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tv   Today  NBC  July 7, 2009 7:00am-9:00am EDT

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♪ or a cloudy dew ♪ >> good morning. gone too soon. outside, hundreds of thousands throng the streets of los angeles just to be close. >> we all loved michael. we all miss him. >> inside, musical legends from stevie wonder to smoky robinson join the golden voices of mariah carey and jennifer hudson and more for a star-studded memorial for a sometimes troubled soul, known forever as the king of pop. ♪ doesn't matter if you're black or white ♪ >> and we're here for it all live at the staples center, remembering michael jackson live at the staples center, remembering michael jackson today, tuesday, july 7th, 2009.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television and welcome to a special edition of "today" on this tuesday morning. i'm meredith vieira outside the staples center in los angeles. good morning to you, matt. >> hey, meredith, good morning to you. i'm matt lauer here in new york. and the stage is set for what is probably going to be the biggest celebrity memorial ever, and meredith, i'm just giving a sense how they're handling security for this. >> there are an awful lot of police here. i arrived about an hour ago, which would have been 3:00 a.m. l.a. time. a lot of police checking to make sure that everybody that enters the perimeter has a right to be here. i've got a blue wristband on.
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that means i'm a member of the media. the gold wristband here allows me access to the memorial service later today. i'm also going to have to have a ticket in order to get in. gives you an idea of the security. a lot of things have been happening late last night and early this morning. including members of jackson's family, including his sister la toya were seen entering and leaving the forest lawn cemetery where a private service is being held ahead of today's public memorial. and now there are reports that follying that service the casket holding michael jackson's body will be brought here to the staples center to take center stage during the memorial. now, if that happens, crowd control could become an even bigger issue. overnight police locked down the streets surrounding the arena and at least 1,400 officers are patrolling the area. but despite the call for people without tickets to stay away, some estimate as many as 700,000 people may come out this morning. we've also received a list of the stars who will take part in the service, including as we mentioned stevie wonder and mariah carey along with motown
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records founder berry gordy, usher, brooke shields and many others. we'll have it all covered throughout the morning. in a moment the jackson family spokesperson who helped organize the event will be with us and we're going to ask him about those reports that jackson's body will, indeed, be a part of today's tribute. matt? >> all right we'll get to that in just a second. also this morning, in other news, sarah palin speaks out for the first time since announcing her plans to step down as the governor of alaska. she gave nbc's andrea mitchell extraordinary access during a fishing trip in a remote corner of her state and the two talked about what led to palin's decision to resign, where she goes from here, and if a white house run is in her future. we're going to hear from governor palin in a moment. meredith? >> all right, matt, but we're going to begin with the final preparations here in los angeles for today's elaborate memorial for michael jackson. it is a worldwide event expected to be watched live by a billion people. set in the hollywood hills, forest lawn is the burial place
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of stores like bette davis, lucille ball and more recently john ritter. today the world is watching the staples center in downtown los angeles. where one of the biggest public memorials in history is set to begin. >> i'm not sure in our lifetimes we'll ever see anything like this again. >> so give us a preview of what we're going to see. >> mariah carey, and you have lionel, and you have john maher and smokey and the wonderful performers who are going to be in here. i just heard one number and it was pretty spectacular. >> reporter: home to sporting events and concerts, today the center will play host to over 11,000 michael jackson fans. and members of his family. his brothers will be performing or his sister? >> i think you're going to see one or two of the family perform. so this will be very emotional. i can promise you that. >> reporter: jermaine jackson is said to be ready to perform one of his favorite songs that his brother recorded. a song jermaine sang for matt. ♪ though your heart is aching smile even though -- ♪
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>> reporter: one person who will not be attending is the mother of jackson's two oldest children debbie rowe. >> do not touch me! >> reporter: who said she does not want to be an unnecessary distraction to an event focussed on michael's legacy. >> don't touch me. >> reporter: longtime jackson friend elizabeth taylor wrote on her twitter page, i just don't believe that michael would want me to share my grief with millions of others. how i feel is between us. not a public event. several members of the jackson family have had different ideas over how to remember the superstar. and sources say details about the program will be changing up until show time. >> we all have our own memories of him. >> reporter: susan who will be attending says it will be a day filled with mixed emotions. >> this is going to be very sad, and then moments of, this ask very exciting. i'm not supposed to feel that excited right now. >> reporter: worried about overexcited masses of fans police continue to encourage everyone without a ticket to stay home.
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but it hasn't stopped thousands of fans from planning this makeshift memorial outside the staples center. in fact they're on their third sign, as you can see, because so many people have wanted to express their thoughts. while authorities here say they expect crowds of up to 750,000, organizers say more than a billion people will be watching on television, in movie theaters, and online. >> i will tell you, i'll be peeking and looking online. i know it's going to be everywhere. i told my boss i'm going to look. >> reporter: joy didn't get a ticket to the staples center but says she will be rememberi inin michael at work or at home. >> him being on tour when i was a kid and people going nuts, akin to the footage that they play of the beatles or people with elvis. and you know, for my generation, you know, he's as close as we got to that. >> reporter: meanwhile in court the legal wrangling over jackson's multimillion dollar estate has begun. >> the latest will is the effective wishes of the decedent, the person that died. >> reporter: on monday a los
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angeles judge handed temporary control of the superstar's estate to the lawyer and music industry executive named as coexecutors in jackson's 2002 will. a defeat for jackson's mother katherine who had applied to oversee her son's estate, but keeps custody of his three children. tim was lyred by the jackson family to serve as their spokesperson and help organize this unprecedented event. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> we heard that there was a private viewing of the body last night at forest lawn, a private service this morning and then we are hearing that michael's casket will be brought here for the public memorial. what can you confirm for us, ken? >> you know, we've been focused about not confirming or not speaking publicly about any of the private events that may or may not be occurring, vis-a-vis michael's death. this is a family that has shown extraordinary dignity in a very difficult time. i mean, what family doesn't want
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to grieve for a son or a brother who has died? and family's wanted to maintain their privacy to the extent that that was possible. so, the rumors, or the talk about whatever did or did not go on or will or will not go on vis-a-vis those issues, we're just not going to talk about it. >> right now you can't confirm that the casket. >> cannot confirm and won't confirm. >> we spoke last night, you had just come from a rehearsal, grabbing a bite to eat at the end of the day and you seemed a little dazed to me on the phone. you said i'm having a hard time putting this in perspective. is this even bigger than you thought it would be? >> yeah. i've been involved with some pretty good things both in the political and entertainment world and i've been around in awhile. i don't think anybody's ever seen anything like this. several billion people are going to watch this live today. this is going to be twittered and streamed at a level surpassing a lot of the inauguration. talk about a worldwide figure of love. michael jackson is the biggest
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figure and person emitting love ever. and with today's communication, i don't know what would have happened if elvis had died now, or a majestic figure, john lennon or somebody like that had died now. but one thing, with all the -- >> and controversy around mike. >> and controversy around michael, i think on behalf of the family, remember the legacy of michael. remember the legacy of music and love, and pure joy and entertainment that he represented. has anybody been to a wedding or a family event where, when a michael jackson or jackson five goes on it isn't the highlight of the event? just the message and that captivating personality and presence. that's what people ought to remember. i would hope some of that comes across with dignity in events today. >> will his brother jermaine be singing at the memorial? >> we're not going to confirm
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anything more than the people that will be announced that will be on the program. but it will be an extraordinary event. >> thank you so much. pleasure to see you here this morning. i want it turn now to reverend al sharpton who is going to july just mi yule jied michael jackson. he is with us this morning. i know you have been with the family quite a bit since the loss of michael. how are they doing? this has got to be for them a joyous day in some ways and a very difficult day in others. >> well, it's been very difficult. it is heartbreaking for them. but they seem determined to give michael the kind of dignity and to protect his legacy, and myself and others that will speak today, and will perform today, are speaking to what they want, and that is that michael was about love. and about uniting and bringing people past their racial and nationality differences, and religious differences. they are very particular about how they want him remembered, even as they're grieving in their loss.
