Say It Ain't So, Joe

We've all heard the jokes about ambulance-chasers....conniving lawyers who smell big settlements anytime an accident happens and race to the hospital to land injured parties as clients. Or real estate brokers who read the obituaries to find grieving survivors who are looking to quickly settle a deceased family member's estate, which often means selling a home for less than its value. But it does not get any worse than this... Joe Jackson, patriarch of one of the most successful musical families of all time, found an opportunity during last night's B.E.T. Awards to plug his new venture, Ranch Records. During an interview with CNN's Dom Lemon, the man who will surely never be up for a Father of the Year award found the time to talk about the hip-hop label he had started with his business partner Marshall Thompson.

Joe Jackson, father of the late Michael Jackson

Responding to a question about how his wife and children were dealing with the news of Michael's death just four days earlier, he said: “They are all doing fine. But I wanted to make this statement. This is a real good statement here. Marshall and me own a record label called Ranch Records…”At which point Thompson stepped in and completed the thought: “It’s driven by Blu-ray technology, and that’s his next step.”

Having turned 80 the day after his son died, the senior Jackson deserves a bit of leeway considering his age and the emotional roller coaster wrought by the death of his youngest son, the King of Pop. But shilling a new business on live television before his offspring is even buried seems callous and opportunistic even for a grieving octogenarian. Widely reported to have been an abusive and unloving father, Joe Jackson's final affront to his most famous child was one that fortunately, MJ was spared from witnessing. As for the senior Jackson, perhaps having a Blu-ray release to think about will provide a welcome distraction from his family's unfathomable loss.