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New Questions Raised About Michael Jackson's Death

Aired June 27, 2009 - 19:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. We're broadcasting to you live from the city that right now has the world's attention: Los Angeles -- the center of the universe when it comes to the Michael Jackson death investigation.

Tonight, there are disturbing new questions and new developments in the death of Michael Jackson.

But first, CNN has obtained a personal statement from the Jackson family, given to "People" magazine. Let me read it to you in full. Here is that statement for you. It is from Joseph Jackson and family.

It says, in full -- the Jackson family issued a statement saying on Saturday -- and they conveyed, the family patriarch, Joseph Jackson, in full and it reads this way: "In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we find it hard to find the words to appreciate this and sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated, to a point to where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.

We miss Michael endlessly. Our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now.

So, we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you -- who Michael love so much -- please do not despair because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you, continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do: carry on, so his legacy will live forever."

Now, in addition, Joseph Jackson wishes to personally convey -- he says, "My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson."

Again, that is from Joseph Jackson and family -- again, the Jackson family issuing this statement today, conveyed by the family patriarch, Joseph Jackson, in full. And we just read for you. We're going to have much, more on this.

Plus, we're going to be speaking to the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who has been in meetings with the family and keeping a close contact with them. He offers us some new information on the story, in just a moment.

Meantime, fans, though, all over the world are sharing in the Jackson family's mourning, setting up makeshift memorials and breaking out in song and also in dance.


LEMON: You know, there are celebrations all over, from London to Tokyo, to right here in the United States.

But first, we want to give you the latest on the investigation now. What we have learned about Jackson's final moments are from this 911 call into the star's -- from the star's rental home on Thursday.


911 OPERATOR: He's unconscious, he's not breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he is not breathing, sir.

911 OPERATOR: OK. And he is not conscious either.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he is not conscious, sir.

911 OPERATOR: OK. All right, is he on the floor? Where is he at right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's on the bed, sir. He's on the bed.

911 OPERATOR: OK. Let's get him on the floor.


911 OPERATOR: OK. Let's get him down to the floor. I'm going to help you with CPR right now, OK?


LEMON: Well, there are some fresh developments now in the investigation of Michael Jackson's death. I want to turn now to our Ted Rowlands, and also Dan Simon, I want to turn to Kara Finnstrom. They're all here in Los Angeles with the very latest.

Plus, we talk live, as I say, with the Reverend Jesse Jackson who has the inside track into Michael's family.

We turn now, though, to our Ted Rowlands, who has been talking about this personal physician, getting some new information on this physician. His name is Conrad Murray.

Tell us what you have, Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, you know, Conrad Murray, he's the guy that was with Michael Jackson as he was dying. You can hear him in the background of the 911 tape you just played that he has been the focus of a lot of rumor and speculation. The LAPD was trying to interview him for the last day and a half.

And right now, according to Conrad Murray's Houston-based attorneys, he is meeting with detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department. And that meeting was supposed to begin at the top of the hour. So, presumably, they have begun that long awaited meeting.

We talked to the lawyers, and they say, "Listen, this guy wasn't running. He's been in Los Angeles. He just wanted a lawyer with him during the meeting."

Here's a little bit of what they had to say.


MATTHEW ALFORD, DR. MURRAY'S ATTORNEY (through telephone): It's a human tragedy, and he is upset, obviously, at the loss of Mr. Jackson. And he is not a suspect in the death of Mr. Jackson. I have no information as to what any treatment or course of treatment he was doing for Mr. Jackson at all.


ROWLANDS: Now, of course, police wanted to interview him. Why? There is no criminal investigation right now, is there?

Here's what police said last night at a press conference concerning the interview with Dr. Murray.


DEPUTY CHIEF CHARLIE BECK, LAPD: In determining the cause of death and the nature of the circumstances surrounding the death, it's very important to interview everybody that was in contact with Mr. Jackson, you know, immediately and prior to his demise -- particularly anybody involved in his physical care. So, it's very important to talk to the doctor.


ROWLANDS: So, clearly, Don, what happens in this interview will be very important, and what happens with those toxicology tests will be extremely important. We expect those in four weeks or less.

LEMON: And I'm sure we'll have the very latest because Ted Rowlands is on top of it -- on top of every development of this investigation. Thank you very much, Ted.

We want to turn next to member of our team, CNN's Dan Simon outside the rental home where Jackson lived.

Dan, there's been a flurry of activity there today. And we hear they are carting things off?