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>> on sunday you delivered the sermon at the church and you were pretty tough on the media and the media's coverage of michael's death. want to show a little bit of that and we'll talk on the other side, reverend. >> we come here for michael jackson but there's a double standard. because when you had had other entertainers that had questions in their life, you did not degrade and denigrate them before their funeral like you've done michael jackson. >> i understand it is a sensitive time, but is it important to look at both sides of a man, not just one side? >> absolutely. if we're looking at both sides. but if we're only looking at the side of allegations that were never proven, trials that ended up being baseless, and not looking at his achievements and records, breaking racial barriers, his bringing about a song on world hunger. >> you don't think enough has been said about that? >> oh, not at all. and i think that that is what we
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were saying. yeah, let's look at both sides, not just bring up one side. we're not trying to make excuses for what shortcomings he had. but his strength really outweighed them. talk about his strength. that's all we're saying. and not all of the media. but some of the media has absolutely been outrageous and disrespectful in my judgment to this family and to the memory of michael jackson. >> do you have a sense from the family where they would like michael's resting place, final resting place to be? >> i think that they're very proud that even among those of us that have been privileged to visit and spend time with them, i think they're more concerned about his public resting place. and that is that people around the world remember his message of love, rather than the mess that some people are trying to commit to him. >> you have talked about vigils being held around the country today, that people should gather and as you said, remember the message. >> that's why we're here. we're here because michael had a message. and despite whatever controversy he had, he never lost the
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message, and was preparing to go to england to one more time bring us that message. we're determined today to have that message resonate, even though michael will not be here. >> and are you concerned, reverend, what will happen after today, when discussions of custody come up with the children and discussions of assets, michael's assets, who gets control of the estate, all of those things that will turn out -- >> what i want to do is, when all of that happens, i'm going to continue to concentrate on get being michael's message out, his legacy out, and keep my eye out for some of his music there and just tune it out and tune michael in. >> favorite song? >> well, "man in the mirror" is my favorite. but i also love many of his records. a lot of things that i remember about michael. and michael was, you know, michael loved music. all kinds of music. and if you visit him, you make everything from classic to jazz to anything. but "man in the mirror" was the one i liked by michael jackson. >> reverend sharpton, thank you so much for your time this morning.
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and we'll have much more throughout the morning and nbc news will have live coverage of today's memorial anchored by brian williams. that's going to begin at 1:00 p.m. eastern, 10:00 a.m. pacific time. and of course, "dateline" will have a complete wrap-up of farewell to michael jackson tonight at 10:00, 9:00 central time. we're going to go back to new york and matt. >> all right, meredith, thank you very much. now to president obama's high-stakes trip to russia. the president addressed a group of college students overnight and said both washington and mossco have an obligation to seek a nuclear free world. nbc's chief white house correspondent chuck todd is traveling with the president, and sat down with him earlier this morning. chuck, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, matt. well, we discussed a wide range of issues, but we began with the president's measure of the man many people believe is pulling the strings behind this russian political curtain. president obama's final day in moscow began with his first-ever meeting with the man many consider the true power here, prime minister vladimir putin. but mr. obama was measured in his assessment.
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>> he is strong. he cares deeply about russia. he has understand abable concer about russia's role in the world. and he has suspicions about the united states. and i found him to have a practical way. i suspect prime minister putin would completely agree is that he's not sentimental about how he views the world. >> reporter: he also again demonstrated confusion about putin's title. >> this morning, i had my first meeting with president putin -- prime minister putin. >> reporter: you've done that three times. >> yes. >> reporter: a few times. >> well, he used to be president. he used to be president. >> reporter: the president put a fine point on the role he thinks russia can play in helping prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons. >> one of the things that we're going to need to explore jointly over the next several months is can we provide a door for iran
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to walk through where they say that we are not going to develop a nuclear weapon? >> reporter: you think you still have some work to do now? >> we definitely have some diplomatic work to do. >> reporter: the president took minor issue with vice president biden's characterization of his administration's initial economic assessment as a misread. >> no, no, no, no, no. >> reporter: was it just a misread? >> i would actually, rather than say misread, we had incomplete information. what i would say is that, in some areas, you're seeing the economic engine turn. but what we always knew was that, "a," this recession was going to be deep. "b," it was going to last for awhile. >> reporter: he also weighed in on the two stories that have captured america's attention in recent days. on sarah palin's unexpected decision to resign the alaska governorship. >> she has a fiercely loyal constituency within the
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republican party, and in the conservative movement. but, you know, she says that this is something that is best for her family, and i respect that. >> reporter: and michael jackson's role in breaking racial barriers. >> what i do believe is that black sports figures and black entertainers helped to create a comfort level with african-americans that had an impact historically. >> reporter: the rest of the day here is ceremonial, matt. tomorrow the president is off to italy, where he will have a meeting of the g-8 industrial nations, and then an audience with the pope. >> all right, chuck todd, thank you very much. we appreciate that. and now to sarah palin's interview with nbc's andrea mitchell. for the first time since dropping that bombshell that she's resigning, the alaska governor is speaking out about her decision. >> the choice i had to make was, okay, how am i going to react to the circumstances, to the changed conditions? am i going to just keep plugging
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away and keep my head down and not try to affect any more change? because every time we do something we get hit with, you know, ethics violation charge. or a lawsuit. because that's the political game that's being played right now. even though we won every single one of them that's been thrown our way. but my choice in how to react to these circumstances, my choice has been, you know, i'm willing to not run again for re-election. i'm willing to step aside. >> we're going to have much more of andrea's interview with governor palin coming up in our next half hour. but for now let's get a check of the rest of the morning's top stories from natalie morales who is in for ann at the news desk. good morning to you. >> good morning to you, matt. good morning, everyone. there's a sense of relief this morning in gaffney, south carolina, following the death of what police say was a serial killer. 41-year-old patrick burress was killed monday in a shoot-out with police in north carolina. ballistics tests show that his gun matched the one used to kill five people around gaffney in recent days. a party reprimand for south
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carolina governor mark sanford. on monday his state's republican party censored sanford for what it called a breach of the public's trust for leaving south carolina to see his mistress. >> go several u.s. troops were killed in monday in attacks in afghanistan in one of the deadliest days since the war began there. hundreds of women protested today in western china, angry that their husbands had been arrested during ethnic unrest that has left more than 150 people dead. there is now a curfew there. six weeks after he announced his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, golfer phil mickelson says his mother now has the disease, too. his mother will have surgery friday at the same hospital where amy mickelson had her surgery. today democrat al franken will be sworn in as minnesota's junior senator. he'll serve on the senate judiciary committee which opens hearings next week on supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor. and it is that time of year once again, the running of the bulls got under way today in pamplona, spain.
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four people were hospitalized with bumps and bruises. one runner called it pretty intense. i think we'll take his word for it. it is now 7:20 right now. you're up to date. let's turn it back over to matt and stephanie abrams. >> al roker and i do these buddy things all the time. i'm going to suggest that al -- >> i want to do the biddy thing. >> the buddy thing only goes so far. al is off today, stephanie abrams is here with the first look at the forecast. >> maybe he's getting ready. prepping for the running of the bulls. let's have a look at what's gamow more dry heat, looks like a high between 84 and 88 degrees, right where we should be but the committee levels kept at bay. slight chance for isolated thunderstorm north tonight and then cooler -- 80 tomo
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matt over to you. >> all right, stephanie, thank you very much. coming up, much more from new york and los angeles, as the world prepares to say good-bye to michael jackson. will he eventually be laid to rest at neverland? how is his mother holding up? an exclusive interview with jackson's longtime manager just ahead. my doctor told me i had to start doing things for my heart,
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but i wasn't ready to give up taste. sometimes, sacrifice is the name of the game. well, i've heard eating whole grain oats... can help lower my cholesterol. it's going to be a challenge... sure we want to lower our cholesterol, but let's be real, being healthy is tough. yea. honey nut cheerios cereal... tastes great and can help lower cholesterol. bee happy. bee healthy. try apple cinnamon cheerios. baked in apple with... a daring amount of cinnamon. still to come, new information involving michael jackson's private doctor, who was with him when he died. >> plus, what's next for air sa palin? more of our interview after your local news and weather.
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>> good morning, everybody. eyeing stan stovall. here is a look at one of our top stories. mta officials are reviewing audio and video from several trains from the lutherville area where the two teenaged boys bodies were the tracks. a witness possibly can forward saying she heard a thud. then the driver came out, looked around, returned and then proceeded to the station. mtn 8 said it appears one train made contact with a person but they are still investigating.
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both 17-year-old connor peterson and kyle wankmiller died from their injuries. >> good morning. dealing with a few new accidents. outer loop between charles and harrisburg expressway and westbound joppa and oakley. also the outer loop, southbound 95, the new ramp is open. just use extra caution. as far as the days, 40 minutes on the outer loop west and a little bit better on the northeast side outer loop and a nine-minute ride from 895, harbor tunnel toll to 95 on the southbound side. during the northeast, tapping breaks -- brakes lightly. while the north side of the looking for the accident but looks to be off to the side right now. >> plenty of sunshine out there and looking at a time high today
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in the mountains of 84 degrees and mostly sunny. in central maryland, we will say a high of 87. a chance of an isolated thunderstorm may be to the north of the city late and even the shores of ocean city. >> thank you. be sure to check the bottom of your screen for updated news and traffic. the next live update at 7:55 a.m..
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7:30 now on a tuesday morning. it's the 7th of july, 2009. we understand some people are starting to gather outside the staples center out in los angeles, california, to pay tribute to the life and the legacy of michael jackson. starting to gather, albeit outside a perimeter that has been set up by police. in new york i'm matt lauer in studio 1a. meredith is at the staples center. a lot of stars are going to take place but it's interesting to note some of the people who will not be in attendance. >> absolutely, right, matt. his ex-wife lisa marie presley and debbie rowe along with elizabeth taylor have de saded they will not be here. taylor saying how i feel is between us, not a public event. but sources now tell nbc news
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that michael jackson's casket will be here at the staples center for the memorial service. with the jackson brothers serving as pallbearers. we're going to have much more in just a moment, including the fires devotion being shown by fans of michael jackson. some are flying thousands of miles, spending thousands of dollars, just to be here for the event. plus they're going to talk exclusively with jackson's longtime manager to find out what he thinks jackson would have thought of today's memorial and of all the attention surrounding his death. matt? >> all right, meredith, thank you. also ahead alaska's governor sarah palin has garnered her share of attention since she announced she was resigning that post. now for the first time hins her news conference palin is speaking out about the decision. and she did it in classic palin style as she prepared to go on a fishing trip in a remote part of alaska. andrea mitchell spoke with her and was the only reporter who went out on that fishing trip. we'll hear what palin had to say in just a little while. >> okay but for now we are going
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to begin with the thousands of michael jackson fans who will gather here at the staples center in just a few hours. nbc's lee cowan has more on that. good morning to you. >> good morning, meredith. it's hard to describe. you have on the one hand, fans coming here to mourn but also coming here to celebrate michael jackson's life and his music. one thing they can all agree on, no matter why they came here, no matter what they did to get here, it was worth it already. if one measure of michael jackson's celebrity is the dedication of fans wanting to be near him in death, then on that scale jackson really was the king of pop. we found any number of incredulous stories of harrowing travel, leaps of faith, even fans risking finance ruin to be here today. but jamilla mohammed beats them all. >> i'm quite happy to accept the label of fanatic. i am mad about michael jackson. >> reporter: we found her in what would generously be labeled a flea bag motel. unpacking her things after a long flight from london.
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>> and of course my outfit wouldn't be complete without my michael glove. >> reporter: but she arrived without a ticket to today's memorial. and only pennies in her pocket. she was soon holding court by the side of a freeway, pleading in desperation as those with tickets drove right by. >> it really heartwrenching. >> reporter: the desire to be part of a public farewell may have reached a fevered pitch after princess diana's death but it's always been a part of us. >> elvis presley died today. >> reporter: so many fans turned out in 1977 to see elvis' funeral cortege that president jimmy carter had to call out the national guard. when slugger babe ruth died in 1948, more than 100,000 gathered to bid the home run king farewell. the godfather of soul, james brown, had fans lined up around the block for a ghoulish good-bye. >> lennon was shot and killed -- >> reporter: john lennon's sudden death drove thousands to song.
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some fans need a touch. it doesn't have to be much. for jamilla, the long journey itself was a tribute. >> his music, my heartbeat. it's part of me. >> reporter: as the clock ticked down, she kept pushing. we left her, holding her sign, and hoping for the best. >> it's going to be worth it, i'm sure it is. >> reporter: and indeed it was. and after spending all that money on a plane ticket and coming here and really not knowing a soul we got a call last night that she did get exactly what she came for. a fan gave her a ticket so she'll be one of the 17,000 other people watching in person what maybe a billion people will get to watch only on tv. >> lee cowan, thank you very much. frank deleo was michael jackson's long time manager and friend. he is with us exclusively. >> good morning. >> just a few weeks ago you were preparing with michael for this 50-concert tour in london. and now, today, his musical director and his band will be performing at his memorial service.
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what is going through your head today? what are your emotions today? >> well, i know it's going to be a very nice service. i know it will be a great show. it will be good to see people celebrate the memory of michael. but it's very sad for me, because we were scheduled to leave friday, this past friday >> and you really thought he was on the cusp of coming back? >> there was no doubt about it. it's just hard for me to believe that he's gone. you know, i see the images up on the screen, and most of those images, you have some feeling, or was a part of. it's going to be a difficult day for everybody. i think by tomorrow, maybe it will finally hit me. right now, it's been a mad race. >> reporter: you know, his legacy, we've been talking about it so much the past few days, how do you think he would react to this? to what's been said about him? to the events of today? >> i think he knows, and i think
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he'd enjoy it. and he always loved the fans. and he always loved when they turned out, and his fans are different than other people's fans. i've worked with a lot of artists and i've seen different kinds of fans. his are very dedicate d, real, sincere people. and they loved him dearly. i'm sure he'd be very happy at the outpouring. >> we asked you in the break if you could confirm any of the reports about the casket being here or the private service and you said you really can't, because it's been kept so private by the family, on purpose. >> right, right. they've kept it private. i have no idea what they're doing as far as the burial service or whatever. i think they, in their religion, i think they have their own practices, and you know, things like that. so i haven't been informed, and i really don't know. >> when i last spoke with you it was the day after michael died and you were very up front about your concerns about him, and
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prescription drugs, possible use of drugs. since then -- >> we never said that. you asked me and i said i don't know because the toxicology report is not back. >> i don't mean in terms of that, i mean that there were issues prior to that. >> there were. there were. >> well, since then, we have found authorities that said they're looking at five different doctors, including the one acquired by the tour, who wasn't even licensed to prescribe prescription drugs. when you hear that, does that make you angry? >> makes me very mad. but you have to understand that michael said that was his doctor. the owners didn't hire him because he need aid doctor, michael forced the promoters to hire that doctor. and there probably were a lot of doctors, and i'm very angry about it. they didn't have enough sense to stop whatever they were giving him. if that is what happened. and i hope the authorities do look into it.
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>> now we're hearing that possibly a custody battle for the kids between debbie rowe and katherine and also the judge ruling yesterday that the executors of the estate will not be the jackson family but rather his lawyer and a longtime friend of michael jackson's. do you anticipate that once this is over, there's going to be a long, bumpy road ahead? >> i don't think so. i think the will was very clear. i think the judge saw the people that were appointed executors. he knows that they're capable of taking that estate and building it for the children, and for katherine. katherine was not left out of anything. she clearly gets the kids. it says that in the will. that's what a will is. a person's will. that's what michael wanted. that's what's going to happen. >> a pleasure to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> and nbc's brian williams will anchor live coverage of the michael jackson memorial today at 1:00 p.m. eastern, 10:00 a.m. pacific time here on nbc. and "dateline" will have a full wrap-up tonight at 10:00, 9:00
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central time. now let's go back to new york for a check of the weather from selfny >> a front is on the move. it will not get here until tonight, just a slight chance of thunderstorms. sunny and dry today. 65 at the airport. a high for today, mid 80's. 77 t
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laura, your boyfriend's name is really mason dixon, this is no joke? >> yes, it is. hey, mason. >> meredith, back to you. >> stephanie, thank you. and coming up, much more live from los angeles on the memorial honoring michael jackson. and also the serious questions lingering about the icon's sudden death. but up next, sarah palin goes fishing. and speaks out for the very first time since announcing her decision to resign. nbc's andrea mitchell is the only reporter allowed on the boat. we're going to get to that right after this.
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we are back now at 7:43. three days after surprising everyone by announcing her resignation, alaska's governor sarah palin is shedding some new light on what led to the decision and what will happen when she leaves office a little later this month. nbc's andrea mitchell is in anchorage this morning after palin gave her extraordinary access during a fishing trip in a remote section of that state. andrea, good morning to you. >> good morning, matt. well, we flew to a remote fishing village in western alaska to catch up to the governor and try to find out why
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she resigned and what she's going to do next. >> how's the fishing? >> it's good. >> reporter: three days after her surprise announcement, sarah palin re-emerged. at the remote commercial fishing site her husband todd's family has run for generations. >> are you staying warm? >> reporter: they spend every july fourth weekend here, the peak of the salmon run. but after criticism that she was hiding out, she set up a giant photo opportunity to try to explain her shocking resignation. >> i knew that i wasn't going to run for re-election. i knew that everything changed on august 29th in politics in alaska. that's the day that i was tapped to run for vice president of the united states. things changed, and it was quite obvious that nothing would ever be the same for our administration. the choice i had to make was, okay, how am i going to react to the circumstances, to the changed conditions? am i going to just keep plugging away and keep my head down, and not try to affect any more change, because every time we do something, we get hit with, you know, ethics violation charge, or a lawsuit, because that's the
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political game that's being played right now, even though we won every single one of them that's been tloeb our way. but my choice in how to react to these circumstances. my choice has been, you know, i'm willing to not run again for re-election. >> even some of your supporters in wasilla said to us, she signed up for four years. we're disappointed that she's quitting. >> well, you know, i think that some people may not be fully aware of all of the conditions. and it perplexed me that we have sat down with many reporters and we have shown them how it's cost thousands and thousands of hours in state time and millions of dollars in state resources to continually fend off these frivolous, ridiculous, ethics violations. >> how much does it cost you yourself? how much debt do you have? >> we have' legal bill of about half a million dollars. but that's not the consideration. the consideration is how does this affect the state. >> half a million dollars of legal fees. you've got a family. you've got a special needs child. you've got this place you love.
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>> it's just one aspect of the insanity of this political game that's being played. so i said you know, that's kind of distracting. but that still isn't all of it. what is all of it is knowing i wasn't going to run for re-election. so, alaskans, being perfectly honest with them, not wanting to play that political game that most politicians do, and that's kind of like pretend if they don't know if they're going to run again. i do. i'm going to be honest with alaskans and say one term was enough. >> you haven't finished your job, some would say. >> you're not listening to me as to why i wouldn't be able to finish that final year in office without it costing the state millions of dollars and countless hours of wasted time, wasted -- we have true, worthy public officers. >> some people said you saw the bright lights from the national campaign and came back, it was very hard to readjust to the nitty-gritty work of being -- >> the nitty-gritty, you mean the flish slime, and the dirt under the finger nails? >> you know, the state capital.
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the hard, legislative slog. >> no, that's not -- i am a fighter. i -- i thrive on challenge. >> another reason for the media event, to show them as a family. fishing as a team. to discount internet rumors that perhaps there were other problems to cause her to resign. she said that you guys wrote it as a family and there were no no votes. no doubts at all? >> no doubts at all. >> the right decision for the kids and for you? >> oh, and for the state, yeah. >> clearly she's at home here. far from the glamour and the controversies over designer clothes, and diva behaviors, voiced by the mccain campaign staff. how does this make you feel being back out on the boy? >> it's awesome. it's beautiful. it brings back a lot of memories, because todd and i have been doing this together since before we were married. his family's been doing this forever. >> are you trying to instill those values in piper and the other kids? >> the kids all fish, yeah.
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and my niece and all my nieces and nephews, they fish. and it's all good. it teaches these kids to work extremely hard. and to not be divas, and to not be picky, and yeah, they're tired, and they're wet, and they're cold, but, it teaches them good lessons for life, too. >> now there's the book, the lecture circuit, maybe a talk show. but what about politics? can you imagine yourself running for president? >> i don't know what the future holds. can't predict what the next fish run is going to look like, much less what's going to happen in a couple of years. but my focus is on my faith, still, and it always will be. and my family and what is best for them. what is best for them is to not run for re-election and to avoid a lame duck kind of wasteful session in a final year of office. >> are you sorry now you said yes to john mccain on august 29th? >> not in the least. absolutely not. it was a great honor to stand by a true american hero.
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i believe in john mccain. i appreciate him. i honor him. and i would have done all that again in a heartbeat. >> what is clear, that sarah palin may be walking off in the sunset. and, in fact, although she says that she will be politically active, matt, she is not ruling out anything but a lot of party leaders say she has really damaged herself in terms of a future political campaign. >> andrea, just was watching that interview and a couple of quick things. what time of day was that? because in that part of alaska, it stays light till what midnight at this time of year? >> yeah. absolutely. we shot that, we were on the boat around 9:00, 9:30, we flew out of there at 10:00, it was still broad daylight and got back, and as you can see, just had about an hour and a half to put it all together. so it stays light, especially in that part of alaska. that's really close to the aleutian islands. you can practically see russia.
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>> we all want to know where you got a pair of waders. but that's for another day, andrea. >> the secret, matt. >> okay, thanks. still to come, new information on the investigation into michael jackson's death, as the stage is set for today's star-studded memorial. but first, these messages.
