Two-hour global telethon will air Friday, January 22
Wyclef Jean will join George Clooney and CNN’s Anderson Cooper in hosting MTV Networks’ “Hope for Haiti Now
,” the global two hour telethon to air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT plus CNN International, National Geographic and MTV on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
“Hope for Haiti Now” will feature performances and celebrity appearances to be announced in the coming days, as well as live news reports from CNN. Clooney will host from Los Angeles, Wyclef Jean will be in New York and Anderson Cooper will be live from the devastation, with the Hollywood actor lining up a who’s who of guests to drop by and perform on the night.
All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations who are on the ground helping the people of Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. Both Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help steer viewers to the telethon and drive donations.
Celebrities across the fame spectrum have harnessed social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to rally support for the Haitian people, announcing their personal donations or directing their fans to contribute to deserving aid groups.
Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has become the unofficial face of this celebrity humanitarian movement. More than $1 million has flooded in to Jean’s Yéle Haiti since Tuesday, according the charity’s fund-raising organizers. The Hollywood Foreign Press announced it would donate $100,000 to Yéle, while figures such as Lindsay Lohan, MC Hammer, and Haitian-born soccer star Jozy Altidor have tweeted their support for Jean’s cause.
Producing the telethon will be Joel Gallen, who produced the 9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” that aired 10 days after that tragedy.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that several other celebrities are using their social clout and talent to direct attention to Haiti.
- Cyclist Lance Armstrong announced to his 2.3 million Twitter followers that his Livestrong foundation had pledged $250,000 to two humanitarian aid groups.
- Actors-turned-philanthropists Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to the Doctors Without Borders organization; Oprah began her talk show Wednesday by asking viewers to contribute to the Red Cross; Coldplay front man Chris Martin is urging his fans to donate to Haiti via Oxfam; and even Paris Hilton promoted the efforts of the Red Cross via Twitter.
- Meanwhile, magician David Blaine is taking a slightly more hands-on approach. At 9 a.m. Friday, Blaine started what will be a 72-hour, nonstop “Magic Marathon” in Times Square. Benefits of the event and all proceeds from his online store will be given to the Red Cross.
- But George Clooney isn’t the only celeb tapping his golden connections. East Coast nightlife guru Unik Ernest, whose Edeyo Foundation supports community-building projects in Haiti, has begun organizing a telethon and benefit concert. While the date of the event is yet to be released, celebrities said to be featured include: Rihanna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, according to Tonic.com.
Celebrity support of the Haitian people has contributed to the success of this week’s aid efforts. The American Red Cross reported Wednesday evening that in the 48 hours following the quake some $35 million in donations had poured in – more than it had received in the two days following Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis.
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The conspiracy theorists can chill out….
Hardin Official On APF Deal: “What Have We Got To Lose?”
Michael Hilton, the American Police Force official who signed a deal to have APF take charge of a prison in Hardin, Montana, may have a lengthy criminal record and a history of alcoholism — but everyone deserves a second chance.
That’s the charitable view of Al Peterson, the Hardin economic development official involved in striking the deal with Hilton and APF.
Asked by TPMmuckraker whether he and his colleagues were aware of Hilton’s track record when it got involved with APF, Peterson replied that they were, but were willing to overlook it.
“He was an alcoholic, and everybody knows that,” said Peterson of Hilton. “Did he do some not-the-best choices in his personal and professional life when he was not sober? Absolutely. He made some very unwise decisions.”
But, argued Peterson, that shouldn’t be held against him forever. “Hey, he’s served his time,” Peterson said. “Is the guy not entitled to try to do something with his life from here on out?”
Read more here:
California Jail Entrepreneur Has Checkered Past
AP/Matthew Brown—Michael Hilton pitched himself to officials in Hardin, Mont. as a military veteran turned private sector entrepreneur, a California defense contractor with extensive government contracts who promised to turn the rural city’s empty jail into a cash cow.
American Police Force logo
Hardin’s leaders were desperate to fill the $27 million jail, which has sat empty since its 2007 completion.
So when Hilton came to town last week — wearing a military-style uniform and offering three Mercedes SUVs for use by local law enforcement — he was greeted with hugs by some grateful residents. The promise of more than 200 new jobs for a community struggling long before the recession hit had won them over.
But public documents and interviews with Hilton’s associates and legal adversaries offer a different picture, that of a convicted felon with a number of aliases, a string of legal judgments against him, two bankruptcies and a decades-long reputation for deals gone bad.
2003 booking photo of Michael Hilton
American Police Force is the company Hilton formed in March to take over the Hardin jail.
“Such schemes you cannot believe,” said Joseph Carella, an Orange County, Calif. doctor and co-defendant with Hilton in a real estate fraud case that resulted in a civil judgment against Hilton and several others.
“The guy’s brilliant. If he had been able to do honest work, he probably would have been a gazillionaire,” Carella said.
Court documents show Hilton has outstanding judgments against him in three civil cases totaling more than $1.1 million.
As for Hilton’s military expertise, including his claim to have advised forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, those interviewed knew of no such feats. Instead, Hilton was described alternately by those who know him as an arts dealer, cook, restaurant owner, land developer, loan broker and car salesman — always with a moneymaking scheme in the works.
American Police Force President Michael Hilton
Hilton did not return several calls seeking comment. American Police Force attorney Maziar Mafi referred questions to company spokeswoman Becky Shay.
When asked about court records detailing Hilton’s past, Shay replied, “The documents speak for themselves. If anyone has found public documents, the documents are what they are.”
Shay declined comment on Hilton’s military experience.
Al Peterson, vice president of Hardin’s Two Rivers Authority, which built the jail, declined to comment on Hilton’s legal troubles. He refused to say if he knew about Hilton’s past when the authority reached a 10-year agreement with American Police Force last month.
The logo on one of three Mercedes SUV brought to Hardin by American Police Force. The city has not had a police force for three decades.
The deal is worth more than $2.6 million a year, according to city leaders.
Hilton has also pledged to build a $17 million military and law enforcement training center. And he’s promised to dispatch security to patrol Hardin’s streets, build an animal shelter and a homeless shelter and offer free health care to city resident’s out of the jail’s clinic.
Those additional promises were not included in the jail agreement, which remains in limbo because US Bank has so far declined to sign off on the contract. The bank is the trustee for the bonds used to fund the jail.
Full story @
Local KULR8-TV report featuring Billings Gazette reporter turned APF spokeswoman, Becky Shay and APF President Michael Hilton:
APF’S NEWEST EMPLOYEE
HARDIN – The California-based security company planning to take over the Hardin jail promises to hire dozens of local employees. Last week they made their first local hire when they signed former Billings Gazette reporter Becky Shay as their director of public relations.
Becky Shay New APF Spokesperson
Shay still needs a map to get around the 114,000 square foot facility. With 20 years of reporting under her belt, Shay said she’s more comfortable with a pen in her hand and topping her to-do list is purchasing new reporter’s notebooks.
“I’ve got printer’s ink in my blood,” she said.
On Friday, Shay shocked local media when she handed in her resignation at the Billings Gazette and began working for American Police Force. Less than 24 hours after taking the job Shay held her first press conference. full story: From KULR8-TV