tv American Morning CNN July 7, 2009 6:00am-9:00am EDT
will see first here on cnn. of course, the memorial for michael jackson today could be the most watched media event in history. >> it's very interesting because when he performed at the super bowl back in 1983, that was one of the most watched performances -- >> the most watched, yeah. >> it could happen today. this memorial is going to get under way in seven hour, 1:00 p.m. eastern, 10:00 a.m. local time here. it will take place over my shoulder here at the staples center. the jackson family will joining an army of guests. the list goes on and on. there will be a sea of fan as will. there were $17,500 people actually lucky enough to come to the staples center where they'll see the memorial live or access to be at the nokia center across the street where a live feed will be shown on jumbo tvs. everyone else who didn't get
that wristband is being urged to watch it from home. lapd hoping that the streets don't turn out to be a sea of michael jackson fans who are out here when they're hoping that instead they would rather have them stay at home. they're going to be broadcasting this entire event live. you can see this on cnn or cnn.com/live. and l.a. police have locked down the area around the arena. when we were walking in, they were gathered holding an impromptu meeting. canines were barking in some of the squad cars and one of the officers said you have to treat today like you treat the grammies, the awards shows, this is how packed they expect it to be even though they shut down the immediate area around the staples center. they expect it. tens of thousands of people are going to be flooding the streets. also in the meantime, there's a new mystery surrounding michael jackson's burial. there were family members and a hearsay spotted late yesterday
at the forest lawn cemetery in the hollywood hills. the latest on that. other big stories developing outside of los angeles as well that you're getting to including a hearing from the soon-to-be former governor of alaska, sarah palin. >> that's right. there are two big political stories out there this morning. sarah palin is speaking out for the first time since her bombshell announcement she's resigning from office later this month. here you can see she's fishing. that's what she's been doing since making that announcement prior to this interview. you ear going to see it first here on cnn. we travel to the remote part of alaska overnight to ask the governor about her sudden decision to step down, listen. >> i'm not a quitter, i'm a fighter. that's why i'm doing this. go out there and fight with what it's right. the events surrounding me in these month, i can't see me being out of public service
because that is within me. that is the way i'm wired. >> waders and all. that's just a snippet of what the governor has to say. more with drew live from anchorage in tip minutes. president obama in a major policy address in the last hour in moscow trying the take the chill out of u.s.-russia relations. the president is talking nuclear nonproliferation following a key agreement with russia on reducing stock piles. he sat for a one-on-one interview with our own ed henry and we're going to get to all of that in a moment. but first, i want to send it back to you, kiran, in los angeles. we begin in the morning here in l.a., the air is filled with anticipation, excitement, and sadnd as the city and the world prepares to say good-bye to michael jackson. that will be our focus this morning. there are developments in the investigation of jackson's
death, the future of his fortune and a late-night trip to the cemetery where jackson is expected to be buried. we have a team covering all angles of this story. live from his town in garry, indiana. and outside of his home, there's a makeshift memorial where people come by to drop off flowers with well wishes there. we're at the forest lawn cemetery where the jackson family is expected to gather in a few hours. tell us more about the situation, members of the family, as well as a hearse there overnight. the family is mum about where michael is going to be buried. >> yeah, the family being very quiet and they have been every since michael jackson's death in terms of the ceremonies that were planned. that's the case we saw here last night, here at the forest lawn mortuary, a hearse and several members of the family gathered
here for what could have been a viewing or a meeting, some sort of preview. the jackson family is expected to come back here this morning at 8:00 pacific time for a family gathering. from here, they will go on to the staples center. the other thing we do know is that the investigation in to michael jackson's death continues. the investigation continues into why jackson who apparently was healthy enough for concert rehearsal died at the age of 50. monday we learned that three search warrants have been issued in this case which is still being classified as a death investigation. >> there were three warrants signed by a judge. they are sealed. >> according to the associated press, diprivan, a sedative only used in hospital settings was found in jackson's home. that's the same drug this nurse claims jackson asked her for a few months ago. the dea is helping the los angeles police department. >> we routinely work with each
other with anything that has to do with drugs, the dea are the experts on that. if you look at prescription issues, where else would you go. >> meanwhile, in court, a judge granted temporary control of the jackson estate to his attorney john branka who worked with jackson when the will was written and john mclean. mother katherine fought the ruling. she still has custody of the three children. outside here at forest lawn. just as you're seeing as the staples center, intense security. everywhere outside of the main mortuary is completely closed off to the public in anticipation of this morning's events, kiran? all right, obviously we're experiencing some technical difficulties out in los angeles with kiran. but i want to pick up where she was leading off there.
about 20,000 people do have tickets to today's memorial service at the staples center in los angeles. and l.a. police say they're the only ones who will get close to the staples center. thousands of fans, though, still expected to fill nearby streets. we're down the road from the location where kiran is at the nokia center. what does it look like right now? >> you look right behind me, the l.a. city police set up ready to g for the crowds expected here today. that's the barricade at the end of this block here. just above it, the red lights flashing, that's the staples center. we pan off to the side, we can see some of the police force out here. we're told by officers on the scene there are 300 officers out here right now and that number could jump to 3,000 later on this morning. to give you a little contact, there were 2,000 police officers out here for the recent lakers celebration parade following the
nba championship. quite a force expected out here. police officers saying they don't want crowds out here. they're encouraging anyone without tickets to stay hope. they're preparing for the crowds that are expected anyway. a long line of port-potties here. no parking trying to discourage folks from loitering and clogging up city streets here. alex is one of the fans that has come out here early this morning. caught a bus all the way from san francisco. you don't have a ticket, you wanted to be here. tell us why? oh this is history. michael jackson's own album is called "history," it is history. he's the king of pop. there will never be anyone like him ever on the planet. just to be here with the ambiance of everybody else is wonderful for me. people who know me that love michael jackson understand that i would miss "rebt" to come here. >> you got the glove, you got
the music to come down. >> i had to listen to michael jackson to prepare for everything that's going to be overwhelmingly wonderful tomorrow. >> even got the t-shirt. >> yeah. >> i want to show you there's a small diener here on the corner. there's a tv set inside. and the thought is that a lot of people will be gathering here, moving in to some of the dieners around the staples center to try to watch the memorial live. i can also tell you that the officers tell us they expect people with tickets to start arriving here at 7:00 a.m. that's three hours before the 10:00 a.m. pacific time start for this big memorial. >> it's certainly going to be a big day. kara fin strom live in los angeles. kara, thank you. kiran, i know you flew out there after the show yesterday morning, a long day for you. what kind of security have you seen so far? it's very early in the morning out in los angeles. >> right. the beauty of being the first
show on the air is, yes, we expect it in a few hours to be extremely busy. in fact, right now, the early morning shows and a lot of the local reporters and their crews are here. we had to go through two rings of security and of course the all-important -- there's a beautiful live picture of what's happening outside. the place is literally wired. everybody broadcasting live for michael's memorial. but these are the wristbands we've been talking about. hopefully you can see them there. you get a blue up with. you have to have this. the police officer shined in to our suv a flashlight to make sure everybody sitting in the car had that. that was just the first ring of security. we got cleared through. we had to have a parking pass. but the interesting thing is yesterday after we arrived, a couple of people here with us, hair, makeup, crew, are walking around shopping getting a few last-minute items and had people approach that and say, oh, can i buy that off of you. this is gold here. we heard from alan --
>> i think it's interesting because authorities are saying, listen, if that band -- i think there was a blue one and gold one handed out. if that band was tampered with at all, you're not getting in. you can't take that thing off until you're ready to come back to new york. >> i'm sure people would get really creative to make it look like it's still intact. the security are doing the best that they can out here to make sure if you're allowed, you're here. if you're not, you're not. it's not keeping fans away who feel they have to be here today regardless of whether they have a ticket or not. >> no. it certainly is a moment in history. one fan was saying that the blue bands were sparkly just like michael jackson. >> just like michael jackson. >> hear more from you throughout the morning in los angeles. we'll get to other news. back to you in a moment. it's been a busy day for president obama in russia. he met with prime minister vladimir putin for the first time and spoke directly to the russian people. in a speech to graduates, at
moscow's new economic school, the president said the united states wants a strong, peaceful, and prosperous russia and expressed the need for the former cold war rivals to cooperate. >> the pursuit of power is no longer a zero-sum game. progress must be shared. that's why i've called for a recess in relations between the united states and russia. this must be more than a fresh start between the kremlin and the white house, though that is important. and i've had excellent discussions with both your president and your prime minister. it must be sustained effort among the american and russian people to identify mutual interests and expand dialogue and cooperation that can pave the way to progress recess. >> the president also went on to say that america and russia must be united in con fronting nuclear threats from north korea and iran.
a u.s. missile strike on a militant hideout in pakistan to tell you about. it happened in south waziristan near the afghan border. at least a dozen militants were killed. the united states launching missile strikes against militants in the area. pakistan's army is deploying troops to the region and conducting regular air strikes on its own. encouraging news for drivers -- cheaper gas prices at the pump. the average price of a gallon of regular is $2.16. this is the 16th consecutive day the price has dropped and $1.50 lower than this time last year. the world was stunned by the sudden death. but a rabbi who was once in jackson's inner circle said he saw it coming.
good choice. only meineke lets you choose the brake service that's right for you. and save 50% on pads and shoes. meineke. ♪ oh >> that was video of his dress rehearsal taken just two days before michael jackson died at the age of 50 on june 25. today we're here for a special edition of "american morning" live from los angeles where hundreds of thousands are preparing to remember michael jackson. the memorial taking place here at staples center, just outside of staples center today along with hundreds of other members of the media and press. and this rabbi was once
jackson's spiritual advisor. he saw this day coming. he joins us from iceland. i want to ask you, there seems to be two schools of thought. there are people who seem to think it's appropriate to remember michael jackson on the icon he was and remembering the impact he had on this culture in this huge way is what he wanted and there are others including his own really close friend liz taylor who said i'll be doing my mourning privately. that's what michael would have wanted. what is your reaction to this huge circus that is going on here. kiran, a prescription drug problem contributed to his demise, his drug of choice, fame. he was never able to cope with the superstardom that was conferred upon him. who would have known that we could have learned from that and given him a quiet service to say good-bye. instead we have a circus that
does not capture who he was as a man at all. it captures his iconic status. he was never known for that. he wanted to know for his small acts of virtue, acts of kindness. the reason he was so burned out and lethargic was he was most famous person in the world but he wanted to consecrate his kindness. someone died here. there are orphan children. this is a tragedy. this isn't a concert. this is sad. i see especially reverend jesse jackson, reverend al sharpton, this family needs spiritual advisors. they don't need media advisors. they don't need to know how to get on television or launch record labels, this family needs guidance. they've been ravaged by fame. i hope you can get it because this is the time to get it. >> you're giving us your argument for one point of view.
but there are people who feel exactly opposite that, you know, they didn't ask for this situation but they really wanted to do for the fans what the fans are asking for. as they said, they put these tickets out there, 15,000 available. 1.6 million hits on this website to sign up for tickets. there were so many people who feel whether it's rational or not that michael jackson is a part of their life. they want a way to remember him. i think this's what we're seeing out here today. >> no, kiran, those peep who continue to see michael as some celebrity and to see this as some history-making event that they can't miss, that's the cocoon that ultimately trapped michael in such a place of isolation that no one can reach him. that's one of the reasons he took all of the prescription drug medication. he was incarcerated in a place where no one could get to him. and what we really need to do is somehow remember the man. this is a tragedy. this isn't some media spectacle.
a man is remembered for the good deeds he does in his life, not for the albums he's sold. michael always wanted -- when ever we spoke and we -- you know, we spent 30 hours having these conversations because michael wanted the world to know who he was. he spoke to me off camera about the manuscript that was written but not published. he spoke to me about the children with cancer he used to see. they brought with me a 35-year-old man that had the mental acuity of an 8-year-old. he spent an hour with this man. he was like a boy. he said to me that was one of the most meaningful hour of my life, i was able to make them special. this is hollywood, this isn't a religious celebration, religious commemoration. michael was a jehovah's witness. he had a spiritual grounding, the career flourished. he was normal. didn't see that behavior. the moment he got uprooted from that, so many things wept wrong.
a military woman, katherine jackson, also a jehovah's witness. it seems to me from a distance that the religious and spiritual connotation of his life is not being marked in this way. a man died here. wasn't a cartoon character. this is a tragedy and we ought to mourn him. >> rabbi shmuley boteach, we want to thank you for your perspective. thank you for joining us. back for other news. thank you. sarah palin, one-on-one. she's speaking to cnn for the first time since her stunning resignation. hear what the soon-to-be exgovernor of alaska has to say about why she's stepping down. plus, complete coverage from los angeles as weemter the hour wellbeing.
place. she'll be speaking throughout the morning with people who knew michael jackson, a panel of experts as well. the other big story out there this morning is sarah palin. one-on-one in an interview you'll see only on cnn right there in her waders in a remote part of the state days after her bombshell announcement she is stepping down as governor of alaska. our special investigations unit correspondent drew griffin travelled all the way to the small town of dillingham, alaska to interview palin while she was on a family fishing trip. that's what she's been doing since she made that bombshell announcement. he travelled back to anchorage where he joins me live. and, drew, what did sarah palin tell you? >> this is interesting. this is all the picture of her, a very strong, strong woman, alina. i reminded her of when he saw his daughter, he told me he knew how tough she was and no matter
what was coming down the pike, sarah could handle it. i asked her, did this lightning rod status of the republican party, this national media stage, finally prove too tough for sarah palin? >> no, i'm not going to take the comfortable path. going to take the right path for the state. let the state progress and be out there and help people, help effect change in our state and positive change in our nation. that's my goal, help look for other people to do such a thing. i don't need a title to do that. and they don't need titles either to affect change but i want to help people who want to fight for the right thing. >> if that's the right road for alaska. >> yeah. >> is it a dangerous road for you to be labeled a quitter? >> i'm not a quitter. i'm a fighter. that's which i'm doing this. go out there and fight for what's right without the constraints surrounding me in the final months. anybody in alaska will tell you, of course our administration is
paralyzed. we spent most of our days pending off frivolous lawsuits. it's not a matter of treating or acquitting, it's a matter of progressing and forwarding a good positive agenda in the unconventional way. that caught people offguard, wait a minute, it's out of box and conventional. it's what we are as alaskans and certainly how i am as a public servant, as a person very proud of my state, seeing great potential in my state, unconventional in the way we're getting things done but we're getting things done. >> is this your unconventional way you're going to announce for president in 2012? >> as i said, i do not need a title. nobody does to effect political change. >> are you in office. >> i can't see me being totally out of public service. because that is within me. that's the way i'm wired is the desire to help. >> are you going to run for president? are you ruling them out? >> options -- going to keep on being on the table as they have
for me my entire life. i'm not going to close any doors that may be opened for me out there. so all options are on the table. >> the governor trying to put out the message this is about the state of alaska, this is trying to stop all of the ethics complaints that she feels are unwarranted that are dragging the state down. to pass the baton on to a like-minded politician, shawn parnell, who will carry out the rest of her term. but alina, i must tell you, even among her supporters in the state of alaska i'm talking to, she is being called a quitter. a lot of her friends can't understand what's going on here and think this is political suicide. but i must tell you after looking at her and asking those questions about whether or not she's going to run for political office and she's dodging the question, i'm not sure that sarah palin cares about politics and running anymore. she may really be out. >> that's interesting. because even as you say that, she's still leaving that door slightly open, right? >> still talking like a
politician on the campaign trail. >> that's right. >> she's got her talking points down even off of that fishing boat. but really, i asked her three times for running for president. she said she wouldn't rule out public service. >> boy. it's interesting to see. the $64,000 question. what will governor palin do next? we ole have to wait and see. drew griffin, as always, thank you so much. so what will governor palin's resignation mean for her political future? does she have one anymore? we'll break it down with the political panel next. plus, of course, our continuing coverage live from los angeles. as the world gets ready to say good-bye to michael jackson. 29 minutes after the hour.
some of the scenes outside of the staples center. more than a dozen looking at monitors showing photos, still shots of michael jackson throughout the years. we're right here at 3:30 in the morning, here 6:30 on the east coast this morning. we're live from just outside of the staples center in los angeles. this is the site of today's memorial for michael jackson. fans are about to gather for what could be the most viewed event of all time. it's set to get under way in a
little more than six hours local time. this is the ticket my producers just handed me. the gold wristband and the ticket that you need to get in to the staples center. we have blue ones as members of the press. without this, you're not getting in here today. the ticket must be accompanied with a wristband, no cameras, no video recording. literally looks like a concert ticket, what you would get if you were going to a concert for the memorial today. a judge took jackson's estate out of the hands of cath rip and hand it it over to the two executors that michael himself named the executors of the will. the 41-year-old patrick tracy burris was shot to death by police. they were investigating a burglary. a 30 miles away in north carolina and they say his gun matches the one used in five murders in and around gasney, south carolina last week.
police say burris had a long rap sheet. he was paroled in april after serving nearly eight years in prison. congressman patrick kennedy returns to washington today after spending nearly a month in a drug treatment center. he's feeling, quote, healthy, strong, and looks forward to returning full time to his congressional duties. he admits battling depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction for most of his life. he sought treatment in 2006 after he crashed his car you may remember it happened near the capital. he's the sun of edward kennedy. alina? you heard from sarah palin, the alaskan governor. she spoke to drew griffin for the first time since her sudden decision to step down. that announcement came over the weekend, the fourth of july weekend lighting up the phones for our show hotline. here's what some of you are saying. >> i say good for sarah palin, she's one of the few honest politicians who are out there.
we need more people like her. i agree with what she has done. she's going to get my vote if she runs for president. >> the criticism on sarah palin during the campaign has finally been validated. the quitter would have never made it had she been elected vice president or anything else. >> we want to hear more from you about sarah palin's resignation, give us a call on the show hotline, 1-877-my-amfix. joining us is kara phinney, a former communications director for the republican national committee and ron christie, ceo of christie's strategies. good morning. i want to start with you. sarah palin sat down with our own drew griffin last night in the remote part of alaska where she's fishing with her family. she calls it not the comfortable path but the right path. here's the clip of what she told drew griffin when asked whether
she was worried about being labeled a quitter. let's listen. >> i'm not a quitter. i'm a fighter. that's why i'm doing this, to go and fight for what's right without the constraints that's been surrounding me in the final months. of course our administration is paralyzed. we spend most of our days fending off frivolous lawsuits. >> all right, kiran, do you buy it? >> well, look, it looks like she's doing a better job of getting control of the spin and on friday, i thought that was one of the mistakes she made, the press conference, she didn't have a solid answer about what she was doing and why she was making this decision. certainly in watching that interview, i think she did a better job of trying to regain the control of the narrative. i serve in the clinton administration, just because you're getting attacked on the outside, it doesn't mean that you leave office. you figure out a way to deal with those criticisms and continue in office. so it's a little -- it's quite
surprising. but i don't think we know yet whether or not this was a good decision. a lot of it depends on what she does next. >> it is the best parlor game in town right now in politics, right? the $64,000 question seems to be what will sarah palin do next? ron, i want to ask you this. you know, some have argued that her announcement to resign amounts to political suicide. others say, listen, i mean, she's always been a maverick. this is just another example of this. so, which is it? does she have a legitimate future in the republican party if she chooses to run for president in 2012? >> there's no question in my mind, alina, she has an extraordinarily bright future. people flock to her. she's very popular. what we need to do is just slow down a little bit and say, this is what governor palin decided to do. this is the best interest to her state and the best interest to her family right now. she was subject to frivolous lawsuits. she nearly depleted all of her savings. it's time for the governor to go back, to rebuild some of her war
chest, both her personal fortune and political fortune and do what's best for the country. doing what's best for the country. >> i have to ask you quickly, though. because members of her own party are suggesting that, you know, listen, the way you show the american people that you're ready to run for president is not by quitting office midterm, which is really rare. >> well, the thing that i find the most distracting thing about this, alina, is we're talking about running for president in 2012. we should be focused on what's going on in 2009. the democrats control both chambers of congress. they have a white house, a bad economic situation right now. i think so much of the discussion should be devoted on how are we going to pull this country together as republicans and democrats rather than is sarah palin going to run for president. >> within of our contributors, npr contributor on the campbell brown show last night. he said, listen, sarah palin is
never going to be president of the united states. the people who have the power are the political pundits rrks t, are the talk show hosts. she's metaphorically raising her middle finger to the public. go on a book tour, maybe get a deal hosting a show. then maybe not become president but become a king maker. >> look, a lot depends on what she does going forward. if she uses this as an opportunity to get a solid team around her, get control of the narrative, what she's doing, why she's doing it, travel the lower 48. she has strong support in the base of her party. i think the more men in her party and the pundits and those folks attacked her, inthink it helps her with the base. so she's able to harness that power, raise money. that's the real power base within the republican party. she could be the next -- she could be the next rush limbaugh in the party. rush limbaugh has a lot of sway
with the party. republicans like to admit that. she could occupy a significant place. that's why i'm talking with her. i agree with ron we have a lot of issues on the plate. sarah pay run, she's an interesting figure in the republican party at a time when the party drifting out in the ocean without a leader. >> that's from a democrat. we'll have to leave it here. thank you for waking up early with us this morning. thank you for your perspective on sarah palin. >> thank you. i was always going
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♪ thriller ♪ thriller nights welcome back to the most news in the morning. i'm kiran chetry. welcome back outside of the staples center in los angeles at 3:42 pacific time, 6:42 eastern time. we're 6 1/2 hours away from a very public farewell taking place today for michael jackson in los angeles. with me is brian monroe, the cnn contributor and former journalist for "ebony" magazine. it turns out he had the last major sitdown interview that
michael jackson ever gave. brian monroe joins us here. thanks for being here. he's going to be on the cover of "ebony" and "jet." what did he look like? what was his state of mind? >> he was energetic. we thought we'd have 15, 20 minutes with him. we walk in the doors of the hotel in new york, and we're greeted by his son, blanket. politte kid, 6 at the time. greeted us at the door with a candy dish of lifesavers. would you like one? he reached out with his left hand. michael said, no, not left hand, shake with your right hand. he sat down. we ended up talking for nearly an hour and a half, two hours. we said, michael, we have to go. he's energetic, very passionate about the creativity. the occasion was for the 25th anniversary of "thriller," the album. he talked about the album, the
sense of making history with the videos and mtv. the process, the motown shot that he did with brothers and really about his creativity and going back to listen to the interview again, he alluded to his own mortality. >> what did he say? >> he quoted michelangelo saying that in order for him to be -- nobody wants to be mortal. for him to be immortal, he has to bind his soul to his work so his work lives on and he lives on. it was eerie. >> did he know that the plans were in the works for the comeback, this final this is it tour? >> they haven't gotten back to the tour point yet but they were starting to talk about a comeback. he was in the studio working with folks like will-i-am. he was talking about the writing process, the creative process. he was staging himself to get back in the game. he had been out for that long period during the trial which devastated he and his family.
>> right. >> and he didn't probably know this -- i asked him about touring. he said he didn't want to tour anymore. he said, in fact, he didn't want to go out like james brown did. he thought that touring going city to city every night killed him. so he said i don't want to tour again. i love to perform, i love to be on stage. but doing a multi-city big arena tour is not something he got excited about. >> this is an interesting thing. you had a chance to speak to michael in his own words and a lot of people are speaking on what have of michael saying he would have wanted this. we have a round this morning going to be the most televised event with more people watching it than ever in u.s. history. others who say, no, no, no -- he wouldn't have wanted this. what do you think? in his own words, he was very aware of his fame. and did he like it? >> absolutely. well, he was very aware of his fame and his fans and a lot of what he did he said he did for his fans. that's part of who he is from age 10 in jackson 5 up to being
a grown man. we talked to him when he was 50. he had reading glasses on. michael jackson at 50, you don't quite connect that. this spectacle we're seeing i think is consistent with who michael is and how he became a superstar because it was all about the fans. we saw outside the staples center right now, folks are starting to gather and line up. and michael jackson impersona r impersonators out there. this whole circus atmosphere in a odd way for a very serious memorial service is in some ways fitting with the life that he lived with the very public, very celebrity, very fan-driven existence he has. >> we have to go. you'll be with us throughout the morning. i want to ask you, did he strike you as a person who was happy? was he a happy person? >> he was happy in the moment. he was happy with the kids. when i saw him with his son, it was a true father-son relationship. he was happiest in front of the camera and on stage. he was troubled behind the scenes. the trial took a lot out of him. >> we're going to talk more
about that. the trial and the allegations of prescription drug use that as you were round him and also the latest on the investigation. brian monroe will be with us throughout the morning. thanks for being with us. also still ahead, it may be the biggest celeb tip sendoff of all time. a horde of media from all over the world gathered here in the staples center. a behind-the-scenes look at team cnn. how our network is getting ready for this huge event. back in a moment.
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welcome back. we are live outside of the staples center on this special edition of "american morning" where michael jackson's memorial service is taking place inside. it's about six hours from now. wherever michael jackson went, throngs of cameras were sure to follow. it was not all that surprising when you look around and see the thousands of members of the press who had converged on los angeles for this final act, this massive public memorial that's going to be broadcast around the world. and already, there you go, even though lapd said people should not come out in to the street ifs they don't have tickets, if they're not attending this event. already -- this early in the morning here in los angeles, people are already out in the streets. that's a makeshift memorial that's cropped up some of the police barricades around staples center. meanwhile, a.j. hammer is
looking at how cnn and others are covering this. >> reporter: outside of l.a.'s staples center where the lakers and clippers play, the global media is in a full court press. >> it's big. it feels in some ways like princess diana's funeral. there's worldwide interests. >> cnn producers, reporters, crews, their colleagues from around the world have their game face on. >> since he died, we have been making lives on every, every newscast. we never stop. >> 11 days after news first trickled out of an ambulance called for michael jackson's home. >> it's been 24/7. if i had not been on the job -- been on the job through twitter, twittering me. it's been nonstop since june 25. you can tell, the helicopters above. >> news coverage of jackson's sudden death hit the crescendo tuesday with the public memorial. and team cnn is racing across
the clock to be ready. >> started to put out truszs around midnight and moved forward from there. hanging our lights, choosing our backgrounds, pick what's going to be the best shot for us. and then it's a lot of sweat and labor from there. >> they've started making us wear these wristbands. do we have enough wristbands. what if somebody loses their wristband. >> special producer alec moran is finding this one a particular challenge. >> this event is different than a lot of others because usually we have a clue as to what -- we don't know right now -- we don't know how long it's going to be. we don't know very much. we're going to be tap dancing a lot. >> the only sure thing is almost 27,000 jackson fans, friends, and family will be on hand for the memorial and cnn will be sending it to millions around the globe. >> i don't see that in my
future. >> a.j. hammer, cnn, new york. you look at -- >> you look at when elvis pressley died and people saying it could be the most watched media event in history because of the advent of the internet and so many people will be watching it right here on cnn but so many on the web around the world. >> the ironic part as we said it earlier is the previously most watched televised event is also michael jackson performing in the halftime show. the 1993 super bowl. it's not surprising, alina, but at the same time, you look around and you see how many people are here and how many people continue to gather and all of the come together so quick lip since -- just a week or so after his death. it really is unbelievable. and, again, there's a quick shot of one of the public memorials, these are makeshift memorials up around the area. people told to stay home if they didn't have a ticket. of course, the lapd knowing that that's not going to be the case,
they are prepping for perhaps a million people taking to the streets of los angeles today. >> unbelievable. michael jackson told somebody close to him he wanted to be famous because he wanted to be loved. it's certainly clear by that picture there that he was loved by millions and millions of fans around the world. kiran, thank you. we're gong to be going live to you at the staples center in los angeles throughout the morning. but first, it's 54 after the hour.
now, michael jackson's memorial service will begin. here is how the events will unfold today. at 8:00 a.m. pacific, 11:00 a.m. eastern time, jackson's family will meet for a private gathering at the forest lawn cemetery in hollywood hills. from there the family will be escorted to the staples center, that's where kiran is. that is where the public memorial will get under way at 10:00 a.m. pacific, 1:00 p.m. eastern. cnn is the place to watch the jackson memorial from start to finish. and if you're away from your television, you can watch the entire memorial service live on cnn. you can also follow cnn's team of correspondents on twitter where we'll have special reports from inside of the staples center throughout the day. 56 after the hour. sweet! you'll really love them when they're made... with splenda® no calorie sweetener. sweet! splenda®. imagine life sweeter®.
welcome back to the most news in the morning. we are live from the staples center in los angeles where kiran is all morning long ahead of today's star-studded tribute for michael jackson. there you can see a live picture, just a beautiful shot there. millions of people will be watching this around the world. we have correspondents covering all sides of the story this morning, including our own jason carroll who is live for us in gary, indiana where jackson was born. jason is at the singer's childhood home looking back at his early rise to superstardom. jason, good morning. ♪ oh baby >> reporter: one thing about child prodigies, when it comes
to their talent, signs of greatness often show up early. in michael jackson's case, it was way before the ""ed sullivan show,"" it was in kindergarten. >> he came to my attention because he wanted to sing the christmas song for his class. >> reporter: gladys johnson, now 93, was jackson's principal at the school in gary, indiana. to this day, she remembers the young michael. >> you didn't know why he was there. if he didn't raise such a ruckus in kindergarten about singing the kindergarten song, i wouldn't have known he was there. >> reporter: jackson joined his family's musical group when he was 5, winning talent contests and catching the eye of gordon key. >> this kid is super. >> reporter: then owner of the records who signed the group to their first record deal. >> reporter: throughout your time, you ran across a lot of singers, why was he special? >> he was special.
better than james brown. >> reporter: that's why you signed him? >> that's right. >> reporter: under the label, the jacksons released the first regional hit, "big boy". >> this is a box of records the way it was back in the day. >> reporter: keith keeps the first pressing of "big boy" and other records he made of jackson in a safe deposit box. the group stayed with them for five years until shelly berger called. they saw the two sides of michael then 9 years old. >> offstage, you would just think this was a little boy, doing his coloring, watching his cartoons. hen he got on stage, he -- he was incredible. >> reporter: 1969 appearing on the "ed sullivan show," michael capturing the spotlight with "i want you back." ♪ won't you please take me back ♪ >> reporter: offstage, even then his manager saw signs of what jackson would become.
>> when people talk about "billie jean" and the moon walk and "thriller." he was doing this kind of stuff when he was 10 years old. what he did when he was on motown 25 was something he had been doing for years. he was -- you cannot -- you cannot put in to words -- at least i cannot, put in to words -- >> that was jackson. before he left a group and would go on to show mortals how to moonwalk, before thrilling music television or being the king of pop, he was the quiet little prince at the playground who wanted his spot on the kindergarten show. >> one of the sweetest things you ever saw. you just wanted to go up and hug him. and i often did. >> reporter: alina, right now you're looking at a live picture of the jackson home in gary, indiana. this is where it all started. you can see the cards, the
letters, the flowers, everything that you can imagine that his fans left here for him. the mayor of gary actually wants to turn this home in to a museum. this friday, alina, they'll be holding a memorial service for jackson here as well. 5,000 people expected to attend at a stadium not too far from here. they're definitely not forgetting jackson right here in his hometown. al alina? >> just incredible. if there's something connected to michael jackson, the fans will find it. jason carroll live for us in gary, indiana. thank you. hey, kiran, good morning. >> hey, good morning, alina. just after 7:00 for you guys out in new york. and here in l.a., 4:00 a.m. on this july 7, the special edition of "american morning." i'm outside of the staples center right now. that's where michael jackson is going to be remembered in just six hours. here's a shot to give you a bigger view of what's going on. a dozen or so monitors out here just showing still shots,
montage of pictures of michael jackson from his early years, his early fame, and continuing through the years some of his performances as well. and all of this is just members of the media, technical crews, all of our crews set up to broadcast live today outside of the memorial that's taking place in just six hours. of course, as you know, inside, we're also going to be -- they're going to be giving a free feed to every broadcast cable network and on the internet and as we said earlier, perhaps the largest viewing audience ever. >> just incredible event, a moment in history. we'll go live to you throughout the morning. good morning, everybody. alina cho in for john roberts today. a lot going on from our special coverage of the michael jackson memorial. two of the big stories we're following this hour, first, barack obama finishing the second day in russia beginning
with the man who some say the country's real leader. the prime minister. meeting with vladimir putin a few hours ago. ed henry is tracking the story live from moscow. the other big story we're watching in politics, sarah palin speaking out for the first time since announcing that she's resigning from office, saying she's not a quitter. the alaska governor taking some time-out from a fishing trip and talking to cnn. >> it's not a matter of retreating or quitting, it's a matter of progressing and forwarding a good positive agenda. it is unconventional way. i think that's what caught people offguard. wait a minute, this is out of the box and unconventional. well, that's who we are as alaska i can't bes and certainly who i am. >> is this unconventional way you'll run for president in 2012? >> you'll get the answer with drew griffin. live for us in anchorage with the interview you simply won't
want to miss. at five minutes past, we'll send it back to you, kiran, at the staples center in los angeles. the fans have already started arriving here in downtown los angeles. as we said, only 11,000 have a ticket to get in to the staples center. you need a ticket and you need that gold wristband. but despite the city's pleas for those without one to stay away, police do estimate that they doan want to give hard and fast numbers right now, but they are prepared for anything. that includes the possibility that just under a million people will find a way to make their way down here. again, as you can see, barricaded off right outside of the staples center. you have to go through a few rings of security as well in the streets surrounding the staples center. parents playing stevie wonder l.p.s bringing their kids downloading usher mp-3s, a cross section of generations. and stars will be here to say
good-bye to the biggest recording artist in history. 2500 police officers on hand. even they don't know what to expect just yet. but as we said, the concrete barriers have been put up. this is video that you're looking at from yesterday where people drove up to get those wristbands. you needed to have them this morning. and when we were pulling up here, the police shining the flashlight to the suv and making sure indeed all of us had the wristbands before allowing us through. if you have the tickets and the wristbands, you can get in. otherwise, you can't get in here today. forest lawn stem tear in the hollywood hills, it's believed to be michael jackson's final resting place. latoya jackson and some members of the jackson family arriving there last night. later a hearse pulled up in front of a few carloads of people and michael jackson's sister, latoya, again, among them. that's the video of the hearse. ted rowlands is live there now.