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welcome back to this special edition of "today" from los angeles and new york. police have now locked down streets within a quarter mile of the staples center ahead of the memorial for michael jackson. just ahead, more on what will take place. >> plus what happens to the mountains of unreleased music.
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>> good morning, everybody. buying stan stovall. let us get a check on the morning commute. here's sarah caldwell. >> good morning. one accident heading out to partville, westbound @ joppa and oakley, right lane closer. harrisburg expressway from timonium to the ball boy. and outer loop ram just open to southbound 95, it is open the call this morning.
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southbound 95, jammed from white marsh to the beltway northeast. in little james to the north and west side. 17 minutes on the outer loop northeast and 15 on the west side and nine-minute from harbor tunnel down to 95 south west side. the white marsh area is easing up a little bit. we are still dealing with a pretty hefty delay on the north side at hartford. over to you. >> we are looking really good. another high expected of 87. mostly sunny, to partly cloudy. slight chance of an isolated thunderstorm north. across the bay bridge to ocean city, a high of 84. winds just like an out of the west. tomorrow, only 80 because a friend will have passed through by tonight and it looks like 77 on thursday, much colder than normal, and friday, 81. by the weekend to the heat and humidity comeback. >> you can check the bottom of the screen for additional this
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and traffic. the next live update is at the clock 20 5:00 a.m..
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♪ i'm talking with the man in the mirror ♪ >> 8:00 now on this tuesday morning, july 7th, 2009. you are looking at the scene here in los angeles, as fans, friends and family are going to memorial michael jackson. a memorial by one estimate that will cost the city more than $3 million. i'm meredith vieira outside the staples center. matt lauer back in new york. and matt, even as the world prepares to celebrate michael jackson's life, we are learning new details about his death. the latest on the investigation just ahead. we're also going to talk with an author who predicted six months ago that michael jackson would not live out the year. first i understand you have something quite exciting to share. >> oh, it's a big deal. we have an exclusive first look
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at the cover of probably the most hotly anticipated book release of the year, this is dan brown's book called "the lost symbol," and just by looking at the cover, as we put it up, you can learn some things, possibly, about that story, for example, you see the capitol dome on the cover. that reveals that the location would be washington, d.c. lots of clues. we've got the feature, a mysterious symbol on there. it's a double-headed phoenix. the number 33, and in latin, the phrase order from chaos, all of which are tied to secret societies throughout history. fans can follow, by the way, a viral game of code breaking in the book, to the book on twitter and facebook, and for more on that and a closer look at the lost symbol cover you can head to our website at that's exciting. this is a guy, the da vinci code, when he puts out a book
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it's pretty well read. we're looking forward to seeing more about that. >> meanwhile just a few miles from here at forest lawn cemetery, the jackson family is holding a private gathering ahead of today's public memorial. nbc's michael owku is there for us. good morning, michael. >> good morning, meredith. what we understand is that members of the jackson family arrived here late last night, including la toya jackson. we also understand that a hearse arrived here late last night. there are reports this morning that the jackson family had a private viewing of michael jackson with a closed casket, possibly as late as midnight. in the meantime, what i can tell you here is that the road closures have begun in earnest. we know that the barricades have been up since yesterday, additional barricades to keep out whatever fans or onlookers might be descending at this location this morning. this is what we do know, because there are lots of rumors and innuendos, as you know, meredith. all kinds of reports.
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but we do know, based on conversations with city officials and some sources withined family, that there will be a private ceremony here today at about 8:00 this morning pacific time, lasting for a couple hours. it's unclear, however, whether michael jackson will, in fact, be buried here. whether this will be his lasting resting place. if, in fact, he is buried here, we'll have some very serious hollywood company. we know that liberace is buried here, bette white is buried here, david carradine who died recently, as well. again we're waiting to see whether michael jackson might make it out of here in his casket and go straight to the staples center with his family once the ceremony is done. meredith? >> michael, we had heard reports that the casket was already here at staples center. have you heard anything about that or can you clearly say to us that's not true? >> i can't tell you that that's not true. in fact the reports we're hearing is that the casket may, in fact, be here.
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but, we've been hearing all kinds of reports over the last 48 hours, meredith, as you know. if, in fact, it did go to the staples center that would make the most logistical sense. you would think that the family wants to end this with a bang. they want to have a great big surprise for all the fans and all the friends that will be gathering there at the staples center, and what bigger surprise than to suddenly have the casket of michael jackson up on stage for the last time. meredith? >> michael, okay. also one quick correction i think bette white will appreciate you said that she was buried at forest lawn. she's alive, bette davis, i think, is who you meant. michael, thank you very much. and now let's go back to new york for a check of the rest much the top stories from natalie morales. good morning. >> good morning to you, meredith. the nightmare is over for a south carolina community terrorized by a serial killer after the suspect was killed by police on monday. nbc's ron mott is in gaffney, south carolina with the very latest. ron, good morning. >> reporter: hey, natalie, good
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morning. a lot of folks here waking up from what was probably the best night of sleep they've had in a week and a half after going to bed last night knowing that this killer was dead waving the 25-page rap sheet of patrick tracy burress, shot dead in a police shoot-out early monday, south carolina investigators say he's the spree killer responsible for five murders in gaffney in the span of a week. >> at some point the criminal justice system is going to need to explain why this individual was out on the street. >> reporter: police caught up with burress on a burglary call in gaston county, north carolina, about 30 miles from the killings. they say he shot an officer before dying by return fire. the officer was treated and released. officials say all the evidence collected so far points clearly to the 41-year-old burress. >> since forensics, we're able to prove that the weapon he shot the officer with is the same weapon that all five of our victims were shot with. >> reporter: since june 27th, residents of this quiet town of
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about 13,000 have been frozen with fear. at elmore's barber shop, a 70-year-old institution here, something new, a gun. >> protection, yeah. you never know. >> reporter: though calm began to settle in as word of burress' death spread last night. >> i can unload the guns and not wake up five or six times every time i hear something and the daupgs are barking. it's a big relief. >> reporter: police say they've still got a lot of work it do. they specifically want to know the motive behind these killings. natalie? >> ron mott in gaffney, south carolina, thank you. president obama is calling for a fresh start between the white house, and the kremlin. speaking to students in moscow this morning, the president said the u.s. and russia must unite in opposing iran and north korea's nuclear ambitions. embattled south carolina governor mark sanford says he will work hard to earn back the trust of fellow republicans. he was censured monday by his party after disappearing last month to visit his mistress in argentina. gas surprises are edging lower. they're down now three cents in
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a week to $2.60 for a gallon of regular according to aaa. and cnbc's trish regan is at the new york stock exchange. what is wall street watching today? >> good morning, natalie. investors are gearing up for the start of the second quarter earnings season, which kicks off with alcoa's results after the bell tomorrow. now this is especially important because really we see quite a run-up in the market since march 9th. and so now investors want proof that those stocks that they've been buying are really worth their price. and the earnings will suggest that. also, more importantly, they're looking forward to the third quarter estimates. so in other words, they need some kind of strong prognosis for the future in order to really propel this market forward, natalie. >> all right, trish regan at the new york stock exchange. thank you. and an unexpected charge at a hardware store in central, new york. take a look. this deer forced shoppers to scramble for safety, as the animal ran through the aisles and knocked over displays before employees and customers helped it to escape. all in an effort to save a buck.