The police still have the street blocked off here. You can see the yellow tape. Not really much happening behind us right now. You can see a police cruiser. You can see a pickup truck and a couple of people standing in front.

But earlier today, there was a lot of activity. We saw a couple moving trucks. It appears that the family made arrangements to have some of Michael Jackson's things taken out of the house. The trucks were not here for that long, maybe three or four hours.

We saw a couple relatives go inside. Randy Jackson, and Rebbie Jackson, that's pretty much all that happened today. We saw these trucks.

We are told that police are not really involved with what's happening here at the house. They're simply here to make sure that things don't get out of control, to make sure that there's not sort of rush of paparazzi going up to the house, make sure that the public doesn't have access to really create a nuisance here in the neighborhood.

But that's the situation here, Don. We're going to continue monitoring things from outside the Holmby Hills house. Back to you.

LEMON: All right, Don. Thank you. Stand by. We may be coming back to you.

Our Kara Finnstrom is at the Jackson family compound in Encino, California.

Kara, a lot of people are there today. What has been happening?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, the crowd has really started to swell this evening -- young and old, whole families walking in on foot, because this is all cordoned off. And, you know, paying tribute, also sharing some memories and some remembrances of Michael Jackson.

I want to pull in here Dion and Carol and their daughter. You were saying that as soon as you heard word of Michael Jackson's death, you pulled out a box of old photographers.


FINNSTROM: Which kind of spoke to how Michael Jackson affected your life, even down to your dress back in the '80s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, because back in the '80s, when I first moved from Jamaica to Chicago, you know, it's like Michael were the thing back then. And if you weren't wearing a red jacket, or a black pants or white socks, I mean, it's you were not seeing anything. So, Michael Jackson influenced me a lot, you know? And sure are the people, the people copy the style and back -- you know, Jheri curl and all that.

And out there -- you know, my wife said, I thought you have the picture of Michael Jackson, and I said, well, yes. So, she went to the closet and she pulled it out and showed it to me, and it just brought back memories of those days.

FINNSTROM: Well, thank you so much for joining us.

Don, just one of the many memories that we are hearing out here this evening.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much, Kara Finnstrom.

And we are going to get now to longtime friend, the Reverend Jesse Jackson. He says, Michael Jackson's family has some questions for his personal doctor. Family members believe Dr. Conrad Murray holds clues about Jackson's last moment. The reverend has just returned from spending some time with Jackson's family right here in Los Angeles.

Reverend, and I spoke with you last night, and I know that you were on a conference call with Joe Jackson, very distraught, but they do have some questions. By the way, the reverend is in Chicago -- Reverend?

REV. JESSE JACKSON, PRES., RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Well, Don, let me say it quickly, that first, it just really was grief. I mean, these friends have lost their youngest son. And his mom kept saying, "I've lost my baby. Michael was a good boy, no matter what they said. Michael was a good boy." She was -- he is a good boy.

And I think what's redemptive in all their pain was the global response, I mean, jamming of the lines around the world, and as you say, Tokyo and London and the Apollo Theater. President Clinton called while I was there and talked with them, for example.

But apart from that is the unanswered question about the last 12 hours of his life. The doctor didn't sign the death certificate. The doctor didn't talk with the coroner. The doctor did not talk with them.

So, what was an inquiry, it becomes an investigation. Until that glass (ph) is out the womb, there really can't be no -- there can be no dealing, Don.

LEMON: So, you know, Reverend, I am hearing that even before the death, maybe Jermaine and Jackie Jackson were suspicious about some of the people who were surrounding their brother, Michael Jackson, and they began raising questions to the family. Did you hear anything about that?

JACKSON: No, I didn't. But I'll tell you what, what I did hear was Michael was -- I talked with him maybe a few months ago, maybe a couple of months ago, he was as physical, he was like preparing for a boxing match -- three hours a day, you know, exercise, and then his dancing. Some of 25-year-old dancers, he was out dancing them at 50. And the fact that 50 concerts were sold out was like good news to him.

I mean, he was -- the king was recovering his crown that he earned and did not inherent. And so, you go from this brilliant sunshine to eclipse of the sun. So, the suddenness of it requires answers that we cannot get until the doctor to come fully and gives reasonable answers.

LEMON: And, Reverend, I know -- I would imagine that the coroner and the investigators in this case are giving the family much, more -- much, much more information than we're getting. Did the family talk about the possibility of some sort of shot that may have been administered to Michael or the moments how he reacted to that, if that did happen? And what happened in the moments leading up to when the doctor found him?

