Bill O'Reilly hosted a discussion regarding conservative pundit Pat Buchanan and his recent absence from the network that employs him during his Fox News show on Thursday.
O'Reilly was referring to how MSNBC has kept Buchanan off the air for months since the release of his new book "Suicide of a Superpower," which consists of racially charged sentiments and discussions of topics like "the end of white America."
While some activist groups have called for MSNBC to either fire or sanction Buchanan, some pundits on Fox News have defended Buchanan and his new book. Earlier this month, Fox News host Gregg Jarrett and contributor Liz Trotta harshly criticized MSNBC for taking Buchanan off the air. Trotta even called MSNBC "close to being a Communist channel."
On "The O'Reilly Factor" Thursday night, O'Reilly hosted two guests who sat on opposite sides of the Buchanan issue. Washington Post Magazine's Cathy Areu called for Buchanan's firing, while Fox News' Sandy Rios staunchly defended Buchanan, his book, and his first amendment rights.
While O'Reilly primarily argued that Buchanan should not have been taken off the air, he did defend MSNBC's right to fire him.
"You're right," O'Reilly said to Rios after she argued that MSNBC was violating Buchanan's first amendment rights. "Buchanan has the right to say whatever he wants to say as long as it's not endangering someone. But MSNBC is a private operation, they can hire and fire whoever they want. So, it's there prerogative to put him on the air or not."
O'Reilly said he really felt that "Buchanan is not saying anything now that he hasn't said before in plenty of different forums. [MSNBC] knew what they were getting when they hired him...And now they go 'well we don't like it now.' I don't think that's fair."
O'Reilly later added that he was not going to take any sides on this issue but suggested that viewers "check out Buchanan's book for themselves."
WATCH (via Mediaite):
BEFORE YOU GO
View the slideshow below for more controversial Pat Buchanan moments: