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CNN CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT

Interview With Jermaine Jackson; Celebrities Speak Out Against War With Iraq

Aired December 10, 2002 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CONNIE CHUNG, HOST: Good evening. I'm Connie Chung.
Tonight: 100 stars tell President Bush: Stop the war talk. Should the president care?

ANNOUNCER: Celebrities out in force protesting a war with Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANEANE GAROFALO, ACTRESS: We feel that military action in Iraq will allow the terrorists to fan the flames of anti-American sentiment.

MIKE FARRELL, ACTOR: We feel that it is a preordained fact that the war will go forward, whether the inspectors do their job or not.

MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR: It's the responsibility of all of us to pursue peace for its own sake.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: But the war drums continue to beat louder.

And the story of one family, all three children sent to fight for their country.

A parish priest is dead, a church trainee accused of murdering his mentor and setting a fire as a cover-up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is going to be missed. He was a heck of a guy,

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The one that murdered him has to suffer. And he'll pay the price.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: The community and the congregation are left wondering why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I loved him. I really did. And I'm going to miss him terribly. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Why is Michael Jackson off the charts and making more headlines off stage? Tonight, Jermaine Jackson answers tough questions and offers an inside look at his brother Michael.

And who will be our "Person of the Day"?

This is CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT. Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York: Connie Chung.

CHUNG: Good evening.

The war drums are getting louder and, tonight, so are the anti- war voices. Today, former President Jimmy Carter, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway, expressed his views on the subject, saying peace cannot be built by -- quote -- "killing each other's children." Carter warned Saddam Hussein to come clean, but also warned against any nation launching an unprovoked attack on Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We must remember that today there are at least eight nuclear nations on earth, and three of these are threatening to their own neighbors in areas of great international tension. For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventive war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHUNG: And, as a bigger force of U.N. inspectors fanned out over Iraq, anti-war rallies echoed the sentiment in dozens of cities and towns across America today, though few drew more than a couple of hundred protesters.

And A letter released today signed by dozens of celebrity said an unprovoked attack on Iraq would kill innocent Iraqis, fuel anti- American sentiment, and increase the likelihood of anti-U.S. terrorism. Signers included singer David Mathews, Bonnie Raitt, actors Matt Damon, Noah Wyle, Samuel L. Jackson, and Martin Sheen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR: We love our country enough to risk its wrath by calling attention to its dark spots, the areas that it's blind to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHUNG: We begin tonight with actress Janeane Garofalo; and, in Los Angeles, actor Mike Farrell of "M.A.S.H." and "Providence."

Thank you both for being with us.

Janeane, let's start with you. FARRELL: Thank you.

CHUNG: Yes, thank you, Mike.

We'll start with you.

You are against, according to the letter, a preemptive strike. Now, if the inspectors find a material breach, would you support war?

JANEANE GAROFALO, ACTRESS: That's a tough, very difficult question to answer, because I think one needs to wait and see if they find something.

I'd hate to -- you are going to profile that family with their three kids. I would hate to see them get injured in a war against Iraq. Wait a minute, and I also want to take issue about -- with what you said about a couple of hundred of people attending these peace rallies. I don't believe that. And I think the mainstream media has been guilty of under...

CHUNG: Do you think we're misreporting that, actually, that we're saying that there are a couple hundred when there aren't?

GAROFALO: I think the mainstream media has been guilty of under- reporting a vast and growing peace movement. I've been attending some peace rallies for months and months now. And every time you read about them in the paper, it under-reports how many people. I'm not accusing you on this point. I'm saying I'm skeptical about

(CROSSTALK)

CHUNG: Are you saying we're actually counting these people and misrepresenting how many people are there?

GAROFALO: No, I'm saying you are probably actually undercounting these people. And, again, we are getting off point for that.

But I do believe, in the mainstream media, what you said, the drums of war are beating. I don't really know why there this kind of anxious rush to war. It seems as if -- this is just me as a citizen, not an actor. And, again, I wish people would forget that actors are signing something. There's diplomats and military personnel on this letter to the president, and people from all walks of life, Howard Zinn, and many wonderful people.

I don't understand the rush to war that puts Americans in further danger. It's going to put Israel and Palestine in more escalated danger. I just don't -- I feel the mainstream media has decided it's real ratings coup to be excited about war. That's me as a citizen talking. You are skeptical.

CHUNG: All right, but you just said something earlier that I just want to address before I go to Mike Farrell.

