03/16/2012 09:45 am ET Updated May 16, 2012

Bill O'Reilly Defends MSNBC From Conservative Calls To Fire Ed Schultz (VIDEO)

Don't adjust your set -- Bill O'Reilly defended MSNBC on his Thursday show, resisting conservative calls to fire his time-slot rival Ed Schultz.

Schultz has become a target of the Media Research Center, the right-wing media watchdog, in the wake of the ongoing controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh for his attacks on Sandra Fluke.

The MRC, along with many other conservative groups, have charged liberals with hypocrisy since anchors like Schultz have also called women "sluts" on the radio. (Schultz has addressed the comparison, dismissing it as without merit.) In an open letter to Comcast, MRC chief Brent Bozell said Schultz should be fired.

"We sympathize," O'Reilly said of the letter. "For years gutter snipes on that network have been abusing freedom of speech intentionally trying to harm folks with whom they disagree."

But, he added, "the marketplace should dictate these controversies. And it usually does. MSNBC has few viewers." He also criticized the advertiser boycott of Limbaugh.

"The entire boycott movement is garbage," he said. "The far-left threatening sponsors who advertise on programs they don't like is flat out un-American. So, I believe that the Media Research Center is making a mistake sinking to that level."

It's the second unexpected defense O'Reilly has made of a liberal figure in recent weeks. He also scoffed at attempts by an anti-gay group to get Ellen DeGeneres removed as a JC Penney spokeswoman.



Bill O'Reilly's many feuds.

Bill O'Reilly feuds