I tried to watch the BET Awards last night because I was curious as to the 'tributes' that would be given to Michael Jackson. I can only give my opinion on the parts that I saw and since those were so horrible, I maybe watched a grand total of ten minutes, if that. Perhaps BET stands for Better Enlarge Teleprompter because it didn't seem like very many folks could follow along at all. It was either that or they were all drunk. And it was kind of pathetic. I mean, if you're going to give a tribute to someone whom y'all claim was all of y'all "inspiration" for your particular style of craft, you could at least try a little harder for it to come off as being genuine. (You know, I can't recall a single one of you EVER mentioning Michael Jackson was your "inspiration" EVER when he was alive. Maybe one of two of you did (maybe Justin Timberlake has mentioned Michael before last night. Maybe.), but it certainly wasn't everyone in that room who ever dared proclaim publicly that Michael Jackson "inspired" them. Ugh.) BET really stands for Black Entertainment Television. Entertainment. Shouldn't they be good at entertaining? They weren't. They sucked.
It's possible I'm being too hard on the show overall. I was a little cranky after seeing an interview with Joseph Jackson, Michael's father, which was conducted by Don Lemon from CNN on the red carpet or whatever color carpet they have outside the Shrine Auditorium. Let's just say that he didn't exactly strike me as the grieving father. (And you have to remember that this is the guy who MIchael said physically abused him when he was growing up. Not only did Michael say it, Joe himself admitted it! Though he claimed that he didn't "beat" Michael because when you "beat" someone, you do it with a stick and Joe never used a stick. He just whipped him with a switch and/or a belt. Seriously.)
When Don Lemon starts the interview, he asks him how he's doing and how the family's doing. Joseph Jackson responds with a very chipper, "I'm great! My family is doing pretty good." Don didn't really know what to make of that and probably hoped he'd elaborate so he said, "Yeah?" And Joe responded with an assertive, "Yes they are!" So there!
Let's just contrast that remark with those of Janet Jackson who spoke near the end of the BET Awards and could barely refrain from bursting into tears when she said: "My entire family wanted to be here tonight. It was just too painful, so they elected me to speak. To you, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family. And he will forever live in all of our hearts. We miss him so much."
Let me just say that Janet Jackson is absolutely the sane one in that whole clan. She seems like she has her head screwed on pretty straight. The look on her face after she was led out to speak was one of someone who was annoyed. She looked like she couldn't believe that she had to stand up there and say something. Before she even said anything and everyone was continuing to clap and cheer (for her dead brother), she glared. She was not a fan. And do you blame her? It's only been three days! When everyone was clapping, the look on her face just said, "My God, would you people stop already so I can get the hell out of here?" And her words seemed carefully chosen and subtlely direct. She seemed to be reminding people that this is her brother who has just died and not just some superficial 'inspiration'. It was a classy thing what she did there. Three days, that's pretty soon. It makes me wonder how her speaking up there came about.
(And to the person who yelled out something as she paused (probably to compose herself), you're an ass.)
By "us" she must mean "everyone but Joe" because he spoke of his son as that icon. Don went for the follow up question, something along the lines of "We know it's been really tough for you guys" and Joe (who was wearing sunglasses that reminded me of the ones that Doc wore in "Back to the Future") said in a snotty voice, "And?" As if there was going to be something after that! It took him a couple of seconds to figure out that was the question and so he said, "Remember, we just lost the biggest star in the world, the biggest superstar in the world. So it's tough." You know, I hear that and I think "What a prick." He shouldn't be a freaking 'superstar' to you, sir. He should be your G-D son!
Don asked him why he showed up to the BET Awards. "Was it to pay tribute to your son?" I'm not kidding you when Joe said, "Yeah! To pay tribute to my son! Michael!" I fully expected him to throw in a "Yeah! That's it! That's the ticket!" But instead he just went with the pathetic, "Yes. We did. I did." Translation: Dude, I'm on TV! I'M the star now! It's all about me! Now I get to be the famous one!
Next question: "Is there anything you'd like to share with the world about your son and about his legacy?"
Next pathetic answer: "Yeah, I wanna, gotta statement here...." And then he pulls some chick out of nowhere who starts reading this prepared statement. The gist of the statement was to let everyone know that Joe Jackson was large and in charge and that everything would go through him. He also let everyone know the name of his attorney (L. Londell McMillan). He mentioned how he and his wife, Katherine, would be taking care of Michael's children. But basically, it sounded like he was letting folks know that Michael was gone and that's that. It was disgusting to say the least.