And that is, you talked about this family with three children who are all soldiers. But the reality is, don't you feel a bit of responsibility in the sense of being supportive of them?

GAROFALO: Yes, I do. How is me wanting to keep Americans safe and wanting to keep them safe unsupportive? That's another bizarre tactic of trying to get people not to speak out. You accuse them...

CHUNG: All right, Mike Farrell.

GAROFALO: OK. Yes, Mike Farrell, go.

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: Mike Farrell, in the letter, you call the talk of war in Washington alarming and unnecessary. But this isn't a tea party. Won't you concede that Saddam Hussein needs tough talk in order to comply with the U.N. requirements?

FARRELL: Connie, I think that the United Nations inspectors found 95 percent of Saddam Hussein's weapons in the era between 1991 and 1998. There's no reason to believe that these inspectors can't do...

CHUNG: How do you know that?

FARRELL: The inspectors themselves have said so, found and dismantled and/or destroyed. And the inspectors unilaterally said so. And that was not disputed by anyone.

CHUNG: And what about now, though? How do you know...

FARRELL: What about now? What we are finding now is that inspectors are going in with a tougher mandate than they had before, with the absolute support of the Security Council. And they are getting the cooperation of the Iraqis.

So, my question is: What is the value of the administration's undercutting the job of the inspectors by picking at it, by criticizing them, by continuing to criticize the Iraqi government, when what we see so far is cooperation? What we see so far is the inspectors being able to do their jobs.

What we ought to be doing at this point, it seems to me, or what the administration ought to be doing is taking yes for an answer and ratcheting down rather than ratcheting up the drums of war.

CHUNG: Do you believe that the United States and Great Britain do not have solid evidence that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that they're misrepresenting the information?

FARRELL: Connie, we don't know that, because they have never been willing to produce it. The CIA said there were none. The testimony before the House and Senate said there were none. Hans Blix, the chief of the inspection team, said: If the United States or Great Britain has this evidence, it ought to give it to us so that we can then check it out.

What we are hearing is a lot of war talk, when we're not seeing any evidence that it's supported by anything, which brings me to the question of: What is the actual agenda that is being pursued here?

CHUNG: Janeane Garofalo, do you...

GAROFALO: Thank God Mike Farrell is here.

(LAUGHTER)

GAROFALO: You make me nervous.

I'm sorry, go ahead.

CHUNG: No, you don't mean that.

Do you believe that Saddam Hussein is a threat to world peace?

GAROFALO: I believe that Saddam Hussein, yes, seems like a very bad guy.

I went and saw Scott Ritter speak, former U.N. weapons inspector, Marine, on Monday morning. And, actually, he was corroborating what Mike Farrell said. He and his team in 1998, when they were withdrawn, had found about 95 percent of the weapons. If there was chemical weapons existing, their shelf life had basically expired.

CHUNG: He's the one inspector who's saying that.

GAROFALO: I doubt that that's true.

And, actually, like I said, I really feel that there's something wrong again with the mainstream media, to keep using that phrase. I feel, again, as a citizen, I'm just not getting any information. And all I keep hearing is war, war, war. It's this showdown in Iraq. It's this very aggressive and inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric that is pouring out of U.S. televisions.

And the innocent Iraqi people are not Saddam Hussein, you know? A lot of innocent Iraqis will suffer if we have a military strike against Iraq, and Americans as well, and Israelis and Palestinians.

CHUNG: Janeane Garofalo, Mike Farrell.

FARRELL: Hear, hear. Hear, hear.

GAROFALO: Thanks, Mike.

CHUNG: Thank you so much for being with us.

FARRELL: If I may. If I may, Connie.

CHUNG: Yes.

FARRELL: What we are being treated to is a kind of dualism, you know? It's either, Saddam Hussein is a bad guy or he's not. If he's a bad guy, we get to kill him.

There are a lot of people in the world who are bad guys. There are a lot of people in the world who are international criminals. And they ought to be brought before an international tribunal, like the International Criminal Court, which the United States continues to oppose, rather than support. It seems to me that we have an obligation in this country to demand that we live up to the principles that this country was based on and abide by the rule of law. And we're not doing that in this case.

CHUNG: All right, thank you, Mike. Mike Farrell, we thank you so much for being with us.

Janeane, also appreciate it.

On the other side of this debate tonight, we have two people who have a lot on the line if the U.S. attacks Iraq. William and Mary Staun have three children: Rosemarie, the oldest, is stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, along with her husband. She's expecting to go to Kuwait next month. William is a tank gunner already deployed to Kuwait. And Peggy is in the military police at Fort Benning, Georgia. She's been told she's also heading for the Middle East soon.

