In one of the more anti-climactic announcements in some time, Fox News on Wednesday declared that GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) would begin work as a network contributor as of July 1. The cable-news-friendly congressman announced in May that he’d be leaving his congressional seat effective June 30, prompting rumors that he’d wind up at Fox News, a place where he has logged some quality air time.
A great talker, Chaffetz assisted Fox News with its favored story lines during last year’s presidential election and beyond, hammering Hillary Clinton, hammering Hillary Clinton again, talking about accountability for former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch, and so on. Nor were Chaffetz’s appearances limited to those standard stand-up Q-and-A formats from somewhere inside the U.S. Capitol. Chaffetz also sat in on the noontime show “Outnumbered,” featuring four women and #oneluckyguy, as the show so pathetically calls the sole male participant.
The accession of Chaffetz, who served as House Oversight Committee chairman, to the network complies with a tradition set by the late Roger Ailes, who founded Fox News in 1996. Major GOP figures have moved from Fox News contributorships to public office/high-level campaigns or vice versa, with prominent examples being Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Scott Brown, Liz Cheney and others.
“I think I’ll actually miss the chaos; I kind of thrive in that,” Chaffetz said in May upon announcing his retirement. “But when you like what you do and you enjoy your job, but you love your family, at some point you have to make a choice, and I just choose my family much more than I do my life in Congress.”
Accordingly, Chaffetz said he’d keep his residence in Utah, a somewhat inconvenient spot for frequent cable appearances. We’ve asked Fox News how it’ll handle the logistics.