JACKSON: Well, they were not given to idle speculation. Their concerns are quite innocent. Of course, there was a doctor with him of the last night, if so, what did happen? Was he given a shot that they don't quite know? Was it Demerol, as has been suggested? They don't quite know.

Even on that tape, it says that Michael is not breathing. He is not breathing. He is unconscious. How long had he been stopped breathing? How long had he been unconscious?

If the doctor was in the background, why would you need the dispatcher to tell the doctor what to do, like put him on the floor as opposed to on the bed? I mean, that's a strange role, it seems to me. That the medical, you know -- especially it coming from the dispatcher and not from the doctor, I assume that was him.

LEMON: Hey, Reverend, we know that Marlon Jackson said that his brother had complained about not feeling well, so they called the doctor the night before.

I have two questions for you. Who found Michael Jackson? Who tried to wake him? Was it a member of the family? Was it his dad? Was it the doctor? And -- then who was also the person who made that 911 phone call?

JACKSON: Well, these are the kind of questions must be answered in a thorough investigation. It's unfortunate that they still suspect about what happens when, until we're almost getting away from the grief -- the family is really in pain. They really loved their brother. They really loved their son. They love their grandchildren. The family is in real pain and grief. His mother is talking through tears.

And then, as I said, the response is of some consolation, because it's kind of redemptive -- given all that he has been through, for the whole world to say, "Yes, but you are still the king, you are the guy, you are the transformer, you are the cultural icon." So, I'm sure today that as Michael sits down and looks, he is right where he should be and he wants to be. In the sense of global attention, Michael really is doing his dance right now.

LEMON: The Reverend Jesse Jackson who is a Jackson family friend, and has been an advisor and has helped them through this process, also meeting just yesterday with the Jackson family and speaking with them on the phone. We appreciate it.

JACKSON: A friend, but not a moonwalker.


LEMON: Yes, Reverend, thank you. And, you know, in our conversation in a little bit with Joe Jackson, you know, they wanted to make sure that people celebrated Michael Jackson's legacy and his life, also in mourning. And remember the good things.


JACKSON: The report last night was that seven people around the world had committed suicide.


JACKSON: The appeal was they urge people -- if you really love Michael, choose your future over funeral. I mean, don't surrender. I mean, don't go to that extent. I mean, keep living, keep loving, keep sharing, keep building bridges. He would want to be celebrated in that way.

LEMON: Reverend, thank you. Very well put. We appreciate it.

JACKSON: Thank you.

LEMON: And across the country and around the world, memorials and celebrations of Michael Jackson's life and music, we will take you there.

Also, we want to hear from you today on this broadcast. Make sure you log on to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or We'll get in on.

And coming up at the top of the hour: A "CNN PRESENTS" special on the life and music of Michael Jackson. "Man in the Mirror" airs tonight 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right after this broadcast, only on CNN.

We're live from Los Angeles with the latest on the investigation into the death of superstar Michael Jackson.


LEMON: I'm Don Lemon, live in Los Angeles, back here on CNN.

Impromptu memorials across the country and the world from the "King of Pop" today. The Hollywood Walk of Fame, not far from where we are, has been jam-packed with Michael Jackson fans since news of his death spread this week. Barricades have since been put in place to control the growing crowds. Look at that.

And all the way across the country, to the east in Harlem, New York, fans gathered outside the Apollo Theater where the multi- platinum pop star began his career back in 1967.


LEMON: Boy, look at that, all the way across the pond, they partied in the streets of Paris today. Fans played Michael's music, and danced his signature moves. Michael Jackson gave his last sit-down interview to "Ebony" magazine. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of the release of his record-setting "Thriller" album. The man who conducted that interview joins me now, live from Chicago.

He is Bryan Monroe. He is a former vice president and editorial director of "Ebony" and "Jet" magazines.

Bryan, it's good to see you. I'm just going to start with this. You know, everyone says, "'Thriller,' my gosh, it's a great album. It was such a great album." Here's the interesting them. I love "Off the Wall," that was my favorite album by Michael Jackson.

Tell us about when you interviewed him, his last interview. He was -- he was very thin, even then. Was he going through or just came out of the trial process?

BRYAN MONROE, FMR. VP & EDITORIAL DIR., EBONY AND JET: Well, it was several years after the trial process. And you are right -- I loved "Off the Wall," too. Both "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" were done with Quincy Jones.

But, you know, he was -- it was several years, September of 2007, into September, and he was -- he was very energetic, but he was thin. I think he was naturally thin. And, you know, he didn't seem out of energy, but he was very, very excited to both sit down and talk to us, and to be back in the mix with a big photo shoot and a big interview.