"USA Weekend" put all three on the cover, because it's so unusual for that many siblings all to head into combat. And that's also why we wanted to speak with their parents, who join us from Cincinnati.

Mary and William Staun, thank you so much for being with us.

Mr. Staun, you just heard this anti-war sentiment. How do you feel about that?

MARY STAUN, MOTHER OF U.S. MILITARY SOLDIERS: I feel that, honestly, people do not know what's going on over there.

Luckily, for the most part, the media is not telling us everything that's going on over there. If they did, our children would even be in more danger. I think we need to trust those that know what's happening and believe that they're doing the best for everyone.

CHUNG: Mr. Staun, how did it come about that all three of your children decided to go into the military and feel very strongly about the jobs that they feel they have to do?

WILLIAM STAUN, FATHER OF U.S. MILITARY SOLDIERS: Well, they just took a different career path.

Rosemarie went for education. She was looking to get a good education. And West Point looked like the proper school, the right need for her. And that took her into the military. Will, on the other hand, he played soldier from the time he was the smallest child. And I think he just never saw anything in his future except soldiering.

The youngest was kind of a mix. She wanted to go into law enforcement and saw the military as a way of getting some education and some training and some money for college and pursued it from that perspective. CHUNG: Mary, you have to be concerned. I mean, all of us saw that movie "Private Ryan." And I know that, as a mom, you have to be fearful of what might happen to your three children. How are you dealing with that?

M. STAUN: I try not to think of it. But the last couple weeks, everybody has been bringing it to the fore.

I pray a lot. I keep in contact with the kids. I depend on support from my husband, from my friends, from my family, from my peers at work. And I put it in the lord's hands and hope that he takes care of my children.

CHUNG: Do you think you'll be able to keep in touch with them once they get over there to the Middle East? Because I have a nephew who is in the Navy. And I was so surprised. These days, we can e- mail each other. Do you know if you'll be able to keep in touch with them?

M. STAUN: At this point, no, we don't. From what we understand, it's very primitive living. And they do not have computers. They have very limited access to phones. And mail takes anywhere from a week to three weeks to get to us.

CHUNG: Mr. Staun, are you worried about biological warfare?

W. STAUN: Well, I'm concerned. I mean, I have genuine concern for the safety of my children. But, on the other hand, I do know that they are conscious of these things, they are prepared to deal with these things, and that they're sensible young people who will do everything that they can to protect themselves from any kind of biological warfare.

CHUNG: Mr. Staun, I know, at their young ages, 19, 22 and 24, they all prepared wills and last testaments. Is that right?

M. STAUN: Yes.

W. STAUN: That's correct.

CHUNG: They were supposed to or they needed to. And wasn't that difficult?

W. STAUN: Yes, it was difficult. I think it was more difficult for me, because I had to accept these and hold onto them.

You know, when you're 19, 20, 25 years old, you're not interested in your mortality. You're not thinking about your death. Those are the years when we all thought we were invincible. And any time you do your last will and testament, then you are forced to think about your mortality, the possibility that you will die, the possibility that you will not return alive.

And that is difficult for them. And then they, in turn, give that to us. And it is also very difficult for us to receive it. The tendency is to say: No, I don't want to face that issue. CHUNG: Mary, there's that old tradition of putting a star out in the window for each of your children. You've done that, haven't you?

M. STAUN: Yes.

CHUNG: And, of course, the way it goes is, you change the color of a star if indeed there is anything untoward that happens to your children. But I know you -- is it white that's out there now?

M. STAUN: I've got white ones.

CHUNG: And then you change the color to gold or yellow if something...

M. STAUN: Right.

CHUNG: Well, you haven't bought any gold or yellow fabric, have you?

M. STAUN: No. And I'm not going to for a long time.

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: Good for you, Mary.

All right, thank you so much, Mary and William Staun. Please let your kids know that they're in our thoughts. And the best to both of you and your family.

M. STAUN: Thank you.

W. STAUN: Thank you very much, Connie.

CHUNG: Still ahead: a shocking crime, as a parish loses its priest to a killer and then finds out who the suspect is.

Stay with us.

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead: the Jackson Five, a band of brothers who became a Motown hit machine. But one Jackson was destined for superstar status. Now Jermaine Jackson speaks out on his little brother Mike.

