But Michael Jackson’s father, Joe, seems to have a particularly unique style.
He showed up at the BET Awards show last night and engaged in a bizarre interview with CNN correspondent Don Lemon.
Jackson said he was doing “great” and only under further interrogation did he admit that the last couple days had been hard on his family.
When asked if he had anything to tell the world about his son’s legacy, the senior Jackson invited his spokeswoman up to read a statement which seemed more about declaring control over the estate and giving primacy to their lawyers than to eulogizing a lost son.
It was not the time for prepared statements “written on behlaf of Mr. Jackson and the family” as the spokeperson announced. It was a time that called for heartfelt statements of loss, pride in a son’s accomplishments, concern for grandchildren etc.
Instead, Joe Jackson kept calling on people to join him before the cameras, like Bob Barker on “The Price is Right.” One of the people he called on was there to plug a record company that the senior Jackson co-owns, but the name of which he apparently could not remember. We may be wrong, but it did not appear that the memory loss was due to being overcome with grief. Our advice to Joe — stay off camera for a suitable period. Ten, fifteen years sounds good.
CNN’s transcript is below:
LEMON: CNN is live on the red carpet of the BET Awards and so is the father of Michael Jackson, Joe Jackson joins us here tonight. How are you doing, sir? How is the family holding up?
JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON’S FATHER: I’m great. My family is doing pretty good.
JACKSON: Yes, they are.
LEMON: You want to tell – the last couple days, I know it’s been really tough for you guys.
JACKSON: And? Yes. It has. It has been really tough. Remember we just lost the biggest star, superstar in the world. So it has been tough.
LEMON: Why did you show up here tonight? It is to pay tribute to your son?
JACKSON: Yes. To pay tribute to my son, Michael. Yes, we did. I did.
LEMON: How is Mrs. Jackson?
JACKSON: She is fine. Thank you.
LEMON: Is there anything that you would like to share with the world about your son and about his legacy?
JACKSON: Yes, I want to make a statement here. Give me the statement here. He’ll read the statement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. This is written on behalf of Mr. Jackson and the family. Our family sincerely thanks all of you around the world for your love and support during our time of grief. Our beloved son, Michael Jackson, loved you all. Michael’s children are our first priority. We will have further announcements to discuss our plans going forward. Until such time, however, we have a personal and legal authority to act and solely Katherine and I have authority for our son and his children. We wish to handle his memory and legacy with dignity. And the attorney for the Jacksons is Londell McMillan and no one else has the authority to speak on behalf of the Jackson family at this time.
LEMON: Thank you very much.
Mr. Jackson, you know, I was talking to you about the legacy that Michael Jackson left. Do you think that the world even realizes how big your son’s legacy is?
JACKSON: Now they seem to realize it now. But the only thing is, I wish the world had recognized him when he was living. Because, you know, but right now he is bigger than ever now. I wish he was here to see all this. To hear all this. Yes.
LEMON: We’ve been hearing from the Reverend Sharpton, the Reverend Jackson, that you had some concerns regarding some of the last moments of the people who were around him in his life. Do you care to share that?
JACKSON: Yes, yes. What was that?
LEMON: I said you had some concerns about the physicians and the people who were around him during the last moments of his life.
JACKSON: Yes, I am. I have a lot of concerns. I can’t get into that but I don’t like what happened.
LEMON: You don’t like –
JACKSON: This is my attorney here. LEMON: Yes.
Sir, I was asking him and he said he would come in here. You’re Londell, right? He said he had some concerns about the last moments of his son’s life about, who may have been around him. Can you talk to us about that?
LONDELL MCMILLAN, JACKSON FAMILY LAWYER: We can’t talk about that now. There is a second autopsy that is underway and we’ll let that process take its course at this time. We’ll have more detail at a later point.
LEMON: have you spoken at all to the doctor at all?
MCMILLAN: No, I have not.
LEMON: Do you guys have any – do you know anything, Mr. Jackson, about funeral arrangements? Have you had time –
JACKSON: We haven’t been through that yet but we’re working on that.
This is (inaudible)
LEMON: Thank you. How is – you said your wife — what about Janet and the rest of the family, the daughters –
JACKSON: They’re all doing fine. But I want to make this statement. This is a real good statement here. Marshall and I have, we own a record company called Ranch Records. He’s talking about Blue Ray technology. That’s the next step.
LEMON: That’s the next step. There had been, talk to us about the, your 60th wedding anniversary. As I understand in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. The entire family was there and Michael said that he had wanted the members of his family — over.
JACKSON: My birthday?
LEMON: Your wedding anniversary. You and Katherine – in Las Vegas.
JACKSON: Oh, that was fantastic. Yes, it was. A lot of people were there. A lot of people I was glad to see. It was a fantastic job. The first one though. That was our first wedding anniversary we had. And they came out. Fantastic.
LEMON: What’s next for you guys?
JACKSON: We got a lot of fixing to happen but I can’t announce it right now. OK.
LEMON: All right. Thank you. Joe Jackson, the father of Michael Jackson and also here with friends and his attorney and also joined us. And it’s you know, kind of a surreal moment to talk to the father, everyone has been wanting to hear how the family is doing and you heard him say, he said they’re doing all right. Katherine Jackson who is the mom is doing all right, and Joe Jackson still standing here as he leaves the stage.
And I asked him about the concerns, you know, about the last moments of his son’s life. If he had concerns with the doctor and he said absolutely I have some concerns and then brought his attorney up to talk about the concerns there. The attorney said they can’t discuss it right now. That they had to proceed legally before they make any sort of comments regarding the last moments of his life.
But you heard Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family, saying there are concerns and also saying they’re moving on as a family. It has been very tough for them. Obviously, very tough for the family the last couple of days. And you know, we have been – we asked him about coming to this event. Why he showed up. And he said he wanted to make sure that his son’s legacy lived on and he wanted these people, these folks right now at this moment to pay tribute to his son. I’m Don Lemon reporting live from the red carpet.