LEMON: Yes, you know, that cover really of "Ebony" magazine, the white cover with him, I think he's wearing white and gold.


LEMON: It is an iconic cover. And I just remember looking at it and reading the story of his life, he was under a lot of pressure all the time. It seems that people came out of the woodworks just to sue Michael Jackson.

MONROE: Well, you know, he was under pressure but he also appreciated his fans, and he appreciated the energy of performing. You know, I went back over the last couple of days to reread and go through my notes and listened to the interview again. And, you know, I found a few things that, you know, he talked about. He talked about the pressure and he talked about the fans.

Let me read some to you. You know, he said, "I am -- you know -- going around the world and doing tours in stadiums, you see the influence I've had on music. When you look all over -- look out over the stage as far as the naked eye could see, you see people. It's a wonderful feeling, but it came with a lot of pain, a lot of pain.

You know, when you are on top of your game, when you're a pioneer, people come at you. It's there -- you know, whenever you are on top, they want to get at you. That hurts."

LEMON: Yes. And that says a lot about what Michael Jackson was experiencing.

Take us behind the scenes a little bit of that interview. I know you just shared that. But you said Michael Jackson was very thin, he had huge hands.


LEMON: And also, you said that, everyone -- everybody thought Michael was quiet, and he -- you know, he didn't talk a lot. He was a -- he was a chatterer, right? He talked a lot.

MONROE: Oh, he was doing a lot of talking. And, you know, it's interesting. I was listening to it again. He laughed a lot. He was very funny, talked a lot about fun things.

He reminded me and said, you know -- he remembered growing up in the Jackson household, and, you know, he said, "We always had music around, and dance around us all the time."

It was like, you know, it was a cultural thing black people do. Turn up the music. When a company comes over, everybody gets to the dance floor, clear out the furniture, you got to do something, you got to dance.

LEMON: Yes, you got to dance. And you know what? If you put a Michael Jackson song on, everybody was going to dance. Inevitably, it would happen, no matter what kind of bar you're in, you can be in a country bar, and a Michael Jackson song would inevitably come on the stereo at least one point in the night.

And Bryan Monroe ...


LEMON: Go ahead.

MONROE: I was just going to say, and across the world, as you talked earlier, I got calls and emails in the last couple of days from Cairo ...


MONROE: ... and Hong Kong and London and South Africa -- all people who are touched by the music of Michael Jackson. I hope people remember that.

LEMON: All right. Bryan Monroe, the former executive director and editor at "Ebony" magazine -- we appreciate it. Thank you, sir.

MONROE: Thank you.

LEMON: Be sure and tune in for a "CNN PRESENTS" special on the life and music of Michael Jackson. "Man in the Mirror" airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

And other news tonight, there's tough talk from Iran's president to the White House. How will President Obama respond? CNN's Reza Sayah -- just back from Tehran -- is chasing all the latest developments for you.

Our live coverage from Los Angeles continues in just a moment.


LEMON: The president of Iran is aiming tough talk today at President Obama. His comments come as we receive disturbing new reports that militia members are going after Iranian protesters inside their own homes.

Our Reza Sayah is at our international desk. He joins us with the very latest.

What is this about -- invading people's homes?


Before we get you that, let's get you the latest out of Tehran, in an open letter on his Web site, disgruntled presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is rejecting the investigation being carried out by the Guardian Council, Iran's top legislative body. Mir Hossein Mousavi is saying the investigation is not in the Guardian Counsel's jurisdiction.

Also, the disgruntled candidate is asking permission for a rally on Monday, but that request rejected by the government. And government is saying request for permission must be submitted within a -- with a week's notice.

Now, let's go ahead and show you this Web wage that shows how the government is going after protesters in their homes. This is a government Web site -- with several pictures of what appeared to be protesters, the government calling these people terrorists, anti- revolutionaries, calling anyone with information about these people to contact authorities.

Also, Human Rights Watch reporting that Iran's paramilitary group, the Basij, invading peoples' homes. And let's go ahead and show you some videotape of that. Ever since the elections, Iranian's form of protest has been chanting "Allahu Akbar," "God is great" around 10:00 p.m. every night. But now, Human Rights Watch is reporting that members of the Basij are raiding homes to stop the chants. The report says some people are actually getting beaten up, and their homes and some of the belongings are getting trashed.

Don, the report is also saying that Basij members are also confiscating satellite dishes to prevent Iranians from having access to international media.