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT returns in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: A Franciscan brother training to be a priest has a court date next month. And the charge is murder. The victim is a priest who led his church, led a fund-raising drive to save it, and even learned Polish so he could speak with immigrants in his Cleveland parish.

CNN's Jeff Flock has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are two felony charges.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man who wanted to wear the brown robe of a Franciscan friar stood instead the white jumpsuit of a prisoner; 37-year-old Daniel Montgomery entered a plea of not guilty to charges he murdered this beloved Cleveland priest and set his office on fire to hide the killing.

St. Stanislaus Church: faces of grief and shock and then more shock. Over the weekend, they were told 69-year-old Father William Gulas died in a fire in the rectory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is going to be missed. He was a heck of a guy, a heck of a guy.

FLOCK: Then came word that, when the father's body was X-rayed, they found a bullet in his chest. He didn't die in the fire. He'd been murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The one that murdered him has to suffer. And he'll pay the price, not Father. Father is in peace. Father is with Jesus now.

FLOCK: Still reeling, parishioners got yet another shock: word that Brother Dan Montgomery, a Franciscan in training who had been an assistant at the church, was arrested for the murder. Even more chilling: Montgomery had been comforting parishioners after the murder and had even talked to reporters about what happened.

DANIEL MONTGOMERY, SUSPECT: I saw the fire. I tried to put it out. I could not, so I called 911. But, unfortunately, it was too late when the fire department got here.

FLOCK: We talked to parishioner Dennis Terez as he passed out candles at the Father's Gulas' prayer service. He says Montgomery served communion to him and his daughter on Sunday.

(on camera): Does this make sense to you at all?

DENNIS TEREZ, CHURCH MEMBER: The churches are here. It's a bridge, spiritual, to the human, human to the spiritual. Everyone in this parish has human frailties. Some are atrocious. Some are less so.

FLOCK (voice-over): Arson investigators continue to build a case against Montgomery. We saw them carrying evidence from the church before the prayer service. Montgomery is being held without bond until his next court appearance in January.

(on camera): Police won't talk about motive, but Montgomery's Franciscan order did say that he was scheduled to be transferred away from the church, essentially fired, this week. The order wouldn't say exactly why, except to say that it was obvious to them that he was not cut out to be a Franciscan brother.

I'm Jeff Flock, CNN, at the justice center in Cleveland, Ohio. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG: Joining us now from Cleveland is Ed Rybka, who has known Father Gulas and attended his services for nine years. He also happens to be a Cleveland city councilman.

Thank you, sir, for being with us.

ED RYBKA, CLEVELAND CITY COUNCILMAN: Nice to be with you.

CHUNG: When you found out, and how did you find out, that the priest had actually been shot and kill as opposed to killed by the fire?

RYBKA: I was notified by the mayor, Mayor Campbell's office of that. And it certainly changed the emotion from one of just overwhelming grief to actually anger as to who could do that to such a good, holy person in a holy place in a holy time of the year.

CHUNG: You'd only met Daniel Montgomery once, right? What were your impressions of him?

RYBKA: I'm not sure I concluded any. We were at a happy event. It was the expansion of a community garden just down the street from St. Stanislaus. And I just happened to be introduced to him to say hello. And I'm not sure I drew any conclusions at that time.

CHUNG: How do you remember Father Gulas? Remember him for us.

RYBKA: Someone who cared very deeply for people.

And I think, therefore, the outpouring of warmth and the level of grief is a testimony to that. He came to Cleveland and St. Stanislaus in 1993, saw a great cathedral-like church edifice that was with peeling paint and plaster that was crumbling, oversaw $1.5 million restoration, and elevated that place -- and, especially from my perspective as an elected official, Cleveland city councilman, elevated St. Stanislaus to a real community center.

Just several weeks ago, an opera company performed in the church. He felt strongly that it was important to outreach to the surrounding community as well.

CHUNG: And tell me, sir, what do you think this has done to the community?

RYBKA: Oh, it's put us through some tough times these last few days, no question.

But I think his message to us is, use this as a rallying point, to continue to cherish that great place, St. Stanislaus, and that great historic Broadway-Slavic Village community and continue to reach out to others beyond the parish boundaries and to work for a better quality of life for all. I think that's what his message would be.

CHUNG: All right, good thought. Thank you, Councilman Ed Rybka. Thank you.

A quick update on a developing story: U.S. officials have seized an illegal shipment of Scud missiles on a vessel off the coast of Yemen. The ship apparently was bound from North Korea, but its destination is unknown.

