July 8, 2010

Interview with Don Lemon of CNN about " Michael Jackson: The Final Days"

“Michael Jackson: The Final Days”
An Interview with Don Lemon of CNN

The Its All for L.O.V.E Blog team spoke with Don Lemon, CNN anchor, in preparation for the premier of the special report, “Michael Jackson: The Final Days.” The special premiered on CNN on June 25, one year to the day of Michael’s death.

The Don Lemon Interview

“Think about it. Its Michael Jackson. That’s all you need to say.”

Don Lemon, CNN news anchor, said this with a shrug, signaling that there was no need to justify the newsworthiness of the special report on Michael Jackson.

“No other artists have had the same influence as Michael, except the greats like Michelangelo.”

Lemon was preaching to the choir on this one, but it was reassuring to hear a journalist of his stature and influence to say this out loud. He is winner of Emmy and Edward Murrow Awards, and voted onto Ebony’s 2009 Power 150, a list that includes the President of the United States, Barack Obama. The confusion, innuendo and unanswered questions surrounding Michael’s death were strong factors in producing this report.

“There is this mystery about how he died. People feel cheated. That’s why we did this.”

As a journalist, Lemon fulfills his obligation of being impartial in his reporting, but away from the cameras and teleprompters, Lemon admitted that he was influenced by Michael Jackson too.

“Not just Michael, The Jackson 5, The Jacksons, their music was the soundtrack to my youth. If you play a Jackson song, you remember where you were, and it makes me feel like a child again.”

Lemon also reflected on the influence that Michael Jackson had on him in terms of his own career achievements.

“It [his influence] also meant that someone that looked like me could be someone, and not just an entertainer.”

Speaking of being more than an entertainer, Michael himself was more than this. With the elimination of the media circus that surrounded him in life, Michael’s humanitarian work will begin to receive more acknowledgements, in Lemon’s opinion. He sees the Jackson Foundation as positively impacting Michael’s legacy of humanitarianism.

“More people recognize that [humanitarian work] than you would believe. They get it.”

The Special Report

The documentary opens with images that are indelible; a montage of Michael, progressing from an adorable child genius, into a global icon, representing artistic mastery, compassion for the suffering, and a deep connection with his audience. The special then leads into interviews with those engrossed in getting Michael ready for what would have been a concert spectacle unmatched, “This Is It.”

Lemon interviews Michael Bearden, musical director and Travis Payne, choreographer, about Michael’s mental and physical state those last days. Both men recall Michael looking impressive at 50-years old, outperforming dancers more than half his age. Most who have seen the documentary film, “This Is It” would agree, he was poised to remind the rest of the world why he is “The Greatest Entertainer that Ever Lived.” Bearden offered an observation he made the last time he saw Michael alive, one that would transcend this title.

“Michael had a serious glow.”

The report also offers perspectives that may not be popular among those who care about Michael -- AEG CEO, Randy Phillips; and Brian Oxman, who once represented Michael during his legal battles, but now represents Joseph Jackson in a complaint against AEG. Their comments, however unwelcome, may offer clues into what may have happened to him. The most poignant moment came when Lemon interviewed one of Michael’s older brothers, Tito Jackson. He is plainly a big brother, still in mourning, and yet marveling at his talent and gifts given to the world.

“My brother was the baddest brother that ever held the microphone. That boy was BAD.” Tito explains in a wobbly voice.

Though Lemon has no immediate plans for another program, he does see the necessity to follow up on the long-term story of Michael Jackson, his estate, his family’s progression and his children.

“I think I’ll be covering the story for years to come. Let’s see what happens with the complaint against Conrad Murray, and the legacy of the concierge doctors.”

Don Lemon conducted a report that was respectful and merciful of Michael, his family, friends and fans. It is without sensationalism, and delves into painful topics just enough to keep viewers grounded on the heartbreaking realities of Michael’s life. The program concluded with reflections of other artists who love, admire and miss him. Though the program focused on Michael’s “final days,” the longing for him, and his everlasting presence was acknowledged by other music legends.

Smokey Robinson sang it best during the program’s concluding segment.

"I never can say goodbye…" and ending his serenade with "And I won't."

Neither will we Smokey.



mike1909 said...

Thank you for this.
And thank you to Mr. Lemon for the interview

buds said...

im pleased that a journalist of his stature has spoken out... perhaps this is the beginning of a turnaround...

Cassarah said...

“More people recognize that [humanitarian work] than you would believe. They get it.”
Yes - THIS can be the turnaround to make this world a better place.

I pray that it not just can be - but will be!

Thank you, AA for sharing the interview with us.
Thank you, Mr. Lemon for your obligation to fair minded journalism.

doublebeee said...

Yes, we all hope for a turnaround and are happy that in the times of internet we can all contribute to this process and hopefully accelerate it!

Thank you Don Lemon, please never stop to let out the truth about Michael.

Thank you angelzaroundus for the interview and the article!

We love you Michael!!! We won't ever say good bye... x

Post a Comment