LEMON: Oh, boy, oh, boy. That's why we need to keep this story in the news to find out exactly what's going on there.

You know, Reza, I have been seeing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really out in public. I saw several pictures of him in newspapers this week. Tell us what's going on with him.

SAYAH: Well, yes, the events in Iran are really sparking a war of words between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and U.S. President Barack Obama. Of course, it was yesterday when President Obama once again condemned the violence in Iran. Mr. Ahmadinejad had a response, some harsh words today.

Here's what he had to say.


PRES. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN (through translator): You should know, if you continue, the response of the Iranian nation will be strong. The response of the Iranian nation would be crushing. The response would cause remorse.


SAYAH: Some tough words on the part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Keep in mind, these are two presidents who, a few months ago, were talking about dialogue and engaging one another. Certainly, this type of tit-for-tat doesn't bode well for that type of engagement now -- Don?

LEMON: Yes. What a difference a day makes and what a difference three months make. Thank you very much for that, Reza.

The White House has no official reaction to those critical comments by the president of Iran. Instead, the administration is pointing to President Obama's comments from yesterday. He responded to President Ahmadinejad's demand that he apologize for so-called "meddling" in Iran's elections.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES: I would suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad think carefully about the obligations he owes to his own people. And he might want to consider looking at the families of those who have been beaten or shot or detained.


LEMON: Images of the continued violence in Iran had spread worldwide -- and thanks to the growing influence of online social networks, it has spread worldwide. Even Michael Jackson's death has only added to the already heavy traffic o those sites.

I want to bring in now, James Andrews. He's a managing partner at Everywhere -- a communication consulting firm. He joins me via Skype.

Hey, thank you so much for joining us. You know, James, we had been talking about social media here. You really call yourself a social media evangelist -- but you don't believe that we have really seen the potential that the social media can make, especially among broadcast media. JAMES ANDREWS, EVERYWHERE: Not at all, Don. What we are seeing is the convergence of both traditional and non-traditional media, new media, coming together and kind of what my friend Jeff Folger (ph) likes to call "now" media. And I think you're seeing that as evidence in both Iran and both Michael Jackson.

LEMON: Do you think that even media companies, like CNN, for example, do you think that we really know how to use this whole thing to the best of everyone's ability, especially Twitter, especially sites like Facebook?

ANDREWS: Hey, I think you guys, like a lot of media companies, are trying to figure out. And I give you a lot of credit for really pushing the envelope in your use of Twitter, (INAUDIBLE) on CNN and Twitter, you know, I think that, you know, what's happening is that you guys are starting to understand that there are two things converging. There is conversations and there is storytelling.

And as a traditional media outlet, you know, you are figuring out your place in that tapestry between both conversations and storytelling. And I think that, you know, it only gets better. I think that the speed and the rate at which individuals adopt these technologies, at the rate in which people become mobile, it will only push stories. But we're really talking about a medium that fuels conversations and storytelling.

LEMON: Let's start with Iran, because in Michael Jackson, that is -- that's a whole another story, as we say. But Iran was really sort of a flashpoint when it came to social media. It was -- it was really a mark, it made its mark, social media made its mark there. It has been doing it long before.

But why was Iran so important. And have we really even figured out how much of an input that social media had in that story?

ANDREWS: Now, I think Iran really did mark a point, Don, that that was the point in which people galvanized and gathered to really come together for a movement, to fight democracy, to push democracy up to the top. And they really used, you know, pro-consumer citizen journalistic tools to do that.

And so, Iran did mark an important point in social media and the effect and the power of social media. And then, with Michael Jackson, like you said, that's an entirely different thing. But for the Iran's story, it was a point at which people really went to their Flip cams, went to Twitter, went to YouTube and showed their power.

LEMON: Yes. And you know what James, he is really passionate about this, as you said, you call yourself a social media evangelist. I believe where do you see this going because you said you believe that this was one of the most important developments in modern history here and it's going to change the way that we do business especially in the news media.

ANDREWS: Absolutely. And what you're seeing and what I believe, you know, traditional media is going nowhere. I think you're going to see a convergence of both traditional and nontraditional. Visea(ph) was about to release a line of TVs but actually have Facebook connect and twitter built into the TVs. You're going to see an interaction between social media like never before. It's exciting like if you look online and in the passion that folks that are loving on Michael this weekend, it's really - if you look right now, 30 percent of all tweets are Michael Jackson tributes. Puffy and a bunch of other guys recorded a song in hours, 100,000 downloads. So you're really going to see the advent of a new form of communication and platform that allows people to create differently and tell stories differently.