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Up until after the statement was read, it was just Joe and Don. When Don started to ask, "We've been hearing from the Reverend Sharpton, the Reverend Jackson, that you had some concerns..." the attorney, Mr. McMillan, was walking by, hear the names of the two media whores, whipped his head in the direction from whence they came and jumped up right next to Joe for the remainder of the question. It was hilarious! Anytime you hear your client being interviewed and you hear the names Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, you'd better make sure that you're right there to see how the rest of that question goes!
Don talks to the attorney for about a minute, getting no definitive answers from him (what a shocker). Then turns the questioning back to Joe and asks about funeral arrangements. Joe responds with a rather matter-of-fact "We haven't gotten to that yet. We're working on that." Haven't gotten to that yet? Perhaps you could have made a little time in place of the BET Awards ceremony, sir?
Next thing you know, a pimp shows up! Behold!
Well, he's pimp-ish. Looking. I saw him and I thought, "Why is there a pimp there?" And this is the part of the interview where I became inconsolably cranky for the remainder of the Joe Jackson Show. Don asked him about his wife and his daughters and how they were doing. Clearly, Joe wasn't in the mood to discuss trivial matters such as the well being of other family members. No, he had something else on his mind that he wanted to discuss. So he brushed off that question with a very flippant, "They're fine. They're all doing fine." And then, he drops this:
"I want to make this statement. This is a real good statement here. (Places hand on the shoulder of pimp hat guy.) Marshall and I (I'm assuming that's the pimp's name. Marshall. He might have said something else, though. Joe Jackson always sounds like he's talking with his mouth full of gravy from that train he's been on) have been...we owned a record company called.....(silence from Marshall) ....tell him!" At this point, it sounds to me like Marshall says "Ranch Records" and then it sounds like Marshall says, "OK? It's truly about Blu-Ray. Technology. And that's his next step." :::: blink :::: :::: blink :::: Um, WTF?
That's the statement that you wanted to make? Your son has just died, perhaps due to an overuse of painkillers, and you have a pimp by your side, plugging Blu-ray technology during your interview with CNN? Huh. Have you ever wondered what human scum looks like? Wonder no more and look no further! Joe Jackson is it.
Don's final question, after Joe got done rambling about his 60th wedding anniversary celebration in Las Vegas (where he ended his rambling proclaiming how great their first wedding anniversary celebration in Las Vegas was! He also had to stop himself from saying that there were a lot of people there that he didn't know, which I found amusing. Of course you don't know them, you A-hole. They were there with people who had to be there and sure as hell didn't want to go to anything involving you by themselves. Maybe if you weren't such an A-hole you'd know more people.), was "What's next for you guys?"
Now, I know what that question means. You know what that question means. But I don't think Joe knew what that question meant. That's because he answered it as if he was Steve Jobs on the day the iPhone was first released to mobs of frenzied phone buyers. As if he had just created some amazing product that the whole world was in love with and the reporter wanted to get the inside scoop on what consumers could look for in the future. That's the frame of mind it seemed like Joe was answering from when, after a long pause, he said, "We've got a lot we're fixin' to happen, but I can't really announce it right now, OK?" Then he pats Don on the shoulder and gives a quick smirk. Don wraps by managed to not slap him upside the head and instead somehow snaps out of his disbelief long enough to tell him thanks.
Many accolades to Don Lemon for not strangling the guy right there at the BET Awards and on camera, mid-interview. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have been able to keep my composure as well as he did. Yeah, I think I'd have to knee him in the groin. So, pretty much the stories that had been floated around over the years about Joe Jackson being a cold hearted, son of a bitch who just rode the gravy train his children were running over the years would seem to be backed up by that little performance on CNN. What a jackass. At best, this guy sounded completely indifferent over the death of his son. He also seemed a little annoyed that he even had to field any questions that were not about himself. But the sickest part of it all is that he seemed like he was controlling all of his joy that Michael Jackson was, once again, huge.
Perhaps the doc that was allegedly prescribing all of the painkillers, Demerol, etc. for Michael could do the same for his Dad. If it has the same effect on Joe as it appears to have had on Michael, well then, so be it. And while I don't ever wish ALL ill will on someone, the thought that Joe Jackson could possibly profit from this makes me need to end this post so that I may go vomit.
The Don Lemon interview with Joe Jackson on CNN is below. The plug for the Blu-ray project between him and the pimp is right around the 3:17 mark. You know, just in case you're interested in their new venture that he announced to the world in a 'statement' after being asked how the women in his family were doing. Yeah, that's it.