we understand michael jacks soj family will be gathering there about four hours from now. what do you know about that being michael jackson's final resting place? >> we don't know. the family has been very private with their plans. what we are told is that there's a family gathering here at forest lawn mortuary at 8:00 a.m. pacific time. and from there, there will be a police escort taking the family to the staples center. there are also reports that there's a possibility that jackson's body would be tran ported. of course, if that happened, that could be quite a spectacle indeed to transfer the body. but the bottom line is, we don't know. we don't know because the family wanted everything to be private in terms of their time here this morning. one thing we do know is that the investigation in to jackson's death definitely continues. >> reporter: the investigation continues in to why jackson who
apparently was healthy enough for concert rehearsal died at the age of 50. monday we learned three search warrants is issued in this case which is still being classified as a death investigation. >> there were three warrants signed by a judge. they are syled. >> reporter: according to the associated press, diprivan, a sedative typically only used in hospital settings was found in jackson's home. that's the same drug this nurse claims jackson asked her for a few months ago. the dea is hielping the los angeles police department. >> we work together. anything to do with the drugs, the dea are the experts. if you're looking at prescription issues, where else would you go. >> meanwhile, a court granted temporary control to his attorney, john branca who worked with jackson when the will was written and john mcclain. attorneys for jackson's mother, katherine, fought the ruling.
she still has custody of the three children. and as is the case at the staples center here, kiran, here at forest lawn, security exceedingly tight. everybody out here, the road out here has been closed for public access in anticipation for this morning's events. kiran? >> ed rowlands this morning. outside live in the staples center. coming up in a couple of minutes, we'll speaking to l.a. police chief william brat on the, what they expect today. it's up in the air. quiet for now. not long out here. >> yeah. >> it won't be for long. we'll see how they're prepping just in case. >> yeah, it's an enormous undertaking to say the least, kiran. we'll go back to you live in a moment from the staples center. first, we want to turn to big political news. president obama taking his message straight to the russian people while in moscow this morning. he said the u.s. and russia are not, quote, destined to be
antagonists and the problem between moscow and washington, quote, must be shared. ed henry is traveling with the president. he sat down with mr. obama in moscow just following his major policy speech. he joins us live there. ed, good morning. what did the president tell you? good morning, alina. this came after the president had the very first meeting, he had a chance to set eyes on the russian prime minister vladimir putin many people believe is the real power in this country, not the russian president medvedev. the president gave me his read on the prime minister saying he believes mr. putin is smart but also in his words, unsentimen l unsentimental. the relationship not quite as warm as maybe he has with other world leaders. i asked about iran. very difficult subject, obviously. zeroed in on the fact that vice president biden over the weekend seemed to suggest p suggest that the white house would not stand in the way in which israel wants
to launch a nuclear strike against i were ran. if there's a green light for israel to strike. are you giving israel a green light? >> absolutely not. it's very important that -- that i'm as clear as i can be and our administration is as consistent as we can be on this issue. i think vice president biden stated a categorical fact, which is that we can't dictate to other countries what their security interests are. what is also true is it is the policy of the united states to try to resolve the issue of iran's nuclear capabilities. and a peaceful way through diplomatic channels. this is a tough job and nobody's under any illusions that it will be easy. i always said that we, the united states, preserve the right and i as commander in chief reserve the right to take
whatever actions are necessary to protect the united states. >> i also asked about the u.s. efforts to have direct diplomatic talks with iran. whether that's difficult right now given the disputed election results but also the fact that iran doesn't appear to want to talk right now. the president acknowledged that is a problem. but as he put it, he put a door of opportunity out there and hep's waiting for the iranians to open it, alina. >> ed henry traveling with the president live in moscow for us. ed, thank you. kiran, send it back to you in los angeles. all right, alina. millions are preparing as we said to remember the music legend, but how michael jackson died and why still a mystery this morning. we bring in our chief medical corresponde correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. he's been working this part of the story all week. we're still awaiting the results, right, of the toxicology tests. but are they any closer to determining the official cause of michael jackson's death? >> the interesting thing is that the results of the toxicology
tests probably are in back. they don't take that long to test the urine, to test the blood, to try to find what sort of substances were in these bodily fluids. what they also -- what they want to paint a complete picture. that involves looking at all of the various tissues in the body, looking at the brain, the liver, and looking at though things under a microscope. then putting it together. putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together. that, in essence, is what takes some time. i think they probably have a good idea, that's how it works in terms of what likely caused the death or maybe something sort of zeroing in on in particular. but they're saying that it's in process, the whole thing is in process and it could take two or three more weeks is what we're hearing, kiran. over the last few days, the drug, this anesthetic, right, used to knock people out before surgery, diprivan is taking center stage in this story. so will the autopsy results be so specific that they can show this anesthetic if indeed it is
in his system. >> this is a really interesting thing. i've never heard of something quite like this. so the answer to this question of whether they can definitively tell whether it's diprivan, i have not been able to get a clear answer on this. we talked to answer theetologists, medical examiners who focus in on this particularly. it's not part of a routine toxicology test. i can say that for sure. part of it what we're talking about is it has a very short half-life. it's in the body and disappears from the body very quickly. so how quickly were they able to get the fluids from michael jackson's body to look at and test for the substances, that's going to be important. and also, will they test for it directly and will they test for what are called some of the by-products of this drug? that's something they're looking in to as well. so, the short answer is, you know, we still don't know for sure whether or not they're going to be able to test for this and know directly whether or not it was in the body and was it at levels high enough to
be associated with death? >> you know, it's interesting. we're going to be talking in a few minutes to william brat on the, the lapd police chief. we're going to be talking to him about the investigation, the department executing three search warrants possibly determining whether prescription medication played a role in michael jackson's death. stay with us. live outside of the staples center for a special edition of "american morning." i get the question "does it work?" all the time, and you know what, it works. nutrisystem for men:
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♪ later this morning, members of michael jackson's family and their closest friends will be saying their final good-byes taking place at a private service at forest lawn cemetery two hours later. then heading here outside of the staples center going inside for that public farewell. all of this taking place as the questions still linger about the cause of michael jackson's death. "the los angeles times" reported that the police executed three search warrants to that home to determine whether prescription medications may have killed
michael. joining us now is william j. brat on the, the chief of the los angeles police department. you've been chief here since 2002. you guys have had to prepare for many huge events. how does this rate today as you guys prepare for what could be hundreds of thousands coming up to -- to try to get close to this memorial service? >> this is probably the largest event we've planned for since the 1984 olympics. as for a planned event. we have no idea how many people are going to show up here other than those who have the tickets inside the event inside of staples. we're rached up pretty significant lip and we'll ramp down significantly if we don't get the crowds anticipated. >> the interesting thing is, this was put together meticulously given the short time frame. you guys figures out the venue and working with the organizers, if you don't have one of the bracelets, you can't get here. you can because you have the unifo
uniform. >> don't have the gold one. not going inside. >> nobody, not going inside. >> in anticipation, you have to close off the areas around here to make sure. it's up in the air of whether or not people will decide to come out here anyway. what are the biggest concerns if indeed a huge crowd do congress rega congress regait o congregate outside of the senter? >> we have closed the block around this area that you cannot get in without credentials of some sort. we have no idea how many people plan to come down here to be in the area. they're better off staying at home. then you'll be able to see the event itself. if you're down here, there won't be much to see. you won't get within several blocks of the area. >> you are the police chief of the second largest city and the police chief of the largest city. so i imagine not much surprises you in terms of what you've seen. but for the huge outpouring of
add ration and people who want to come out here for michael jackson, is that surprising? >> i don't think it's surprising to anybody at all that he was around for many, many years. went to several generations with fans. so the fact that you're all here is the reflection of how much attention his death has. >> no secret that california is struggling right now financially. the city of los angeles is struggling financially. this is going to be expensive for the department. >> that's right. the estimated cost is anywhere from $2 million to $4 million as well as all of the other city services. we have -- we have a large contingent of offices. but if the crowds don't materialize -- we're not anticipating disorderly crowds, just anticipating very large crowds, if they don't materialize by the time of the funeral service itself, we'll start disassembling very, very quickly. >> in an effort to keep costs -- >> exactly. >> down if you can. you're prepared though, for
anything today. meantime, the investigation today talk of the search warrants being excuted, looking for possible prescription drugs. can you give us an update on the latest as you guys try to unravel the mystery of michael jackson's death. >> wre have a wide ranging inquiry under way. we cannot give any public statement. what you have is from unauthorized sources. we are waiting on the toxicology reports to come back that contributes greatly in determining whether his death caused as a result of a drug use and was that drug use appropriate or legal? until we get that back, we're doing a lot of preliminary work and we will not be making any public statements as to the specifics of the inquiry. >> great to talk to you today. good luck to you guys out there today. thank good to see you. thanks. alina? one of the big stories we're following today is sarah palin
one-on-one with cnn, she stunned the world with the announcement she's resigning from office. our drew griffin tracked her down fishing with her family in a remote part of alaska. you'll see that interview. you definitely don't want to miss it. taking its rightful place in a long line of amazing performance machines. this is the new e-coupe. this is mercedes-benz. you hungry? yeah. me too. (door crashes in) (broadview alarm)
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welcome back to the most news in the morning. alaska governor sarah palin wants everyone to know she's a fighter, not a quitter. this is the first time she's answering questions about her bombshell resignation. special investigations unit correspondent drew griffin live for us in anchorage this morning. drew, you had the opportunity to talk to the governor while she was on a fishing trip with her family. what did she say? >> yeah, fairly remote. just to set it up, for three days we're trying to track her down and hearing from friends and even acquaintances and her own attorney which said this decision is based on a personal decision and in the end is three years of being the lightning rod of the republican party from
governor to having a down syndrome baby to dealing with her own daughter's teen pregnancy. all this. and on top of it, all of these investigations after investigation that she calls unwarranted. just became a pressure cooker for her and her family. and she had finally had enough. so when i met her yesterday when she's stepping off this boat, fishing boat, looking rugged and strong, i asked her, did all of this just become too tough for sarah palin? and is that why you're quitting? here's what she had to say. >> no -- i'm not going to take that comfortable path. i'm going to take the right path for the state. i'm going to let the state progress and i'm going to be able to get out there and help people, help effect change in our state and positive change in our nation. that's my goal, hein helping to for other people who can co-that. i don't need a title to do that and they don't need titles
either. >> if it's the right road for alaska? >> yeah. >> is it a dangerous road for you to be labeled the land of tough people, a quitter? >> i'm not a quitter. i'm a fighter. that's why i'm doing this. to go out there and fight for what's right. the strain that's been surrounding me in the final months, anybody who lived in alaska will tell you, of course, it's been paralyzed. we spend most of our days fending off frivolous lawsuits. it's not a matter of treating or quitting, it's a matter of progressing and forwarding an agenda in an unconventional way. caught people out of the box, wait a minute this, is out of the box and unconventional. that's who we are as alaskans and it's who i am as a public service, as a person very proud of my state, seeing great potential in my state. unconventional in the way we're getting thins done. we're getting things done. >> is this your unconventional way of announcing you're going to run for president in 2012?