LEMON: James Andrews of Everywhere, we appreciate it, sir. Thank you.

ANDREWS: Thank you, Don. Appreciate it.

LEMON: And speaking of Twitter, let's read some of your responses. LERuth49 says I honestly do not think more attention would have been paid to the death of a president. What about real news? Dalecochran says something good can come of this tragedy, we should really focus on prescription drug abuse. Too many people battle this addiction. Samonnyb says you be the judge, someone lived for 40 years like a king, but there are people dying for the simplest rights, freedom. Jacques Edwards says Detroit is mourning. The Jackson 5 started here. Michael is like family in Detroit. We are deeply saddened. We appreciate your comments on Facebook, Twitter, myspace, and tell us what you are thinking. We will get them on.

We have heard the 911 call from Michael Jackson's house. But what was really said on that tape? We go behind the story for you. We'll break it down. Our live coverage from Los Angeles continues in just a moment here on CNN.


LEMON: An update on the Michael Jackson's death investigation. Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, who is believed to have been with the singer when he died, has hired an attorney. He is also expected to meet with L.A. police today. In an exclusive interview, Murray's attorney tells CNN his client plans to cooperate.

Meantime, the Reverend Jesse Jackson tells CNN the Jackson family wants answers, and they think Dr. Murray can answer questions about Michael Jackson's death.

Also, two moving vans showed up today at the rented L.A. home where Jackson apparently collapsed, several items were taken away. No word on where they were taken.

At the top of the show, we played part of the 911 call from Jackson's home on Thursday. Now, let's play more for you right now of the 911 call right now, and afterward we will break it down and tell you what it means.


OPERATOR: Did anybody witness what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, just the doctor, sir. The doctor has been the only one here.

OPERATOR: So the doctor, did he see what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doctor, did you see what happened?

Sure, and if you could please -

OPERATOR: We are on our way. I am just patching the questions on to the paramedics, but they are on their way, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. He is pumping his chest, but he is not responding to anything, sir, please.

OPERATOR: OK. We're on our way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

OPERATOR: We're less than a mile away. We'll be there soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

OPERATOR: Call us back if you need help.



LEMON: All right. It's amazing to hear someone on the phone talking about Michael Jackson on the 911 phone call. But we want to break this down for you. Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum knows all about emergency calls. She is an attending cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Thank you very much. What was your reaction when you first hear that 911 tape?

DR. SUZANNE STEINBAUM, CARDIOLOGIST:: As the rest of the world, devastating. It's just devastating. Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have heard a story like this. We go back to Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis, and Heath Ledger. We keep hearing this. And it is so sad. Because I think something like this really could have been preventable.

LEMON: Do you think things could have been handled better?

STEINBAUM: You know, I do. He was on, from what I understand, oral Demerol, which is really a drug that suppresses your breathing, and when that happens not enough oxygen gets to your heart to your brain. And that's the cycle of cardiac address, which he suffered from. This isn't a drug that we don't give lightly, or at all any more.

LEMON: And I want to say, you know, that is what they have been reporting and CNN has not confirmed that. But certainly that has been in the media. And if that's indeed so, then what you say is true. And I want to play this, because I want you to listen to this part as well, about what happened when they were trying to administer CPR. Take a listen.


OPERATOR: He is unconscious and not breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he is not breathing, sir.

OPERATOR: OK. And he is not conscious either?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he is not conscious.

OPERATOR: OK. All right. Is he on the floor? Where is he at right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is on the bed, sir. He's on the bed.

OPERATOR: OK. Let's get him on the floor.


OPERATOR: let's get him to the floor and we will help you with CPR right now. OK.


LEMON: So, a doctor, and we hear a cardiologist. CPR and as I said earlier, I mean, just from my elementary, you know, lifeguard training, you know that you have to be on a hard surface doing that.

STEINBAUM: Absolutely. We have three to five minutes, you have to get on top of this immediately. Without the heart functioning, there is no oxygen and oxygen is muscle. He should have been on the floor. They should have been doing chest compressions and giving him oxygen and airway immediately, every second that they weren't doing that, time was lost.

LEMON: I have heard people though say cut the guy some slack, and we don't know what is going, people were panicked. But doctors are supposed to, that's when your professionalism kicks in, correct?

STEINBAUM: I got to tell you, it's really hard to be sitting in my shoes right now and listen to this. It's devastating. And again this isn't the first time that we are hearing this. I think this is time we actually look at this globally. This is a big picture problem.

