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On the red carpet at the BET Awards, as CNN’s Don Lemon interviewed him, Joe Jackson was contemptuous and put-off, willing to give only terse, perfunctory answers to complicated questions. Jackson, resembling a baked potato in a pair of cheap sunglasses, came off more as a gold miner eager to stake a claim than the grieving father of his world-famous son.

I have friends who have lost parakeets, dogs, guinea pigs and wino uncles, and they’ve spent more time in mourning than Michael Jackson’s father. I’ve been more distraught over bad sushi.

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