Now tonight's look at "The World in: 60."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott is under fire and apologizing for saying the country would have been better off if Strom Thurmond, who ran on a segregationist platform, had been elected president in 1948.

At least a half-dozen Iraqi opposition groups will meet in London starting Friday to discuss life after Saddam Hussein.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan marked International Human Rights Day, saying the message of human rights brings hope to the poor and oppressed.

The driving force behind the Palestinian intifada, Marwan Barghouti, is calling for a change in the Palestinian leadership. The popular activist is in Israeli custody, accused of ordering suicide attacks.

With the Beijing Olympics just six years away, China is trying to get its pollution under control. It causes an estimated 170,000 deaths a year nationwide.

And former President Jimmy Carter accepted his Nobel Peace Prize today in Norway, saying a preventive against Iraq would have catastrophic consequences.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Next, Jermaine Jackson goes one-on-one with Connie on life in the Jackson family and the latest on his brother Michael.

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: Now the Jackson file: A California judge has excused Michael Jackson for missing testimony in the lawsuit against him. The judge told jurors in the breach of contract case that Jackson had a medical excuse. But what that is remains a mystery.

We've asked the older brother and solo artist in his own right, Jermaine Jackson, to join us tonight to talk about his brother Michael.

But first, a little history.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): The sounds, the steps, the magic, the Jacksons.

When this band of brothers from Indiana landed on the scene in 1968, pop music would never be the same: the maturity, the stage presence, and, of course, the hit records. From the Jackson Five to the Jacksons, it was a dynasty in the making. In front of it all: the one who would become the megastar of the family, Michael.

By the late '70s, the popularity of these boys-to-men had faded some. And, in 1978, Michael took his act to the big screen, starring as the scarecrow in "The Wiz."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE WIZ")

MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Out of the frying pan into the -- this is like a setup.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHUNG: It was, in more ways than one. The film's composer was the legendary Quincy Jones. And the very next year, things would change for Jackson forever.

The Jackson-Jones team was off the wall and off the charts. The Grammy success of Michael's first solo album put spark back into the family band. And, in 1981, the Jacksons embarked on the Triumph tour. But the power of five pale compared to what would happen next.

With hits like "Billie Jean" and "Beat It," the Jackson-Jones "Thriller" album redefined pop music in 1982. It earned seven Grammys, held the No. 1 spot for nearly 40 weeks, and still stands as the best-selling album of all time.

In 1984, all six Jackson brothers reunited again for the Victory tour, which grossed a record $75 million. At the time, it was the hottest concert ticket going and turned out to be the last time the Jacksons would tour together.

For years, success followed Michael. There were mishaps along the way, but nothing as shocking as what was about to happen. In 1994, the king of pop, the man who celebrated his love for the children of the world, stood accused of mild molestation.

M. JACKSON: I am totally innocent of any wrongdoing. And I know these terrible allegations will all be proven false.

CHUNG: Even his sister did not exonerate him.

LATOYA JACKSON, SISTER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I have never seen him molest boys, never. But I have seen things that indicate that that's what he was doing.

CHUNG: Jackson's life was put under a media microscope: accusations that he had multiple plastic surgeries, his surprise marriage to Lisa Marie Presley. When that marriage ended, he married his dermatologist's assistant, Debbie Rowe, now the mother of two of Jackson's three children.

At times, Michael Jackson tried to fight off the negative publicity, accusing his own record company of racist behavior.

M. JACKSON: Racism is bad. And I've made billions of dollars for Sony. And they -- what they did was really terrible. And I just leave it up to some of their other artists, too.

CHUNG: Now, at 44, Michael Jackson is still making headlines, not with successful recordings, but because of bizarre antics.

His recent appearance in court prompted Jackson-watchers to ask if what they were seeing was just a harmless act. But it was last month's shocking behavior in Berlin that caused others to ask serious questions about the pop icon. He dangled his 9-month-old son from a third-floor hotel balcony. Jackson later admitted that what he did was reckless. But even his diehard fans were wondering what their hero had become.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHUNG: Few people are in a better place to know than Michael's older brother, veteran of the Jackson Five and his own solo career, Jermaine Jackson, who joins us now from Los Angeles.

Jermaine, thank you so much for being with us and talking with us.

I know you've seen that picture of your brother time and time again with his child over that balcony. What do you think was going on?

JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL J. JACKSON: Well, Connie, like I said before, Michael's intent wasn't to hurt his child.