LEMON: Yes and you know, I want to talk to you real quickly about there was one more thing in the 911 phone call where he talked about, you know, saving his life was very important. It was another extreme exchange between the 911 operator and the person on the phone. Take a listen.


OPERATOR: Did anybody see him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we have a personal doctor here with him, sir.

OPERATOR: You have a doctor there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. But he is not responding to anything. He is not responding to CPR or anything, sir?

OPERATOR: OK. We are on our way, if you guys are doing CPR, I expect that you have a doctor, he has a higher authority than me. And he is there on the scene.


LEMON: You know, we are hearing now that people with money have these concierge doctors where they don't even go to a hospital or either go to a general physician as many people do and wait on an appointment. So that's what many people here in California and Los Angeles have. But it appears that the 911 operator was taking the lead on this, doesn't it?

STEINBAUM: I think we have to understand a little bit about emergency medicine. The 911 people are real well trained. They know what to do. And it sounds like he should have been on the floor and chest compressions should have been done. And it sounds like there is a physician there and there is a level of comfort that we didn't have in hearing the 911 operator really lay out what was happening.

LEMON: Yes. And I am glad you joined us, because you are very honest about it. And again the doctor, this doctor has not been charged with anything. And police are saying right now there is nothing criminal about it, but they certainly do want to talk to him and as a physician, you can you offer information as to what you - how you would have handled or what is the procedure for handling the situations?

STEINBAUM: It's so hard to know. There is so much speculation about everything. That it's really hard to put myself in this position. All I know is he was on pain killers. Obviously too much. Maybe the wrong one. And this physician was watching him closely. And having that close watch, you would think that there was a little level of a safety behind that. That's the thing that bothers me.

LEMON:: And we have to run. You say we need to get a handle on drugs when prescribing drugs in this country.

STEINBAUM: Oh, absolutely. Prescription medication and pain killers. Unbelievable.

LEMON: Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, attending cardiologists, I should say at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Thank you very much. We appreciate your expertise.

And make sure you tune in for CNN presents special in the life and music of Michael Jackson. "Man in the Mirror" airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. Our live coverage of the death of Michael Jackson continues from Los Angeles in a moment.


BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I am CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider tracking severe weather in South Carolina, where we have a tornado warning in effect just north of Charleston, South Carolina. There was a tornado warning for Charleston that is now expired. This one goes for another 20 minutes. Some very strong thunderstorms rolling through southern parts of South Carolina. Now we are going to get hard with more heavy rain in Charleston. It's moving through Goose Creek at this hour as part of the wider area of severe weather, severe thunderstorm watch continues for much of the south including the city Atlanta. Straight into tonight I will have more on the severe weather. Don?

LEMON: All right. Bonnie, thank you very much.

What was it like to work with a legend? We will ask one of the producers of Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" album. We are live from Los Angeles.



LEMON: Oh man, all you want to do is just sing and dance when you hear Michael Jackson's music. Well, that's "Black or White." That was the first single released from Michael Jackson's 1991 record, "Dangerous." That song shut to number one in both the U.S. and the UK. Teddy Riley produced that album and in his signature new jack swing style, he also co-wrote several of the songs on "Dangerous." He joins us now, live tonight from Los Angeles. Thank you so much.


LEMON: You said when you heard about this, you were in bed for what a day and a half or two days?

RILEY: I stayed in bed for actually two days. When I woke up, I was -- I thought that I was just waking up to another one of like, you know, the publicity scams? You know, the different thing that artists would do for, you know if something really happened -- like most of the things that happened to Michael. They were true but they were stuff that went away.

LEMON: Right.

RILEY: You know what I'm saying? It was all done, he's fine, the situation was - I think it was Pepsi or Coca-Cola. And the time he went into the hospital because he was not feeling too well. When he went to court, you know he couldn't make it because he wasn't feeling too well. People woke up to that. This time I think people were just thinking that it was another one of those.

LEMON: Yes and it wasn't. And it wasn't. You know, I started this by saying, what was it like to work with a legend? I mean, what was it like -- you didn't just work with him, you were friends with him.

RILEY: Yes, definitely. Working with him was very scary at the beginning because I was very nervous to tell Michael, how can you tell a legend, you know you're singing, you have to sing it this way, or you're singing on the wrong key, or whatever. So he actually snapped me out of it. You know, he was like, listen.

LEMON: Do it!

