Did we overlook the Oversight Committee when everyone was caught flat-footed in the kitchen having a cup of coffee when suddenly Jason Chaffetz decided to bail on a promising political career? Is that really what the Utah Republican’s surprise announcement is all about?

The theory goes that Chaffetz – chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – was all geared up to chair a long and continuing investigation of President Hillary Clinton’s various scandals. Especially the email scandal. In other words, Chaffetz was sure that Hillary would win, and he saw a great political future in Hillary’s victory. One where his chairmanship of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee would give him a platform to launch any further political ambitions he may have had.

So he made the wrong bet and saw his party’s own candidate win. Now what the heck was he going to do with all that research on Hillary? One anonymous Utah Republican told The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins that:

Aside from Trump and Clinton, nobody’s fortunes changed more on presidential election night than Jason Chaffetz.

You have to wonder if that anonymous quote comes from Evan McMullin, who is on record as considering helpfully whether he should be possibly stepping in to run for the apparently soon-to-be-empty seat. But if Chaffetz is indeed returning to the private sector here’s somewhere he might make some good money by filling in a suddenly slightly empty schedule:

Fox News.

Of course, it’s hard to see how Chaffetz could ever be as compelling a media figure as Bill O’Reilly has been for much of his career – even before he became a centerpiece of Fox’s strategy. And Chaffetz would have to have his own show and build his own brand. And his show would be all about: Hillary and her scandals. All that preparation could suddenly be put to good use without the bother of all those House rules, so to speak.

Look. The First Amendment is the keystone of the constitution. But that means that everyone has a shot at being obnoxious – within some limits. That means that media companies that pulled their advertising dollars from O’Reilly’s show had and have every right to do so. Even if it makes people think they are rushing to judgement in order not to earn the wrath of pressure groups, like O’Reilly attorney Kasowitz is claiming. Kasowitz may be right. He is certainly at least half-right. And his job is to defend his client’s reputation against negative speech. But that negative speech has every right to express itself in various and sundry ways. Including the liberal groups who went after O’Reilly after the NYT story came out last month.

But does Reilly’s reason for being let go have to do with free speech? Or bad behavior? He settled, so it can’t be litigated in a courtroom. Unless Kasowitz finds some way to sue someone for something. Which he probably will. Loud speech about facts which aren’t quite clear. More information will come out, and it will likely paint O’Reilly as an insult-hurling and demanding boss. Was he abusive? We don’t know at this point.

So maybe Jason Chaffetz can have a new show at Fox News where his first guests are … Hillary and Bill O’Reilly. Let the free speech roll!

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