He was caught up in the moment. And I'll say it again. You judge a person by their intentions. He is a wonderful father. He's a great dad. He's great to our kids, my kids. And that wasn't his intent at all. And I think the media has taken things out of context. Yes, it wasn't the wisest thing to do. But, at the same time, he was caught up in the excitement. But they never showed the 60-some thousand fans down there being excited about his presence.

CHUNG: But, Jermaine, you have seven children. You would never have done anything like that, would you?

J. JACKSON: Connie, we've all made errors in judgment. We've all taken our kids and tossed them up in the air. And now we find out that that's not the proper thing to do, correct?

CHUNG: Well, but I don't think -- being a parent, I couldn't imagine even bringing my child even close to the balcony in that way.

J. JACKSON: No. What it is, is being caught up in the excitement. And he said that he was excited about the children being out there. And that wasn't his intent, to hurt his child. Really, it wasn't.

CHUNG: Your brother has made a number of court appearances recently. And his behavior has been kind of strange. He was sort of making faces like the devil. And what was that all about, do you think?

J. JACKSON: That was during recess. And there were some fans in the courtroom. And he was saying hi to them. And they were making faces at him. And he was making faces back at them.

But the way that was portrayed, as if he was making faces at the judge or whomever, that wasn't the case. But things are always revealed the wrong way, because this is what has happened. I think his consciousness has become a threat to society out there. And that's why whatever he does is being portrayed the wrong way.

CHUNG: What do you mean his consciousness has become a threat to society?

J. JACKSON: Meaning that Michael has put himself in the position to be economically independently strong financially. And they're going to say things.

I mean, I didn't see the clip that you showed. But to say racism, yes, there were words that Tommy Mottola referred to a rapper as a fat black N-word. And we know that that album -- I mean, you've seen the papers in New York.

CHUNG: Well, you've jumped onto a different subject. And I just want to clarify for our viewers that...

J. JACKSON: OK, I'll finish.

Irv Gotti was referred to as a fat black nigger, Irv Gotti. And these are things that go on. I mean, we look at the Enron situation. The record industry is the same way. And then there was something about his album and he's blaming Sony for the sales. But there are a lot of other artists complaining about sales. It was just in the trades in the last three months, there's $45 million to $50 million being lost at Sony. So, who's to blame?

CHUNG: Well, Jermaine, I know. Just so that we can clarify for our viewers, he did say that this record executive named Tommy Mottola was racist. But that's a different subject.

I'm just talking about your brother's behavior, which has been -- don't you think it's kind of strange?

J. JACKSON: But, Connie, when you show a clip and you say that he's accusing someone else of racism, then I have to defend that, because my brother wasn't brought up to be racist. He wasn't brought up to accuse anybody that way. But when someone refers to someone else that way, you have to depict that.

I mean, Michael's behavior is no different from -- there's the Einsteins, who were considered as brilliant minds. But they consider him as to be weird. They never spoke about Michelangelo's looks. And he's changed his looks many, many times, but he's gone on to do some incredible works.

There's William Shakespeare, who is never talked about, the way he looked. And I think this is just -- leave him alone. Leave him alone. Yes, we're a family. We're a family. And he's a family member.

CHUNG: I understand what you're saying.

I think the only concern that people might have out there is that, sure, he can do whatever he wants, because he's earned the right to do that. But people are just concerned about his children.

J. JACKSON: No, his children are fine.

And, Connie, we've worked very, very hard over the years. I've referred to our family as an oak tree. There's some strong roots, strong root that go deep, deep, deep. And it is a tree that is beautiful. There are many different branches. There are many different family members. But, still, at the same time...

CHUNG: Do you actually see him with the family often?

J. JACKSON: Yes, yes, yes.

CHUNG: How often do you see him? How often does the family get together?

J. JACKSON: Connie, we are brothers and sisters. We get together, just like any other family. We have family day, when we come together. He'll bring his children over. We play. I have children his kids' age. And they play together.

But I think what it is, the media gets to a point where they want to sort of kick someone when they think they're down. No, it's not over with yet. We are never finished. We just pick our time and we take our breaks and we come back. And Michael is fine.

CHUNG: All right, Jermaine, don't go away. We're going to take a break.

And when we come back, we'll talk to a man who's been following the Jacksons for quite some time. And we'll continue to talk with Jermaine as well.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: The Jackson Five in 1969, when they were first harmonizing their way into the public eye on "The Ed Sullivan Show" with "I Want You Back."