RILEY: I need you to tell me when I'm off. I need you to tell me if something is not right. And it took us some time to do that. When he heard "Remember the Time," because I played a bunch of tracks just to show him what I've been doing lately. And he heard all my tracks. And when "Remember the Time" came on, he stopped the song and pulled me in the room and we never went back to the CD player. We never went back to the sequencer, we went straight to the room to the piano. And that's the one thing that he showed me that writing starts with a piano and a pen and a paper.

LEMON: We want to hear a little of that and we'll come back and talk. Let's hear a little of that real quick.



LEMON: Teddy is looking at this. Teddy, you have tears in your eyes. I can see that even in the glasses. You all right?

RILEY: No one will ever be all right with Michael not being here. I just - I didn't want to do this. I know - I mean, I can't stop tearing. Because, you know, when you -- when you've been in a room with him and you just know how he is as a person. You look at it and look at the day and just say, why do people think the way they think about him? Why do they say the things that they say about him? I've been with him and I've been a friend of his over 10 years. And I never, never witnessed - I mean, he's been with my daughter, my daughter was three years old. And he stayed -- my daughter stayed with him. And had so much fun. He's just a fun guy. He took us to the Neverland and had us there. We spent nights there. We thought it was, you know, very - you know, we didn't want to impose, you know. But he said, you can stay. You guys stay here.

LEMON: We know it's hard, Teddy. We won't put you through this. But we appreciate it. And Teddy, we'll see you tomorrow at the B.E.T. Awards in tribute to Michael Jackson. Thank you so much for joining us. We know that a lot of people are in pain and are sharing that with the world so we share that with you. Thank you.

And we want to tell you that we're going to do a special right after this broadcast on Michael Jackson. It is called "The Life and Music of Michael Jackson, the man behind the mirror." Make sure to join us here on CNN. Teddy, thank you so much. Appreciate it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Rethinking finances. Our senior correspondent Allan Chernoff introduces us to one couple who's doing that.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not only did they heavily invested in the stock market last fall but Kevin's employer, AIG, nearly collapsed. Kevin is in the stable end of the business, home insurance assessment. So the dual crisis rocking his investments and employer was especially jarring.

KEVIN AIKMAN, HIT HARD BY FINANCIAL CRISIS: First thought is fear. What about all these years I've put in of hard work? All the money I've invested. Is there going to be anything left at the end of the day?

CHERNOFF: For Lucy, the financial crisis has been terrifying.

LUCY AIKMAN, HIT HARD BY FINANCIAL CRISIS: Terrible anxiety. I ended up having to go get help because I couldn't sleep. So much anxiety.

CHERNOFF: Lucy lost her job as a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange two years ago and hasn't worked since. Her grown daughter also lost her job, as did Lucy's sister who worked at Bear Stearns when it collapsed.

LUCY AIKMAN: Everybody's fearful. And everybody's falling like soldiers around me.

CHERNOFF (on camera): Just a few days before the stock market began collapsing last September, the Aikmans hired a contractor to chop down trees and excavate a pond by their home. Today, more than seven months later, it's still a hole in the ground. The project is on hold.

(voice-over): The hole in the ground was like a hole in their pocket. It had cost $10,000. So the Aikmans chopped their spending. They gave up their personal trainer and now exercise on their own. They postponed plans to build a screen porch, don't go out to dinner as much, and planted a vegetable garden.

LUCY AIKMAN: One of our biggest expenses is food. I mean, it sounds strange but we eat a lot of fresh produce and as you know, to eat healthily, it costs money.

CHERNOFF: They've become more conservative investors with the help of financial planners Doug Flynn and Rich Zito who reduced their exposure to stocks.

DOUG FLYNN, FLYNN ZITO CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: We've taken it down to about 15 percent stocks.

LUCY AIKMAN: OK. FLYNN: You're losing sleep and you probably don't have the right portfolio, we need to find the right portfolio for you.

CHERNOFF: To sleep better the Aikmans bought extra insurance and Kevin is shelving his dreams of retiring in just 10 years when he'll be 55.

KEVIN AIKMAN: The 401(k) just about fell in half. So when that happened, I reassessed and said, well maybe I'm going to need to put a few more years in.

CHERNOFF: The Aikmans realize they can't control the economic environment that affects all of us. But by cutting spending, boosting insurance, and becoming more conservative with investments the Aikmans feel they're controlling what they can to weather the financial storm, while still being positioned to profit as it begins to pass. Allan Chernoff, CNN, Hurley, New York.


LEMON: Coming up at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, the Reverend Al Sharpton will join us to talk about the death of Michael Jackson and the questions his family has about his last days. I'm Don Lemon, live in Los Angeles. CNN Presents special "Man in the Mirror" starts right now.