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get it? 8:07 right now. let's go back outside to matt. i just read it. >> a collective groanan >> we are looking really nice, mostly sunny to partly cloudy. 84 degrees to 88. this is normal but the humidity is much drier than typical. looks like it will be cooler toward frida matt, back to you. >> all right, stephanie, thank you very much. when we come back, could criminal charges be filed in connection with the death of
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investigation, where it's been, and where it's going. >> we have a gentleman here that needs help, and he's not breathing. >> reporter: from that moment -- the clock is running. day one, jackson is rushed to ucla medical center and fans flocked there. police swarm jackson's rented mansion in holmby hills, and the family compound in encino. >> my brother, the legendary king of pop michael jackson, passed away on thursday, june 25th, 2009, at 2:26 p.m. >> reporter: jackson's body is flown to the l.a. county coroner's office. and on day two, the revelation. >> well, we know he was taking some prescription medications. >> reporter: suddenly, michael jackson's secret world is exposed, and everyone is listening. detectives question dr. conrad murray, jackson's personal physician, who was there. they impound his sister's car for evidence. >> we are still actively trying
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to assess whether or not any prescription or other medications were involved. >> reporter: nbc news has now confirmed dr. murray is not licensed to dispense medication of any kind in the state of california. his lawyer continues to deny any wrongdoing here. over and talk o us? >> reporter: day five investigators find bottles and bottles of prescription drugs inside jackson's home. those drugs was the propofol, also known as diprivan, so stronit's used only in hospitals. ♪ on day eight, this video is released, showing jackson at one of his final rehearsals. the dea joins the investigation and by day nine, so does the california attorney general. >> we have to look for aliases and we have to find out what other names there might be. >> reporter: now, according to published reports, authorities are focused on five doctors who supplied jackson with the drugs
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that may have killed him. >> it's going to ruin a lot of people's lives. >> reporter: a seasoned investigator who's worked high profile cases, including the death of anna nicole smith. >> i think you're going to see some heads spinning really fast here. i don't think it's going to take a year. i don't think it's going to take months. i think you're going to see some serious, serious repercussions in weeks. >> reporter: criminal charges? >> absolutely. >> reporter: many of the pill bottles and the pills themselves that police found inside of jackson's holmby hills mansion had no labels on them. in fact, many of the bottles also had other people's names. so the prescriptions were written to absolutely aliases, not michael jackson himself. the police's main goal right now is to actually pin each pill bottle to a specific doctor, to a specific pharmacy, so they can start filing those criminal charges. but no charges have been filed yet, meredith. >> you get a sense it will be a long investigation. jeff rossen, thank you very much. news of michael jackson's death was unfortunately not a surprise
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to author ian halperin, six months ago while working on his new book to be pub mished next week, "unmasked kwst, halperin predicted jackson would not survive this year. ian, good morning to you. >> good morning, meredith. >> you predicted on december 24th, you said michael jackson will be dead within six months. i died june 25th. you were right on the mark. what made you make that very eerie prediction? >> well, i spent years investigating the jackson case. and when i originally started on the case, it was after he was acquitted of the trial in 2005. and i was skeptical. i thought we have another o.j. simpson on our hands. and then another egg on the face of, you know, the los angeles judicial system. so i went out to get michael. i wanted to prove that he was guilty. i was furious. i was convinced at that point he was guilty and i spent years on the case. and now, i'm unwaveringly convinced that he never molested
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children. which i say in the book. i interviewed a lot of kids who stayed at neverland, a lot of close people in his camp, and it's really sad what has happened here. >> but why that prediction? why did you think he would be dead within six months? >> well, i got access from insiders in his camp who said that he did have several diseases, including a lung disease that he was anorexic, which i mentioned in the book. even before he died, and possible side effects would be card yak predicted he didn't have long. he was very ds of prescription drugs. and it's a very sad story, the way this man just spiraled into this abyss and was never able to get out of it. >> and yet we looked at that video in jeff's piece that was taken during the rehearsals for the london tour, and the organizers of the events used that to say, look, he was in great shape. you look at that video from just a couple weeks ago and you see a very different michael jackson. >> meredith, you've got to beware of what everyone's
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spinning right now. there's a lot of vultures around michael jackson. michael jackson is indelibly, he changed the whole world of pop music, entertainment, and you know, he's an icon. and people just wanted to profit off michael. instead of having him perform onstage, 50 concerts, not even a pop performer in their 20s or 30s could probably handle that type of grueling tour, let alone he had so many illnesses, so many addictions, and they should have given a lot more concern to michael's well-being, to his health. and they didn't. they just wanted to profit off him. and i think time will tell. today's not the day -- >> that's a pretty strong accusation to say all they cared about was profiting off him? >> well, i stand by that. because people inside his camp who cooperated with me were concerned about the people around him. there were a lot of undesirables. and, michael was extremely depressed for the past few years. a lot of it started with the child molestation charges. michael never abused children.
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he loved kids. he had a rough childhood. he never wanted to grow out of being a child. he wanted to relive a childhood that he never had. and that's why he always hung around with children. but, people tried to paint him as something he's not, and i clearly mention that in the book. i really s jackson family, especially his three children. he was the most amazing father, and all his fans who loved him all over the world. >> okay, ian halperin, thank you very much. >> thank you, meredith. >> accomplish your. >> and we're back right after this. the kenmore elite he5t washer?
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you ever worked with. that's high praise. >> i absolutely feel that way. i mean when you look at every dim exngs of his career, whethe it's the songwriting, the singing, the performing, the blending of rhythm and blues and pop into his own language, the dancing, the videos, the cutting-edge videos that define the video age, and really put mtv on the map, michael jackson in total was the single most talented person i've ever worked with. >> so for all the years that he's putting to the these albums, clearly there can only be 12, 14 songs on an album and he was recording more. so these other songs are somewhere, in a vault. can you characterize that material for me? is it great material? or did it not make the cut for a reason? >> well, for the four albums that i was around for with michael, there were -- there was always over-recording. 12 to 14 songs would end up on the album, just as you said. there would probably be anywhere from 25 to 30 songs recorded. those songs are still in the
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can, unreleased. >> you've heard these songs? >> i've heard a lot of them. i've heard many of them, yes. >> so what are we going to learn about michael? what kind of music are we going to hear for the first time? >> they're hidden gems. they're hidden gems, these songs. at the end of the day, the decision was michael's what to put on the album, and what not. that doesn't mean that the songs that were not released were not as great as the hits that you know. so there could be a whole new life just from these songs alone. >> what about the financial life of that -- is this the property of sony? is this the property of whatever record company he was working with at the time? is this the property of the jackson family trust? >> at the moment, it's still the property of sony, to my belief. >> and so, financially, does sony reap the rewards of that? or does the jackson family trust? >> ultimately sony and the jackson family. because the jackson family will receive royalty income there the sale of those recordings. >> again, as a music executive, what was it about michael
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jackson that allowed so many of his staunch fans to ignore the other headlines in his life? the controversy in his life, and continue supporting him, it seems, unconditionally? >> his greatness. his uniqueness. it doesn't matter what genre of music, artist or fan, whatever they liked, they always looked up to michael jackson. i mean, it could be bono, bruce springsteen, madonna, they all revered michael jackson. >> but in the years he was making headlines for all the wrong reasons, did that severely impact his marketability? >> no one likes bad news. i think at one point in time, when the accumulation of all the bad news was there, it certainly did have an effect. >> tommy mottola. obviously someone who worked with michael a long time. 15 years while at sony. good to see you. >> thank you. >> good morning. it's 8:25. much more from new york and los angeles right after your local news, and a check of your local weather.