>> as i said, i do not need a title. nobody does to effect change. >> out of office? >> i can't see me being tote out of public service. it's in me. the way i'm wired. >> are you going to run for president? are you ruling it out? oh. >> all options are going to keep on being on the table as they have been for me my entire life. i'm not going to close any doors that may be open for me out there. so, all options are on the table. >> alina, she says she's been talking about this, planning this for months. july 3, the date that she made the announcement, she said wasn't just a coincidence. a declaration day -- her own declaration of independence. she said from politics as usual. but, again, she's denying this was anything to do with her family pressures or any kind of trouble at home. that really she wanted to step aside because she felt the government of alaska was paralyzed as wrong as she was
the lightning rod for the republican party. as for what she's going to do next, the $64,000 question, she says on her own facebook page, stay tuned. more to come. drew griffin, live for us in anchorage this morning. thank you. the other big story of the morning is the continuing coverage right here on cnn tchl memorial service later this morning for the king of pop, michael jackson, kiran is live outside of the staples center in los angeles. she's going to be speaking with the reverend al sharpton next. it's 29 after the hour. ♪ (announcer) introducing new tums dual action. this tums goes to work in seconds and lasts for hours. all day or night. new tums dual action. bring it on.
constantly since jackson's death. and sharpton has condemned some negative media coverage and instead calling for nationwide love vigils to honor jackson. reverend sharpton joins us this morning. >> good morning. good morning. >> tell us about the event. what are we going to be seeing as it's broadcast around the world, people could say this is the most watched event ever. >> you're going to see a diversity of artists, people who knew michael, that were influenced by michael. you have some of us who are not in entertainment. two of the children of dr. martin luther king and coretta scott king and myself giving tribute, showing the message of michael, which was love, which was crossing all kind of national, religious, and racial barriers. you will see the message. a lot of what i've been complaining about is we've seen the mess. today will be the message of michael jackson and how we know him to be and how his legacy, i think, will shine past all of some of the controversies that
others have been so obsessed with. >> one of the things -- there seems to be two schools of thought in terms of this. one is that michael jackson would have loved this outpouring of love from his fans. the tributes, the fact that so many people want to come and remember him. and then the flip side is some of the people who were his closest friends like elizabeth taylor saying i don't want to come. i want to celebrate him privately. and i don't know if he would have liked this. what do you think? >> i think that there's probably validity to both schools of thought. there was the side of michael jackson as i knew him and dealt with him from time to time for 35 years that liked all of the crowds and the galvanizing of people. and then there was the very private michael jackson, the one that would close the door and just be in his own space. so there's validity to both sides of this. but i think that it is very important for someone who really changed culture, who really
helped create the pop culture that we are in now that he does have this tremendous public tribute and that we do underscore what his message what this is all about. because 50 years from now; 100 years from now, michael jackson will be remembered. not for the wardrobe or his hair. it will be for the music, for how he changed what we entertain ourselves as, and how he made people relax in some old biassed and i think it will be more important than some of the contemporary things we get caught up in terms of style rather than substance. today will be about the substance of michael jackson. >> you were critical and you said there were people who wanted to bring some of the negative things about michael jackson, the molestation trial, some of the other pitfalls he's faced throughout his life. but largely many people say that he's gotten glowing praise and that he's mostly being remembered for his music and the impact he had on music.
do you think for the most part michael jackson has in death seemed to bring people together? >> he's brought people together. there have been some in the media, not all, that have been to me just over the top. and i don't think reporters should not cover both sides. cover both sides. the good and what we may question. and in -- when you deal with the bad, you have to admit, there were none of these things ever found michael jackson is accused of. let's deal with the facts. with all of that, i think the overwhelming majority of people have responded very positively to them. they know how michael touched them. they know how they felt. and i don't care what anyone says, what any journalist writes, people cannot tell you what matters to you. and i think people all over the world are saying he hit something in me. i don't care about the rest of that stuff. i want to thank him for what he did for me. >> perhaps one of the most outspoken critics have been
congressman peter king who called michael jackson, he said what is happening that society is, quote, glorifying, a, quote, low life and also called him a pervert in saying that we're focusing too much and should be ashamed of ourselves when so much other is going on. what do you make of his comments? >> the congressman wanted to get publicity. not going to feed in to it. the michael jackson name calling, michael jackson at best irresponsible. and the world is paying attention to someone who helped to change the culture of the world. this man has the most high-selling record album in history. so if you outsold everybody else in the history of the recording business, if you literally transformed the music world, how can anyone in their right mind say we're paying too much attention to you when we bought more of your stuff than we bought anybody else. isn't that a little strange to tell the millions of people that bought his stuff, more than anybody else, you're paying too
much attention to what you already bought and shared for all i don't have life? i think the congressman needs to take a deep breath, have some coffee. because the world has already answered that criticism. >> it's great to have you with us this morning. you have a busy day ahead of you. thanks for stopping by. as we said before, there are going to be millions upon millions, perhaps it will be the most viewed televised event in the history of the world. reverend al sharpton, thanks again. >> thank you, god bless. stay with cnn. we're going to be having full coverage from los angeles all morning long. special coverage of the memorial itself which will be starting the special coverage will be starting at noon eastern, 9:00 pacific. and no matter where you are today, we want you to know that you can pay tribute as well and you can join the conversation. you can -- you can give your opinion about what you're seeing going on today. you can join us on our facebook page. you can go to facebook.com/cnn. here at "american morning," we're cnn.com/amfix.
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♪ might not want you to know ♪ i'm starting with the man in the mirror ♪ ♪ i'm asking him to change his ways ♪ >> live lookout side here at the staples center in los angeles. a special edition of "american morning." i'm kiran chetry. glad you're with us today. in three hours, michael jackson's family and friends are going to be heading to a forest lawn cemetery. private good-byes to s in a pri memorial service. the family is in encino and
we're there about whether or not that is where michael jackson will be buried and also some questions as well about where michael jackson's casket may be later today. hi there, thelma. >> hi, kiran. the jackson family home is heavy iron gates and the road that leads to the home has been closed down. lots of police presence out here this morning. you can see the memorial right behind us. fans have been allowed to filter in to this area. we've seen a steady stream all morning long. and a short time ago, we saw a limo and the suv pull in to the jackson home here in encino. we're told that the plan is for the family to be escorted by the california highway patrol. they will leave encino. they will head to forest lawn cemetery which is about 11 miles away from where they'll have a private gathering. but the family has not said where the singer will be buried. last night, several carloads of people including michael
jackson's sister latoya were seen entering the cemetery in hollywood hills after sunset. five police cars accompanying the hearse. the halls of liberty, that would be a way for any casket that was loaded or up loaded not to be seen by the helicopters above, but, again, we're told that right after they had that private gathering at forest lawn, they will head via escort by california highway patrol to the staples center for that very, very massive ceremony. kiran? thelma gutierrez. thank you so much. live outside of the staples center. when we come back, speak to brian monroe. a cnn contributor, the former editor of both "ebony" and "jet" magazines and had the last sit-down interview with michael jackson before he died. he's going to weigh in on his state of mind, what he looked like, last wishes and
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a simpler way to ship. call or go online now to get started. a memorial service for michael jackson scheduled to get under way for michael jackson. a live picture of the staples center. several large screens showing big pictures of michael montage over the last years. he conducted the last interview with michael in 2007. he had a chance to talk to him in a new york hotel room. what are your memories of what he was like. this is back in 2007, but really pretty much the last interview he gave before his passing. >> he talked a lot about his
creative process. looking around the amazing facility today, i think about how michael who loved to control every single bit would talk about the camera angles and the lighting and the sound and every camera angle, every light and cue. he was a professional. >> you would have been proud with how this thing shaped up. michael jackson sadly, he passed away the 26th of june. that's after recovering from the stock. people close to him organized what turned out to be perhaps the most viewed television event ever. >> this is going to be an amazing day today. looking at the li of celebrities coming from stevie wonder, usher, mariah carrie. just found out that little richard will be here. got a connection with little richard. most people don't realize reported yesterday that after michael jackson bought the atv catalog that has the beatles music in it, deep inside that
catalog -- eminem and other current artists, deep inside are other artists, tootie fruity. he as his lawyer went to little richard and said so important in our lives, so important to all of music, we would like to give you your catalog back. that brought in $45 million of revenue. didn't work out. sony had issues with the deal. little richard -- he confirmed that indeed happened. he was so grateful that michael made that reach out. >> that shows you a little bit of what he was like privately. muhammed ali coming today? >> muhammed ali may be coming here. other celebrities weighing in. dick gregory, the close health advisor, shaquille o'neal may be here. and there will be a lot of people we're going to see stream in to the service today. >> the interesting thing before we leave and we'll come back to the future of the show, it seems
to be two schools of thought. this is a concert-like atmosphere. people are cheering. someone died. someone left three young children behind. where would michael himself fall? >> he would be appreciative of this effort knowing how so much of the show business part of who he was. there were many michael jacksons. michael jackson, the one we all know as fans. mike the friend, there was dad, there was michael the brother, and the son. there was mr. jackson, the businessman. he's leaving an estate worth easily $1 billion to $2 billion. >> there's a lot of debt as well. >> there's debt. >> people in charge of his estate. see how that shakes out for years to come. brian monroe, joining us. be back with you throughout the show. thanks so much. >> thank you. coming up on ten minutes before the top of the hour right now.