Back now with Jermaine Jackson, along with Emil Wilbekin, the editor in chief of "Vibe" magazine, which recently included an interview with Michael Jackson.

Tell me, what were your impressions of Michael Jackson after that interview?

EMIL WILBEKIN, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "VIBE": Well, the interview was a very kind of basic interview, talked about Michael's influences, what music he was into Was he into hip-top, because Jay-Z had brought him out to a huge hip-hop concert here in New York? We talked about music, who his influences were.

And then we asked him things like what did he do for fun, which he said he liked to have balloon fights with his kids in the yard, stuff like that. He talked about 9/11 after the concert and going and hiding with Elizabeth Taylor, things like that.

So, they were pretty basic. He didn't want to talk about plastic surgery or his augmentation. And he was very clear about that. But, for the most part, he was very, very professional and actually kind of gave a lot. We were pleasantly surprised.

CHUNG: Do you think he was normal-ish? Or was he sort of acting in this bizarre way that we've seen recently?

WILBEKIN: Well, at this point, he wasn't doing all these kind of bizarre things that we're seeing in the media. He was a little bit more behind the scenes.

The album had just come out. And he was really kind of promoting the album. So, we hadn't heard anything about racism with Sony or complaints about his album and how things were done. I knew that he was having some financial problems. And we talked about that a little bit. But it was pretty basic.

CHUNG: What do you make of this recent bizarre behavior?

WILBEKIN: I'm not really sure. It's kind of startling, because it's almost as if you're watching this pop superstar that you grew up with kind of like imploding and kind of breaking down in some kind of way.

The baby picture was very startling when it was in the newspaper. And I was at a photo shoot that day for the magazine. And everyone was really horrified to see that on the cover of the New York tabloids, because it's just such a scary thought. And then, two days later, to see the kids at the zoo with the burkas on, and just all these kind of bizarre things, it's kind of saddening.

CHUNG: Jermaine, you just heard what Emil Wilbekin said. And I wonder how you react to what he said. And I think, honestly, Jermaine, this is what people are thinking about Michael.

J. JACKSON: Well, I'll tell you, Connie, today, we have problems with kidnappings and things of that sort. To deprive your children the chance to go out and be a part of society, there's a problem with that also. So, he feels free with his children. At the same time, I think this -- we speak about the plastic surgery and this and that. If everybody who had plastic surgery in Hollywood were to leave town, there wouldn't be anybody here.

(LAUGHTER)

J. JACKSON: So, we can't talk about plastic surgery here. What we need to speak about, judge him on his music. Judge him on what he's done, because I'll say it again. Leonardo da Vinci, who had dyslexia, who gone on to invent some incredible things.

But we take someone who we feel -- we build them up and then we tear them down. And I don't think that's fair. I mean, yes, it wasn't the wisest thing to do with the child. But he came out and he said he was caught up in the moment.

But, at the same time, when I look in his eyes and we hear him speak and we hear his heart, that's our brother. And we have to realize that -- look at the good things that he's done. And we are going to continue to do great things. And whether they talk or not, judge us on our music. Have you ever said that we did a bad show or he's done a bad record? No. No.

CHUNG: Jermaine.

J. JACKSON: And -- go ahead.

CHUNG: You did mention -- you brought up the plastic surgery. And it was a funny thing that you said. And you're probably right. Nobody would be left in L.A.

But your brother did tell Oprah Winfrey at one point that he -- let's see, the words that he used...

J. JACKSON: Vitiligo.

CHUNG: Well, and that he was never pleased with his looks. So, why do you think he's had so much work?

J. JACKSON: Well, I'll tell you, Connie, Vitiligo, which I'll answer, that it is a discoloration of the skin that -- it's sort of like a disease that eats away at the pigmentation of the skin.

CHUNG: Yes. Yes.

J. JACKSON: But, at the same time, we have people who want to go out in the sun who want to become darker.

I think, if I don't like something that's wrong with me or that I feel that I want to improve, I would make a change. You would do the same, whether it's a hairstyle or this or that. But I think, because he's in the public's eye and because of who he is, every little thing is taken out of context.

CHUNG: Jermaine...

J. JACKSON: We love him the same. We love him the same.

He's Michael. He's the greatest dad. And the fans don't feel that way. It's the media that want to sort of try to portray him to be this "Wacko Jacko" and all these crazy names. It's just hurting.

CHUNG: Jermaine, I want to give you a chance to talk about your project. Just, can you give me 30 seconds on your project?