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>> good morning. i'm mindy basara. here is a look at one of our top stories. a baltimore city police officer is recovering after being involved in an accident in west baltimore. details are sketchy but reports say a rough and 11:45 p.m. the police officer tried to stop a vehicle, which resulted in a chase and crash. the word on his condition. now let us get a final check of your morning commute with sarah caldwell. >> good morning. a new accident. we can give you a live view, northbound 97 to the ramp of the inner loop of about one. blocking the two right lanes on the ramp and looks like it may have blocked another lean. the call to access the ramp. watch for heavy delays as you
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make your approach to the beltway. we will switch you to the live view, north side outer loop from harford to providence and an accident in the city at haven and monuments, a truck stuck under a bridge. watch for delays. west side, a slow ride. 3 5 miles per hour in the outer loop. let us give you a look of a drive time -- 70 minutes on the outer loop northeast, 15 of the west side and nine minutes on 895 southbound from the harbor tunnel toll to 95. >> the radar and satellite showing a minimum of activity over baltimore. rain chances actually are rather slight. cooler conditions by tomorrow but to they will be near normal. normal high as 87. we will still be minus the height humidity. in joint while you can. 77 at looks like for thursday,
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chances of after the thunderstorms. saturday and sunday will be more of warm and humid. >> thank you for joining us. another update at 8:55 a.m..
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it's 8:30 now on this tuesday morning. it's the 7th day of july, 2009. it is a day that we prepare for a very public send-off for one of the most important music figures of all time. the self-proclaimed king of pop, michael jackson. will happen there at the staples center in los angeles. meanwhile here in new york, out on the plaza, i'm matt lauer, alongside natalie morales. holding down the fort on this end, meredith is out there in los angeles. meredith, good morning again to you. >> good morning to you, as well, matt.
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even here in l.a., the center of spectacle and celebrity, this is most definitely a very special day. some of the biggest names in entertainment, smoky robinson, stevie wonder and kobe bryant, just to name a few, are going to pack it in to the staples center to pay tribute to the king of pop. just ahead we'll look back at jackson's remarkable career, and also the tragic side of his life, to find out how history will view michael jackson. matt? >> all right, meredith, thank you very much. and natalie here we're talking about "today throws a wedding." it is the 10th anniversary of "today throws a wedding." and we've got our couples selected. leigh and nick. >> that's right. big deal, of course. on monday we showed leigh four options for her bridal gown. then we let you vote on what she will wear. the pick is in. let's walk over to leigh and nick. good morning, guys. are you excited, nervous? >> excited. >> did you -- we showed you these four choices for the wedding dress -- for the bride the gown is very important. did you have a favorite? >> be honest. >> honestly, i really didn't.
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i was kind of excited. i liked all of them. all of my friends and family were like -- i'm glad i didn't have to make that choice. >> you're very low key. >> i'll be thrilled with any of them, honestly. i really would. >> that's the diplomatic thing to say right now. >> i'm serious. >> nick, she's going to look gorgeous anyway. but you're used to seeing her in her running gear as marathon runners that you are. >> going to be a big step up. >> i imagine you're going to just be -- >> i hope i don't cry. >> you can cry. >> it's a crying moment. >> nick is allowed to see the four choices as we recap, no? >> no. >> nick, put the blind fold on, put the headset on. so you can't hear. can you hear anything? >> oh, i can hear. >> oh, he can hear. all right so we can hear. all right, audio can you put some audio in his ears? >> a little music. >> okay. we've got music now. so natalie. >> are you ready? okay.
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with 52,000 of you voting online, the choice for today's wedding gown, our 10th anniversary, dress number three by cristos is the winner. just a reminder, this is a gorgeous dress. >> oh, wow. >> leigh, what do you think? >> i love it so much. it's gorgeous. >> it is beautiful. >> i can just picture you in that. you're going to be amazing. >> perfect. >> all right. thank you very much. >> thanks too
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and we have a very rambunctious crowd of 10 to 11-year-olds visiting new york. for all your weather needs go to matt, over to you. >> all right, steph, thank you very much. when we come back we're going to have the latest from los angeles as the police there prepare for
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huge crowds to see michael jackson's memorial service. ♪ the art of getting dirty. the art of getting clean. new powerfully formulated wisk®...
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wake up ready for your day-ask your healthcare provider for 2-layer ambien cr. and welcome back to this special tuesday edition of "today." during his career michael jackson sold more than 750 million records and won countless awards. but how will and how should history view the king of pop? michael eric met jackson a few years ago and will attend today's memorial. he is also the author of "can you hear me now"? michael, always a pleasure to see you. >> always good to see you, meredith. >> you met michael at a rather interesting location. tell us about it. >> it was at a johnnie cochran funeral a few years back. and i was in the bathroom and a figure after we had washed our
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hands, of course, reached out to shake my hand and said, i love how you speak of television. it was michael jackson. i said well i love how you perform onstage. and it was a surreal moment. we were born the same here. him in august and i was born in october. so i had been tracking, tracing, and marvelling at at him for all of this years. it was an honor to meet him. >> there's a chapter called icons and you write this about michael jackson. he is one of the greatest prodigies of world musical history. you'd have to turn to a cat like mozart for a parallel figure who at 6 or 7 years old is already at sump an advanced level of mastery of his craft. was he a musical genius as a kid? >> absolutely right. at 6 and 7 he already understands who he wants to be, who he is patterning himself after, jackie wilson and william hart. the lead singer of the delphonics. he already knew he wanted that kind of intensity, melodic explosion in his music, and he
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could channel the soulful blues of an otis redding and the floating melisma of a sam cooke and reach bound the boundaries and wear barriers of race to give the world a global perception. >> he did reach beyond those boundaries. he's more than just a great entertainer. >> he was. think about it. the jackson five had a cartoon on television in 1971, a scant five, six years after the moynihan report forecast the doom and gloom for the black family. they were repudiation of that. intact black family. then he projected that to the world. likele jackson's music was like the civil rights action of 1964 set to a killer beat. any race, sex or gender would be forbidden to his music and he felt that he was a global citizen. >> he was also a controversial figure and we can't let you go without talking about some of that, including his transformation over the years. you write about it in your book, it might sound cliche to say so, but michael jackson embodies all the malicious demons of identity
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that black people struggled with. what do you mean by that? >> well, the fact is of course he had vitiligo where you lose pigment in his skin. i'm sure some of that was to compensate for the loss of melanin. but he acted out on his face what black people struggle with in their soul. the blackness that has to be wrestled with and dealt with. and whether he reconstructed his face, deafricanized his image, he congranted what we all confronted. his beat remained rooted firmly in the african-american soul of identity. >> how much of it is maybe the kind of upbringing he had? he talked about the way his dad berated his looks, that his nose was too big. >> too broad, the dark skin, and teased him. and what piet have been teasing for a quote regular child, of course, gets internalized with a young genius and prodigy like michael jackson. so, yes, it tells us being black is a problem in your own home,
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at that time the belief certainly played havoc with michael jackson's psyche and shaped who we saw. >> do you think his legacy will be different in white america quote unquote versus black america. or do you think because he bridged the gap it will be much the same? >> you can see by the global outpouring of love for him. the world has claimed him. but there's a special place in the heart of african-american culture for this young genius who rose from our ranks, was deeply rooted in our soil and sprouted fruit that is now being tasted by the world. >> congratulations on the book. >> thank you. >> up next the visit with the king of pop's one time best friend bubbles the chimp. how does jell-o sugar free pudding fit all that rich, chocolatey taste in 60 calories? ♪
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back now at 8:43 with the whimsical side of michael jackson. as you know he kept many exotic animals at his neverland ranch but it was his most famous pet
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bubbles that captured most of the attention. nbc's kerry sanders has more. >> reporter: at the makeshift memorial to michael jackson they're hard to miss. stuffed chimpanzees. reminders of the pet michael once described as his best friend in the whole world. bubbles. the chimp reportedly slept in a crib at neverland. even shared michael jackson's toilet. by the time bubbles was 5 years old, he was too big, too strong, to live like a child in a house. so bubbles retired. where else but to florida? where he's one of 42 chimps and orangutans at the center for great apes. now 26, caregivers say they've seen proof bubbles was trained to moonwalk. when bubbles visited japan, the media there followed him to a prayer temple. and saw evidence of what they believed was that moonwalk. >> i don't want to make this sound silly, but i also wonder,
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because we see the way chimps are so human-like, does this chimp, bubbles, does it recognize that michael jackson is dead? >> we have not discussed it with him, because michael had not been here to see bubbles, it's been many years since he's seen bubbles, and he's very connected and happy in his chimpanzee family right now. >> reporter: michael jackson's menagerie also included dozens of other animals, including giraffes. they now live on a preserve on the edge of the grand canyon. dr. martin dennis was jackson's veterinarian. >> he had just a very pure concern for every animal on that property. >> reporter: but bubbles had a special place in jackson's heart. he was a one-time actor. and for michael jackson, a one-time best friend. for "today," kerry sanders, nbc news, florida. >> all right, brace yourself.
