With rebels closing in on toppling his regime stronghold in Tripoli, Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi’s supporters in the media have brandished their willingness to protect the man accused of massacring his own people. Al Jazeera footage of the spectacle:

“You will not take al-Libiyah channel. You won’t take Jamahiriyah channel, Shababiyah channel, Tripoli or all of Libya, and even those without a weapon are willing to be a shield in order to protect their colleagues at this channel. We are willing to become martyrs.”

The anchor is Hala Misrati, a star talk-show host on Libya state TV who warns rebels trying to oust Moammar Gadhafi that staffers at al-Libiyah would protect the capital and leader at all costs. Misrati leaped to fame in April when she railed against a Libyan woman who claimed to Western journalists she had been raped by Gadhafi militiamen, calling her a “liar” and suggesting she was a “whore.” On live TV, Misrati grilled an arrested journalist for an hour with all the doggedness of a secret police interrogator.

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