Predictions that the Jackson family would make a circus out of Michael's death are coming true, though even I didn't think it would occur before the pop legend was interred. The family patriarch, Joe Jackson, has shocked even hardened reporters with an interview last night at the BET awards show and in a press conference today by using the media spotlight to plug a new record label he has established. Joe Jackson tried to imply that he was responding to CNN reporter Don Lemon's questions about his business plans, but Lemon played the interview today again to prove that his question was only about plans for Michael's funeral. Instead, Joe Jackson made an awkward promotion for his new label and introduced his business partner, who had to remind Jackson what the name of the new label was. The situation was repeated this afternoon when Jackson made some rambling statements at a press conference in which he cheerily promoted the new record label again. He again implied he was responding to a question from Lemon about his "plans". This prompted Lemon to say on air to CNN anchor Ali Velshi that no such question was ever asked of Mr. Jackson. Lemon then took the extraordinary step of saying outright that "one member of the Jackson family" was personally turning the death of his son into a circus, even as other members of the family were intent on mourning.There was no mystery as to who Lemon was referring to.
Joe Jackson, who was accompanied by the ubiquitous "Reverend" Al Sharpton, was then brought before the microphones again after apparently having been told that his comments were tasteless. (When Al Sharpton is held up as a paragon of good taste, you know you've crossed the line.) Jackson again offered a weak and rambling explanation, and was all smiles despite the fact that his son's death was the reason for him being on-camera. He said he mourns Michael's loss inwardly, not outwardly, apparently in answer to those who have criticized his seemingly jovial demeanor while on camera.. He also made reference to "my publicist" and said he knew that "we" are loved the world over. Funny, I don't recall seeing any kids wearing Joe Jackson t shirts. The frenzy is only beginning...and here's a bit of unsolicited advice for the Jackson family: put a lot of miles between papa and the nearest microphone. - Lee Pfeiffer