) he has been a long term, very dear friend of mine and is a private citizen. Whatever favors I do for my friends is my business.” tweeted Hannity.

Remember those words the next time Hannity bashes the cozy ties among Washington’s powerbrokers.

Hannity’s colleagues, of course, know full well that when you work for a news outlet, favors for friends who double as possible vice presidents are the entire organization’s business. Having previously protested that he’s a “talk show” host, Hannity apparently considers himself exempt from conflict-of-interest rules binding on the rest of the industry. He’s not, at least not as long as his employer continues to bill his program as depicted below. Focus on the red circle added to the screenshot:

hannitynewt

See? It says “Fox News,” not “Fox Corrupt and Conflicted Talk Shows.” Anyone wishing to make that case that Fox News serves as an organ of the Republican Party just found a helpful case in point.

Last night, Hannity featured one heck of an interview with Gingrich, who detailed his entire conversation with Trump and others. He detailed who was in the room; he described the political dynamics. “I thought it was an honor to be part of that conversation and part of that group,” said Gingrich. As he wrapped things up, Hannity said, “Mr. Speaker, it’s historic. It’s interesting to get inside a meeting like that.” Gingrich didn’t thank him for the plane ride.