J. JACKSON: I think, with all this stuff that's going on, there are more important things.

We are focused on the AIDS problem in Africa with EarthCare. And I think, to talk about someone's color, the way they look, there are more important things. People are dying in Africa. And our focus -- we're a 501(c)(3) foundation, Earth Care. We are busy building clinics in Gabon in South Africa. And that's where my focus is. And that's where the world's attention should be, not on war, but people getting together to become one.

CHUNG: Well, Jermaine, kudos to you for all the work that you've done. And I know -- you really aren't recording anymore, are you? But you did want me to listen to something, so you'll have to send it to me. Will you do that?

J. JACKSON: I'll send it to you.

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: OK.

Jermaine Jackson, thank you so much for being with us.

And, Emil, thank you, too, as well.

And when we come back: Why is Santa's lap off limits? This one, you're not going to believe.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: You're about to meet our "Person of the Day" and hear an amazing story.

But first, let's take a look at tonight's "Snapshot."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): A California doctor who allegedly prescribed addictive drugs to celebrities for cash may face criminal charges. "The Los Angeles Times" reports Winona Ryder and Courtney Love among Dr. Jules Mark Lusman's former patients.

The Billboard Awards were handed out last night in Las Vegas. Among the winners: Michael Jackson, presented with a special Thriller award. The family of a California man who died last month says he started the Bigfoot mystery in 1958 by faking the elusive creature's tracks using carved wooden feet. It was meant to scare thieves away.

Forty years of rock 'n' roll have taken a toll on The Who's Pete Townshend. He tells the "Sun" newspaper's he's losing his hearing.

You better watch out, Santa. Britain's Rotary Club is telling volunteer Santas they should not invite kids to sit on their knees and handshakes are preferable to kisses.

And what are you wishing for this Christmas? A Harris poll says 74 percent of those asked wished for good health, while 44 percent want to win the lottery.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Still ahead: Who will be our "Person of the Day"?

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: Tonight, our "Person of the Day" is someone who turned out to be someone else's person of a lifetime.

Terry Likens, captain of his volunteer fire department, was out looking for a fellow firefighter Sunday, a friend who had been missing six days. It turned out Terry's friend Robert Ward had driven off the road into a ravine the previous Monday. Ward survived a broken hip, frostbite and last week's snowstorm by keeping fires going in his car and eating Taco Bell sauce packets until he was found by our "Person of the Day", Terry Likens, who joins us now from Dunlow, Virginia (sic).

Terry, thanks so much for being with us.

TERRY LIKENS, VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER: Thank you.

CHUNG: OK.

Now, how did you find out that your friend was missing?

LIKENS: He had not shown up for work for a couple of days. And then his grandparents called us to see if we had heard from him. And it's not like him not to check on his grandmother every day, because she's not in real good health. And so that alerted us to something was wrong. So, we immediately started searching.

CHUNG: All right.

And you were with the last crew going out to look for him. And it had been six days. Did you think you would really find him?

LIKENS: We were beginning to lose hope that we would find him alive. But we were going to keep looking until we found him, one way or the other.

CHUNG: Tell me about the moment that you did find him.

LIKENS: It's just an indescribable feeling of relief and joy when we heard his voice. And then that moment only lasted for a minute, because we knew we had to get him up, get him out of there, and get him some help.

CHUNG: Could you only hear him? You couldn't see him?

LIKENS: Yes, we couldn't see him at first. We had to almost start down over the bank to where he was at before you could see him.

CHUNG: Right. And when you got to him, what did he say to you, Terry?

LIKENS: He asked one of us to pinch him to make sure that he wasn't dreaming.

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: And how is he doing now?

LIKENS: He's doing pretty good now. I talked to his family about an hour ago. And they said he's in good health. And, hopefully, in a day or so, they'll be taking him out of ICU and into a regular room.

CHUNG: Isn't that great?

Terry Likens, I thank you so much for being with us. You are our "Person of the Day." And we're just grateful to you for joining us, but probably not as grateful as Robert was, right?

LIKENS: Yes, but this wasn't just me. This was a complete team effort. There were many people out there that day.

CHUNG: OK. Thank you, Terry, so much.

Back in a moment with a look ahead to tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHUNG: Tomorrow: The trial of John Muhammad, sniper suspect, would you watch it on television? Plus: Paula Poundstone back in court again.

Coming up next on "LARRY KING LIVE": country singer Tim McGraw.

And that's our program for tonight. Thank you for joining us. And for all of us at CNN, good night and we'll see you tomorrow.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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