♪ welcome back to the most news in the morning, 51 minutes after the hour. much to the dismay of michael jackson's mother, katherine, a judge in los angeles has given temporary control of jackson's assets to the hand-picked executors of his will. they are jackson's long time attorney, john branka and john mclane. now here to walk us through the legal implications, nobody does it better than paul callen. good morning, good to see you. there's so much legal stuff going on and it's going to be a long time before the dust settles, but having said that, i want to talk about the latest decision by the judge in los angeles. what do you make of this ruling? is it going to stick?
>> i think it will stick. and it's really -- there's nothing unusual about it. michael jackson selected these two individuals, one was his lawyer, one was a top record executive who had worked with him for many years, and he said he wanted these two individuals to administer his empire. he could've picked his mother, but he didn't. >> well, it's interesting because branka is somebody, they've been associated since michael jackson was 21 years old. and jackson i understand in the last month of his life designated branka to be his lawyer again, which is a little eerie and interesting, as well. i want to talk about his will. we've all been wanting to know what's inside that will, that 2002 will. and cnn has learned it's estimated to be worth $500 million, even though he's $400 million in debt that 40% of the assets will go to his mother, 40% to his children, another 20%
to charity. when the dust does finally settle, is this going to hold? >> i think it will hold. there's nothing unusual about that sort of a split in terms of a will. taking care of his children, his mother, and being generous to charity. there's no reason the court would step in and try to set that aside. and the court wouldn't have the right to. if jackson made odd requests, the court would be likely to uphold those requests. >> okay. all right. paul, i wish we had more time. civil trial attorney, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. president obama gave a major speech in russia, and also made news with our own ed henry. ed will join us live from moscow in a moment. ( blower whirring )
just about five minutes before the top of the hour, welcome back to the most news in the morning. president obama and vladimir putin met for the first time this morning. and the with the calling their talks "an excellent opportunity to put u.s.-russian relations on a strong footing." they're pushing the reset button and our senior white house correspondent traveling with the president live in moscow for us. ed, you got the chance to interview the president about an hour ago. the president, of course, making news with you on israel, but he also paused to remember michael jackson today. what did he say? >> that's right, alina. obviously, while the president is here and the high level
diplomatic negotiations of arms control, other important topics like you said, israel, iran, north korea, as well. all of these big subjects, he does realize that back in the united states michael jackson's funeral is getting a lot of attention. and i asked him what he believes the entertainer's legacy will be. >> i don't think there's any doubt he was one of the greatest entertainers of our generation, perhaps any generation. i think like elvis, like sinatra, like the beatles, he became a core part of our culture. you know, his extraordinary talent and his music was matched with a big dose of tragedy. and difficulty in his private life. and i don't think we can ignore
that, but it's important for us to affirm what was best in him. >> reporter: you hear the president there focusing on what was best despite the sentiment of millions around the world after wrapping up negotiations here today in russia. the president is heading on to italy for the g-8 summit. >> and ed, thank you, as always. and as always, cnn equals politics. we are tracking the big political headlines this morning. you won't want to miss this one. coming up at 8:25 eastern time, sarah palin speaks out. our special investigations correspondent drew griffin has caught up with the alaskan governor who is talking about her stunning decision to resign. we're going to find out what palin says. she also says i'm not a quitter, i'm a fighter. so stay tuned for that interview. also want to get to the big story here in the united states and around the world.
which is the memorial for michael jackson, which will take place later today. kiran, you've been outside the staples center in los angeles all morning long. i know you've been talking to people who know michael jackson. i spoke to somebody yesterday who said when they drove around neverland ranch, he used to listen to classical music. this was a man who not only understood music intrinsically and understood acoustics, he'd be in a hotel room with a small cassette player, put it in the middle of the room and it would sound like a concert hall. incredible hearing all the tributes pouring in today, kiran. >> reporter: true, and regardless of your opinions about michael jackson the man or michael jackson the father, there's no denying the musical genius of michael jackson, the inspiration he served to artists that have come after him. and we're going to see some of that in the tribute today. so many young people and artists inspired by michael jackson who emulated michael jackson.
good morning, on tuesday, july 7th, we are live in downtown los angeles for this special edition of american morning, and massive crowds are going to be gathering ahead of this morning's memorial service for the legendary singer and the pop culture icon, michael jackson. the lapd prepared for a mob scene, i guess you could say, but also a possibility that perhaps they can, they can send their officers away as quickly as they are ramped up if it turns out the people did listen and chose to stay at home if they did not have a ticket. 11,000 people allowed inside the staples center, but you have to have the gold wristband and the ticket to get here. they've closed off the perimeter, tried to limit the amount of people. two big highway exits are closed off, as well. they want to make sure this scene doesn't turn into one that's out of control as people try to pay their respects to michael jackson. everything that's going on inside the staples center center
today will be broadcast live. it'll be on cnn, on cnn.com, as well. they expect it could be the largest audience worldwide watching today. but even after his death, michael jackson still certainly has critics. all of that, today, is to be set aside for many. a lot of his fans say they don't care and don't want to hear that today, at least, they want to remember michael jackson. our kara finnstrom talking with fans on the street about his legacy. she joins us live just a few blocks from where we are at the staples center. and the last time we checked in, there were people there, not huge crowds. what's it like now? >> reporter: you know, still some strag lers out here. if we pan to the side real quickly here, you can see there are folks bundled up in blankets alongside these buildings. some of them have been out here, they say overnight, and then some of them just joining the crowds this morning. i want to do a 360 here and give you a look at the scene. you can see also some vendors
out here selling t-shirts already and then also a hot dog stand set up, as well. the lady in charge told us she brought out 1,000 hot dogs because she's expecting big crowds here today. and i want to bring in one of the fans who has been out here this morning. you slept out here, actually all night. why was it so important for you to be out here today? >> well, i grew up with the music of michael jackson. it wasn't really my time, but like my brother was a big fan since he was like 2 years old. so i grew up with his music and since i live close by, i think it was an experience of a lifetime and i took it. >> reporter: and you'll have plenty of company out here today. kiran also want to flip around and show you the barricades set up. that flashing red light is where you are. just down the street, most of these barricades set up about a block away and created a complete periphery around staples center. no one without wristbands or tickets allowed in. you can see the police presence.
i will let you know briefly, the police officers told us they have about 300 officers right now on the streets. they say they should increase to about 3,000 by the time this memorial gets underway. and just for a little context there, you know, we had 2,000 police officers on the street for that big parade that followed the l.a. lakers' victory. so quite a police presence expected here today. >> right. and they had about 750,000 people on the street is what they were estimating. i talked to the police chief of the los angeles police department. they said they haven't braced if this many people, or in terms of the mobilization efforts since the convention, the political convention back -- or the olympics back in 1984. they're ready and the interesting thing is they're going to be ready for the situation around the memorial, as well, police and fire personnel are going to be assigned to duties there, as well. they also issued what they call
a tactical alert and allows the police department to hold officers for 12-hour shifts and respond to high priority calls. before it gets underway today, michael jackson's family and close friends will be gathering in hollywood hills at the forest long cemetery and they'll be saying their private good-byes to michael. in the meantime, a new mystery surrounding michael jackson's burial. family members and a hearse spotted late last night at that cemetery. a woman in sunglasses you're about to see believed to be michael's sister latoyia, we understand the jackson family is expected less than three hours from now. what else do you know for that private service, ted? >> reporter: well, the jackson family has been very tight-lipped about their private ceremony or service gathering there calling it here at the mortuary. you saw the video of them coming here last night and they were private about that. not saying publicly what the
event was or the gathering, viewing or not, there's a hearse here and members of the jackson family, and then this morning, we are expecting much of the same thing. at 8:00 pacific time, after this gathering, the california highway patrol will be escorting the family from here to the staples center so they can also take part in the very public memorial service. one thing we do know in all of this is the investigation into michael jackson's death is still ongoing. the investigation continues into why jackson who apparently was healthy enough for concert rehearsals died at the age of 50. monday we learned three search warrants had been issued in this case, which is still being classified as a death investigation. >> there were three warrants signed by a judge. they are sealed. >> according to the associated press, diprivan, typically only used in hospital settings was
found at jackson's home. the same drug this nurse claims jackson asked her for a few months ago. the dea is helping the police department. >> we routinely work with each other for anything that has to do with drugs, the dea are the experts on that. and if you're looking at the prescription issues, where else would you go? >> meanwhile in court, the judge awarded temporary control of jackson's estate to his former attorney who worked for jackson when the will was written and the singer's music industry friend john mclane. attorneys for jackson's mother fought the ruling, she still has custody of the three children. >> reporter: and another thing that is still a mystery here, kiran, is jackson's body. will he be in turn buried here this morning at the family gathering? or will he -- or will the body possibly be taken to staples center? there are reports that could be a possibility. again, jackson family being very tight-lipped, tight security, as well just as you're experiencing
at staples center. this area has been cordoned off in anticipation of the gathering of the family. >> ted, interestingly, i asked reverend al sharpton about that. i said, you know, there are these reports that michael jackson's casket may be brought here to the staples center, and he said he couldn't give me any information about that. that is some of the speculation this morning. we will find out soon, this is set to take place in just under five hours. thanks so much. and cnn is the place to see the michael jackson memorial. we have a team of correspondents and producers on the ground. everybody also is keeping people informed up to the minute through twitter, as well, blogging, cnn.com/amfix. you can follow us on twitter.com/amfix. also starting at noon eastern 9:00 pacific, we'll begin our special coverage of the jackson memorial here at the staples center.
and if you are away from your tv, you can watch it on the web, as well. cnn.com/live. >> thanks. you know, fans call him the undisputed king of pop. and even in death, michael jackson is setting records in the music business. we're going to have much more in just a moment. seven minutes after the hour.