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kerry tells me that someone actually called the center for grate apes and offered to fly bubbles to los angeles for today's memorial service. the center's director said she will likely decline. and on that note we'll be back. this is "today" on nbc.
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we've all heard about the trouble in the housing industry. the fact is, with all the talk of a national real estate market, your town, your neighborhood, your home, or the home you'd like to buy, are each unique. the national conversation may not apply at all. if you've been worrying about what your property may be worth, or wondering if your dream home may finally be affordable, ask a re/max agent or go to nobody sells more real estate than re/max. welcome back to this special edition of "today," remembering michael jackson.
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stevie wonder, usher, mariah carey and lionel richie are just a handful of the superstars who will participate in today's memorial service. michael roth is vice president of communications for aeg, the owner of the staples center and the concert promoter for what would have been jackson's comeback tour. mr. ross, good morning to you. >> welcome to los angeles. >> thank you. nice to be here. it's got to be a little brittersweet. it would have been the comeback tour, now it's the memorial service. >> you know, we were blessed to know that we were putting to the a show, michael was creating a show that would have made history. rock 'n' roll music history. >> and now beer here at this memorial service. what can you tell us about the final details in terms of who will be performing? any last-minute additions that you know of, that you want to share? >> we've had our hands full with the media helping to plan everything, and the people who know how to produce a show and direct a show, they're putting together what i think is a tremendous tribute to someone
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that the world wants to love. the world wants to say good-bye to in the respectful and proper way. >> how much say has the family had in terms of who will be performing here and what they want for their fans? because i know that's important to the family, not their fans, but michael's fans. >> this is the family's day. and they approached us about doing the event here. and we told them that if they wanted to, we'd be happy to. and i think every step of the way from making sure the fans would come from free, and doing it in anic wettable way to give tickets away was the family's idea. all the performers, producers, directors sat down with the family to make sure the wishes were carried out. the family knows what michael wanted. >> how does this compare, there are plenty of events that go on at the staples center. how does this compare to anything else you've ever done? >> we're just here from nba and nhl all-star games to four laker championships and parades. even democratic convention 2000.
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this is still unprecedented. the number of media people here, we're not just looking at a team that the country likes, a convention that makes international news. but this is an icon that people care far more about, it's every country in the world, a politician would be on stage here. to have 3,000 media members apply for credentials. it took us eight hours to vet the list on saturday just to see who we could accommodate. and that was just based on size. >> talk about particularly the exchange of tickets. >> people said the harder you work the luckier you get. we were lucky it went so smoothly. but there was a lot of hard work. everybody at aeg staples center, we were here all week long. i think people, even the public wanted this to work right. and the public understood the reasoning for the ticketing situation. you know, thankfully ebay and craiglist and other services took the tickets overline as soon as they could find them just to carry out the wishes and to give dignity to what deserved dignity in this day and age.
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>> on a very personal note, what does today mean for you? >> today means -- i am so proud of everybody that i worked with, that we could put this together in the four or five days. i'm so proud that los angeles will put a great show on. i'm so proud that so many people around the world with our free broadcast will be able to see this incredible day. >> all right, michael ross, thank you very much. and we're going to have much more from l.a. in our next hour. and again, brian williams anchors nbc's live coverage off the memorial starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern, 10:00 pacific time. >> thank you meredith. before we go to our local news and weather, we want to take a look back now at michael's impact on pop music, and pop kult your. take a look. >> good morning, the king of pop is dead. >> we have a gentleman here that needs help, and he's stopped breathing. >> people are simply in a state of shock over michael jackson's
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death. >> it's almost like losing a family member. i mean michael jackson has literally written the soundtrack to my life. >> first shock and then disappointment. >> very sad thing that he's gone. >> to you, michael is an icon. to us, michael is family. ♪ take the world make it a better place ♪ ♪ for you and for me and the entire human race ♪ >> the message through his songs lives. i know he is very much alive. ♪ >> so here we are on the front steps of the main house here at neverland. when michael jackson was here, there was music in the air. this was a room where michael jackson would greet his closest friends. in this corner here there was a grand piano.
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♪ got to be starting something ♪ want to be starting something ♪ >> the city of los angeles is preparing for a huge turnout at the staples center for michael jackson and this is the ticket that is causing all the commotion. >> hopefully i'll be able to be here. >> it's very important for me to be there. >> congratulations and i called her right away and said mom, we're going. ♪ >> let's give it up for one of the greatest artists the world has ever known. long live the king. >> we absolutely revolutionized the deliverance of a song. >> he is a part of the fabric of our lives. >> if i didn't know michael jackson i wouldn't be who i am today. >> he was a friend. and he was my little brother. >> he was like my son, a showman. >> the world could turn down the
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chatter and turn up the music and really enjoy the greatest artist that's ever lived. ♪ billie jean >> michael jackson! ♪ don't blame it on sunshine don't blame it on moonlight ♪ ♪ don't blame it on the good times blame it on the boogie ♪ ♪ don't blame it on the sunshine. don't blame it on the moonlight ♪ ♪ i'm talking with the man in the mirror ♪ ♪ i'm asking him to change his ways ♪ ♪ if you want to make the world a better place ♪ ♪
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>> he will forever live in all of our hearts. >> his time on this earth, he did good. he wanted good for everyone. >> good morning, i'm mindy basara. here is a look at some of our top stories. the i-team is learning more about along and violent history of a teen accused of shooting a five-year-old girl remains in critical condition. lamont davis' police record
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began at age 10 when he was charged as a juvenile for second-degree assault. and the five years he was charged with 10 more crimes, theft, drug dealing, and carjacking. he appeared in court just one day before the gun battle that will identify your old. sources tell 11 news davis was wearing an electronic monitoring ankle bra>> not let us take a le
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forecast. >> we are looking really nice as far as the weather. 87 the forecast high. partly cloudy. winds like an of the west. humidity still kept at bay, which is a good thing. looks beautiful in ocean city, 84. mostly sunny. looks like a cool metal part of the week. 80 tomorrow, a front will approach overnight. 20 sprint -- 20% chance of isolated thunderstorm.
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77 on thursday. back into the upper 80's by saturday and also in the mix for the weekend, more cubic conditions. >> thank you for joining us. another live update at 9:25 a.m..
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