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our own kiran is outside the staples center. and our special coverage right here on cnn continues throughout the day and it begins led by our anderson cooper and a team of our other correspondents at noon eastern time. stay tuned for that. since michael jackson's passing, sales of his music literally have gone through the roof. his albums hold the top three spots on the billboard charts right now. and more than 2 million michael jackson tracks have been downloaded just incredible. billboard's editorial director joins me now to talk about this. bill, it's really incredible when you think about it. you're looking at -- you hear his music everywhere, first of all, on the radio. you can't turn on the radio without hearing him. and three of his albums right now, top three spots on the billboard charts, this has never happened before. how significant is this? >> we're a 115-year-old brand and this is an unprecedented
development. that's really saying something. i think this is the first time in history that an artist from the catalog charts, an album out more than 18 months has outsold the contemporary, it was a startling feed. >> when i was reading it, i think it was eight platinum albums, six multiplatinum, thriller the best selling album of all time. when you read his list of accomplishments, it's really incredible. give us a sense, you know, because we call him the king of pop. why was he so significant? talk about some of the records he's broken. >> i think for starters, the guy sold more albums than anyone -- certainly more albums than any other pop star, more albums than elvis, the beatles, more number one singles than anyone other than i think elvis. >> we're looking at billie jean.
that was the first video of a black artist to be on mtv's regular rotation. >> he innovated the pop world. he meant a lot to people in that regard not only because he was able to be a trail blazer like that, but it meant a long. in a time before talking about love and children and things, he really, you know, he was a doer of good in the world. and he kind of behaved the way all wanted to behave. >> i grew up with a michael jackson poster on my wall. i'll never forget him moonwalking to billie jean. the one thing i want to talk about is he has developed a new fan base even in death interestingly enough. and i mean, the hits are going to keep oncoming. there will be tribute albums, the rehearsal performance is going to come out, as well, and that'll sell too. >> i'm sure it will.
there's some deals and, you know, to be worked out. aeg has hundreds of hours of footage by all accounts, including his final performance, his final rehearsal for the concert that these millions of people never got to see. it's going to sell through the roof. no question. >> that was taken two days before his death. and he looks really, really thin. from your estimation, how do you think he looked? >> i thought he looked great. he definitely looked thin. but as i've seen this footage, he seemed able to perform and seemed spot on with his dance moves and choreography. >> you're a music buff, how are you going to remember michael jackson? >> my favorite album is off the wall. i feel you can play that beginning to end. i'll remember him for his performance. what's been great about the last week or so is watching this world take a breath and let go of any concerns they have and get back to enjoying michael the performer that they all once loved. >> i was talking earlier about you can't turn on a radio without hearing one of his songs, it's a somber and solemn
moment to remember him today, but to hear his -- i've been reliving the love i had for his music. >> if you go back and look at the youtube videos, where he moonwalked for the first time, videos from off the wall or "thriller." if you don't go back and connect with those images, i think you're holding on to some anger or something. he was an amazing performer. >> thank you so much for sharing some of those moments with us. we appreciate it. >> great to be here. >> we want to hear from you, as well. share your thoughts and memories of michael jackson, head to cnn.com/amfix. we've been hearing from all of you throughout the past week or so. also, you know, a lot to talk about with respect to the investigation. what exactly caused michael jackson's death? our dr. sanjay gupta has been looking into it. he's going to join us live next. 14 minutes after the hour.
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5:17 in the morning here in los angeles. and it's eerily quiet. they're expecting huge, huge numbers of people to come out for this public memorial for michael jackson. this is in addition to the just 11,000 that actually got tickets and will be inside the staples center and several thousand others who will be watching it right next door on huge screens at the nokia theater. but, again, it's 5:15 here. this service is set to get underway in just under five
hours. and we are pretty quiet out here today. but police here in los angeles are certainly bracing for a record turnout, they're closing down exit ramps in the vicinity of this area to try to keep traffic flowing. there's temporary parking signs everywhere. kara finnstrom's on that checking in with us in a few minutes. meanwhile, the millions of fans around the world are still wondering how the singer died. let's bring in dr. sanjay gupta. he's been working on this story all week. and sanjay, as we talked about before, we're awaiting the public release of this toxicology report. >> right. >> in the meantime, are investigators are getting closer to figuring out the official cause of michael jackson's death? >> the official answer is they say things are still in process. as far as the autopsy goes. but the reality is i can tell you, when it comes to the toxicology, which a lot of people are obviously focusing on as a result of this investigation, a lot of those answers probably already came back.
when this sort of testing occurs, you get some answers back quickly, within a day or so, and then there are more sophisticated tests to figure out if there were certain chemicals in the body, how high were the levels? therapeutic levels, toxic levels, or lethal levels? and those testing results should've come back by now. i think what's happening, kiran, they're trying to complete the entire autopsy, which means looking at various tissue including the brain, the liver, various organs, and painting a complete picture of exactly what happened to him. but, you know, from a medical examiner standpoint, you have certain ideas, certain clues that start to make more and more sense and you zero in on them, and i think that process is going on now. >> and speaking of zeroing in on something, what habit this drug diprivan also known as propofol that has taken center stage in this story. are they going to be able to find out if that was in his system at the time of his death if indeed it contributed to his
death? >> i've got to tell you it's one of the most unusual things i've heard about as a physician, this idea of using it in a non-medical setting, in a home setting, for example. and no one knows if that's what happened. but we do know, for example, sources have told me that there was a doctor who traveled around with him and gave him some sort of anesthetic. and as you know, they took things out of his home that were likely propofol or diprivan, as well. it is a medication that lasts a very short time. it has what's called a very short half-life. just a few minutes. so are you able to test for it hours later or even days later? and the answer, you know, it was really hard to come by. no one really knows, it's not part of formal toxicology testing, but some told me you can test for byproducts of diprivan and you may find it in the liver or the bloodstream. it's going to be interesting to see how they piece that together. it's not something that's normally routinely done, kiran.
>> and there was also a private autopsy that was requested by the jackson family, as well. did they get the results of that? and when can we expect to hear publicly whether or not those -- that autopsy yielded any information. >> well, one thing about a second autopsy or private autopsy in this case is the flow of information is completely controlled by the family. so they don't necessarily ever have to release that information, but much in the way that we're talking about the first autopsy. when it comes to the toxicology stuff, my guess is a lot of that information has already come back. so there's probably a lot of information already out there and people know this information, but are waiting to release it. quick example, when you look at someone's strands of hair, for example, you may know they had a certain chemical in their body at the time of death, but how long had that chemical been around? had they been using it chronically over years and months. you can sort of get an idea of just when the use started and how long it'd been going on. that's sort of the detailed level of testing that was probably occurring even today,
kiran. >> sanjay gupta for us, continuing to follow the latest on this medical angle. what did eventually kill michael jackson. still a lot of questions to be answered there. thanks, sanjay. alina? >> kiran, thanks. she calls it the right move, not a comfortable one. says she's a fighter, not a quitter. our drew griffin tracked down sarah palin, he went one-on-one with the alaskan governor and we'll have that interview next.
bomb shell investigation. drew griffin live in anchorage for us this morning. drew, you actually tracked down the governor while she was on a fishing trip with her family. what did she say to you? >> reporter: first of all, she and her attorney trying to make clear there is no shoe about to drop, no scandal, no irs, no fbi, no nothing. so the question is, why, governor, did you quit? she wants to get across the point, alina that this is about governoring in the state of alaska. she's become a distraction because she's been a lightning rod for ethics complaints that are dragging down the state business. she's been planning this for a while. july 3rd was deliberately set as her independence day. but again i asked her, she was a pit bull with lipstick during the campaign. i asked her if in the end it became too tough for her? >> tough, no, i'm not going to take that comfortable path, i'm going to take the right path for the state. i'm going to let the state progress and get out there and
help people, help effect change in our state and positive change in our nation, that is my goal. helping to work for other people to do such a thing. and i don't need a title to do that. and they don't need titles either to effect change, but i want to help people to fight for the right thing. >> reporter: if that is the right road for alaska, is it the dangerous road for you to be labeled a quitter? >> i'm certainly not a quitter, i'm a fighter and that's why i'm doing this. to fight for what is right without the constraints that's been surrounding me in the final months and anyone who lives in alaska will tell us of course our administration has been paralyzed. we spend most of our day fending off frivolous lawsuits. it's not a matter of retreating or quitting, it's a matter of progressing. and forwarding a good positive agenda. in an unconventional way. and i think that's what caught people off guard, that's kind of out of the box and unconventional, well, that is who we are as alaskans, that's
certainly h lly i am as a publi servant, a person very proud of my state, seeing great potential in my state, unconventional in the way we're getting things done, but certainly getting them done. >> reporter: is this your unconventional way of announcing you're going to run for president in 2012. >> as i said, i don't need a title, nobody does to effect positive change. >> political office? >> i can't see me totally out of public service because that is within me. it is the way that i'm wired. >> reporter: governor, i'm asking you, are you ever going to run for president? are you ruling it out? >> all options are going to continue to be on the table as they have been for me my entire life. i'm not going to close any door that may be open out there for me. all options are on the table. >> reporter: july 3rd was deliberate? >> july 3rd was deliberate, that was a good catch. that was the eve of independence day. >> well, it was a declaration of come on, alaska, let's move
forward, i'm willing to step aside and allow our state to progress. i love alaska that much. i don't want to hamper its progress and its potential and our path on reaching our destiny. our destiny is to contribute more to the u.s., to provide that energy independence and that national security aspect. i don't want to get in the way of that. and i'm willing to step aside and fight for what's right on a different path. so it's not retreat, it's progress. >> reporter: alina, even in that setting, i felt like she was still on the campaign trail talking, but i must tell you, she did seem very much at ease, very comfortable with the decision she made even though here in alaska many people believe she's committed political suicide. >> interesting. fascinating interview, drew. drew griffin live for us in anchorage, alaska. drew, as always, thank you. of course the other big story we are watching today, the star-studded memorial service for michael jackson. and out there in los angeles
covering it all from outside the staples center, our own kiran. good morning again. >> hey there, alina, 29 minutes after the hour. we're in the staples center in los angeles. it's eerily quiet. they expected these massive crowds out today, so far, though, you hear some helicopters overhead, i'm sure you can hear that and all of the camera crews outside to cover this live and inside of course, they're going to be feeding live to broadcast cnn.com and cnn, of course, our network is going to be broadcasting this event live. meanwhile, they were hoping that many who wanted to come out and didn't have tickets would stay home to watch it. so far even though they've set up a big perimeter barricaded some of the streets, put up temporary no parking signs and closed off exits. right now there are not huge crowds, but we still have hours to go, that could happen. meanwhile, as we know, michael jackson died after cardiac
arrest on june 25th. and since then, these arrangements have been made for some sort of memorial, some way for thousands of loyal fans to join in saying good-bye and that's what we have here today. he is, of course, the most successful recording artist in history and there are so many who say they don't know why, but michael jackson touched them in such a unique way that they will always remember him, and they wanted to have a chance to say good-bye. erica hill is taking a look at who will be paying tribute. >> reporter: a final tribute to the king of pop. the man who forever changed the way the world experiences music has firmly altered an industry. >> i think that all of the young men singers and some of the young ladies who have come behind him have in some way mimicked him. >> this man was my inspiration. i would not be the entertainer i am today had he not been who he was.
culture and music would not be what it was without michael jackson. >> reporter: both smokey robinson and usher will take the stage tuesday in los angeles bridging generations and boundaries. also slated to appear, john mayer, american idol jennifer hudson, pop star mariah carey and stevie wonder. industry greats dwarfed by the occasion. >> this memorial's going to be very, very emotional. it will also be something that everyone will always be able to remember because it's going to be a trip down memory lane. >> a lot of the stars and celebrities will put their egos away. >> reporter: stars like sean p. diddy combs. brooke shields will also be at the memorial along with al sharpton, martin luther king
iii, kobe bryant, and barry gordy who signed the jackson 5 to motown records. debbie rowe will not be attending, nor will his long-time friend dame elizabeth taylor who tweeted today she didn't believe michael would want me to share my grief with others. ♪ we are the world, we are the children ♪ >> reporter: linel ritchie co-wrote "we are the world." >> probably the largest, largest singer/song writer artist i should say, dancer, performer in the world ever in the world. and now he will be the king of pop forever. >> the legacy is that he was an innova innovator. his legacy is that he was michael jackson.
>> reporter: a complicated life, but an undeniable soul. erica hill, cnn, new york. >> you know, the other interesting thing, alina, there are so many going to be coming out there to pay tribute, possibly to participate, perform, and when i talked to reverend al sharpton an hour ago, he said there's word that muhammad ali may be making his way to the staples center to join in the public memorial today. >> incredible. and kiran, two people, three people, actually, notable exceptions of people who won't be going, elizabeth taylor, who said michael jackson would not want her to mourn in public and also debbie rowe and lisa marie presley. live throughout the morning. meanwhile it is 33 minutes after the hour. we're going to fast forward to stories that will be making news later today. minnesota's senator-elect al franken will officially become senator franken. when vice president biden will
swear him in at noon eastern time today. also on the hill today, rhode island representative patrick kennedy, congressman kennedy will return to washington today after spending nearly a month in a drug treatment center. kennedy checked into the center last month but says he's now feeling healthy and strong. and president obama continues his trip in russia this morning. at 10:30 eastern time, he's going to be attending a reception with russian president medvedev, coming hours after speaking with putin who some say is the real man in power there. it was an important conversation, which president obama talked about with our own ed henry earlier this morning. >> i found him to be tough, smart, very sentimental, i think he's a practical person, and to the extent that there are common interests, like fighting terrorism, potentially nuclear proliferation, where he believes
that working with the united states will advance russian goals, i think he can be a potential partner. >> president obama speaking to our own ed henry. we'll have much more after the break. it's 35 minutes after the hour. the gold delta skymiles credit card... from american express... it's the official card... largest airline. of the world's and it's the only credit card... that earns miles on delta. miles that take you... to more places than ever before.
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♪ and there it was. that was the final dress rehearsal that was shot two days before the death of michael jackson. that was shot on june 23rd. he was prepping for the big performances, he was going to be giving in london. welcome back to the most news in the morning. we're live from the staples center this morning. and for more than 25 years, my next guest had access to michael jackson, that very few people enjoyed. he was michael jackson's celebrity photographer. kevin mayser is the co-founder of wireimage.com, and later
today he'll be photographing jackson's memorial service. he joins me to share his memories of michael. so you were at that rehearsal, as well, snapping photos of michael as he prepped to go back on stage and to do this "this is it" series of concerts. how did he look to you? >> like the same michael jackson i've photographed. and he was in perfect health from what i saw, jumping around, having a good time, very upbeat, enjoying himself with the dancers and the dancers are all in their 20s and he was keeping up with them, going toe to toe. >> and you can imagine what it must have been like for them to embark on the opportunity of a lifetime. and you said you were in london shocked to hear about michael's death on the 25th. >> yeah, i was photographing elton john's ball, and elton told me that michael died and i didn't believe it at first. and i said there are always so many rumors around michael. and then later on somebody came up to me and said cnn has
confirmed that michael died. and i said cnn saying it, i better call back to l.a. and find out. >> we look at him, he seems to be full of energy, and he seems to be as precise as he ever was. you watch some of his concert footage. what did you make of the talk around him that he suffered from severe insomnia and was suffering with that and looking for any way to try to get some sleep. did you see that, the type of pressure before you're about to embark of something so physical of a concert? >> i didn't see that. i was at the rehearsal and he was full of energy, full of life. ready to work. he was really into the show. they put on this amazing production, i couldn't wait to see it at the o-2 arena with all of the fans. they were going to do "thriller" in 3-d, he always threw some element in the show to do something different. from doing his cherry picker bit, going over the crowd, to
him shooting up out of the floor, the stage. >> and now it's just what people do at concerts, but you forget he pioneered a lot of that stuff. but kevin, what do you think he would make of this? a lot of people are making money off the death of michael jackson? and today's memorial service while many are remembering him, it is a humongous media event. >> yeah. i was shocked too. to see all of the guys selling merchandise and bootleg shirts and photos when i was driving here. >> would it bother michael jackson? >> i really i don't know. i couldn't tell you. >> what did he think about the fame that surrounded him? the fact there was so much interest in his personal life and the fact there were so many around him who some say wanted something from him. >> well, i really didn't know him on a personal level like that. it was always a working relationship with me and him. but the one thing is, he was
total perfectionist, one of the greatest entertainers in the world, and he loved his fans. he was always all about his fans. he would take so much time out with his fans. we did a record signing in new york once. and he would stop for all the fans and he would like, kevin take a picture of me with this fan. and he was very, very into his fans. >> and you're going to be taking pictures today at that memorial service. what type of images are you looking to capture? >> i'm here to document everything for the family. it's going to be an amazing service, i can't wait. >> thanks for joining us this morning. we look forward to seeing those photos after today's service. thanks. >> thank you. we also want to hear from you. we want you to share your thoughts, your favorite memories of michael jackson. where to find it, cnn.com/amfix.
♪ he died on june 25th, but the king of pop will be remembered today in a star-studded memorial service at the staples center in los angeles. our kiran will be there. but first, welcome back to the most news in the morning. our correspondents covering all sides of the memorial this morning, including our very own jason carroll live in gary,
indiana, he's actually at the singer's childhood home. and jason, i know you're taking a look back at his early rise to super stardom. you even tracked down his elementary school principal who is 93 years old. just incredible. what did she say? >> reporter: she was an incredible woman. she had so many little anecdotal stories about michael jackson from back in the day. first let's get to where i am right now. we are right here in front of the jackson home. this is where it all started. alina, you can see the cards, letters, flowers, everything that the fans have left here. when michael jackson grew up here, it wasn't about the controversy, it wasn't about the problems, it was about the music this young man created right inside this home. one thing about child prodigies, when it comes to their talent, signs of greatness show up early. in michael jackson's case it was way before the ed zsullivan sho,
it was in kindergarten. >> he wanted to sing a song for his class. >> reporter: gladys johnson was jackson's principal at garnett elementary school in gary, indiana. to this day, she still remembers the young michael. >> you didn't even know he was there. if he hadn't raised such a in the kindergarten, i wouldn't have known he was there. >> reporter: he joined the group at age 5, winning talent contests, and catching the eye of gordon key. >> this kid is super. >> reporter: and then owner of steel town records who signed the group to their first record deal. >> i know throughout your time you've come across a lot of talented singers, why was michael jackson special? >> better than james brown. >> that's why you signed him? >> that's right. >> reporter: under his label, they released the first regional hit "big boy." >> the way it was back in the
day. >> reporter: the group stayed with him for five years before motown called, their first manager at motown saw the two sides of michael, then 9 years old. >> off stage, you would think this was just a little boy doing his coloring, watching his cartoons, and when he got on stage, he -- he was incredible. >> reporter: in 1969 appearing on "the ed sullivan show," capturing the spotlight with "i want you back." off stage, even then his manager saw signs of what jackson would become. >> you know, when people talk about billie jean and the moonwalk and "thriller," he was doing this kind of stuff when he was 10 years old. >> reporter: that was jackson before he left the group and would go on to show mortals how
to moonwalk or being the king of pop, he was the quiet little prince of the playground, who wanted his spot in the kindergarten show. >> one of the sweetest things you ever saw. he just wanted to go up. >> reporter: well, a lot of his fans wish they could do just that, give michael jackson a hug. the mayor of gary, indiana, wants to turn this home into a museum. and later this week on friday, they're going to be having a memorial service right here in jackson's hometown at a stadium not too far from here, some 5,000 people expected to pay tribute to their hometown hero. alina? >> jason carroll live for us outside the childhood home of michael jackson in gary, indiana. thank you. 49 minutes after the hour. [exci] it's got the line. it has a chance. will it? will it? (male announcer) something new to crave. the cr-v, from honda.
>> welcome back to a special edition of american morning. we're going to get to kiran outside the staples center in downtown los angeles in just a moment. where really in a couple of hours the memorial for michael jackson will be held. it could be the most watched media event in history when you consider since elvis presley died, you know, there was the advent of the internet. certainly 17,500 lucky fans will be there too. they were the ones that got tickets to the staples center. in life, wherever michael jackson went, a hoard of media would follow. it's not surprising the media has converged for jackson's final act. a massive public memorial to be broadcast around the world. our jarm a.j. hammer is looking at how our cnn and others will get it done. >> reporter: outside the staples center, the global media is in a
full court press. >> it's big. in some ways like princess diana's funeral. worldwide imprint. >> reporter: cnn producers, reporters, crews, and colleagues from around the world have their game face on. >> since he died, we have been making lives on every newscast. we never stop. >> reporter: 11 days after news first trickled out of an ambulance call eed to michael jackson's home. >> it's been 24/7. i've been on the job through twitter, people twittering me, tweeting me, it's been nonstop since june 25th. >> reporter: news coverage of jackson's sudden death hits the crescendo tuesday with the public memorial. and team cnn is racing against the clock to be ready. >> start putting out and moved forward from there. started hanging our lights, choosing our background, trying
to pick what's going to be the best shot for us. and then it's a lot of sweat and labor from there. >> they've already started making us wear these wristbands. do we have enough wristband? what if somebody loses their wristband. >> reporter: alec moran is finding this one a particular challenge. >> this event is different than a lot of others because usually we just have a clue as to what -- i mean we don't know right now, we don't know how long it's going to be, we don't know very much, and we're going to be tap dancing a lot. >> reporter: the only sure thing is almost 27,000 jackson fans, friends, and family will be on hand for the memorial and cnn will be sending it to millions around the globe. >> sleep, right. i don't see that in my future. >> reporter: a.j. hammer, cnn, new york. a moment in history. 55 minutes after the hour. back after this. ♪ 'cause now i'm driving off the lot in a used sub-compact. ♪
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all right. welcome back. we are live outside the staples center this morning. michael jackson's memorial service set to take place. huge public memorial just hours from now. and here is the scene of the sun coming out here at nearly 6:00 out here l.a. time. so in four hours, this is when the service gets underway. joining me now a sociology professor, culture critic and somebody who met michael jackson a few times. you met him actually at johnny cochran's funeral. >> right. >> and i'm sure this is one of the things you'll talk about with your students. what determined who makes such a cultural impact on our society? for better or for worse, whatever your personal feelings are about michael jackson, there's no doubt the impact he's made on american pop culture. why? >> well, i think first of all, he had an extraordinary genius.
at 6 or 7 years old, he understood he loved jackie wilson, loved james brown, william hur, a lead singer, who knows that at 6 or 7? who knows it at 50 for some of us. he was a musical genius that was able to channel that boyhood voice, he was channelling sam cook, but also tapped into the vulnerability of his humanity and i think the globe has responded with an outpouring of love because they felt what he struggled with. >> you look around today, what motivates people to fly from all over the world, take off from work, come to a place where they're not guaranteed to get anywhere to be part of remembering publicly this singer? >> it is isn't it something? in a world of cyber space where people can just tap in online, they still want to be there. that's old school. they're analog in a digital world. ey
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