counter

How Low the Mighty Have Fallen: Hugh Downs and Al Haig Do Infomercials

By now the spectacle of once-popular actors and actresses being reduced to infomercial hosts is a familiar one. Celebrities such as Linda Evans and Erik Estrada were once stars of the most popular television shows in the country and their faces fixtures on magazine racks. But their stars faded and they had to make due as infomercial hosts to make ends meet. Still, despite all the TV Guide and People Magazine covers (10 Sexiest Bachelors of 1979!), no one ever really took people like Linda Evans and Erik Estrada seriously, nor expected they would even be remembered—much less popular—20 or 30 years later. So the fact that they now hawk products on TV is hardly surprising to anyone.

More surprising is the case of Hugh Downs. He first came to prominence in the late 1950s as the announcer on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar. Later Hugh Downs became very well known as the anchor of the ABC news program 20/20. Downs won Emmy awards for his work on 20/20. These days Downs has gone from host of 20/20 to host of an infomercial peddling The World’s Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets, a book that’s supposed reveal all kinds of “amazing” cures that doctors don’t want you to know about. So a man who was once a pioneer of late night TV is now a fixture on a whole different kind of late night programming. Arizona State University happens to have a “Hugh Downs School of Human Communication” named after him—which is where the latest version of his infomercial was filmed. I wonder if some University will open a “Ron Popeil School of Human Communication” anytime soon.

Actors and broadcasters aren’t the only ones who turn to infomercials once their careers have dried up. The world of politics has several examples.

The infomercial for the National Grants Conference promotes a seminar by Mike and Irene Milin that’s supposed to reveal secrets for wrangling taxpayer money from the government. The show includes a panel of several unknown ex-bureaucrats. The earlier version of the infomercial also featured former congressman J.C. Watts and the current version features former congressman J.D. Hayworth. Both of these men once were movers and shakers in the halls of Congress. Now they’re peddling schemes for getting rich off government money; they’ve essentially turned themselves into Matthew Lesko with better wardrobes.

Then there is the case of Alexander “Al” Haig. Haig served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Reagan, fourth in line of succession to the presidency (a subject of some discussion during his tenure). Now Al Haig hosts an infomercial called “World Business Review.” If you ever catch the World Business Review infomercial you won’t exactly see Al Haig holding a Miracle Blade, standing next to Chef Tony, shouting, “But wait, there’s more: Call in the next five minutes and you’ll get an extra slicer—absolutely FREE!” World Business Review is a staid, serious, and quite boring bit of paid programming disguised as a public affairs program. It sells no products directly, but merely promotes the work being done by the companies who are profiled; these companies are hoping their appearance on this infomercial will help them score government and/or corporate contracts. It is important to remember that this is not a political video that is “like” an infomercial—it is a real infomercial: The producers are paid by the companies that get profiled; the producers then buy the airtime from a TV network (it is currently being shown on CNBC and Bravo) just like Guthy-Renker does for Proactiv Solution infomercials.

Here is a clip from one of the World Business Review infomercials where Al Haig gets to show off his teleprompter reading skills. If you find it dull you’re in good company because it looks as if Al Haig is about to doze off at several moments.

Haig isn’t the first prominent person to host this series of infomercials either: General Norman Swartzkopf and former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger played the same role in the past. Still, as former Secretary of State, Al Haig is the highest ranking member of the Federal government ever to host a broadcast infomercial. Al Haig has gone from being a peer of Thomas Jefferson, Dean Acheson, and Henry Kissinger to being a peer of Cathy Mitchell and Billy Mays.

Comments

  • 52 Responses to “How Low the Mighty Have Fallen: Hugh Downs and Al Haig Do Infomercials”

  • I just saw that flaming has-been Hugh Downs shilling for a medical infomercial and attempting to dupe the ignorant, unfortunate masses.

    I guess his social security check isn’t enough to live off, so why not grab the money from the infirm, aged and naively hopeful.

    I never liked Hugh Downs and now I know why.

    Comment by BigBlue56 on April 19, 2008 at 10:11 pm

  • What a huckster Hugh Downs has become! How sad!

    Comment by Ashok on September 28, 2008 at 6:09 pm

  • I hope my brother doesn’t see the Hugh Downs infomercial!

    Comment by Steve on November 3, 2008 at 6:21 am

  • You are all jealous that you don’t have your own infomercials. They may be has beens, but you all are never were’s.

    Comment by hedy on November 4, 2008 at 10:30 am

  • Yes, how sad! Downs, like Ed McMahon, either must not have invested properly toward retirement, or is just a greed bucket, or both, to appear is such crummy infomercials. From Jack Paar to his years on _Concentration_ to his 20/20 work, he appeared to be one of the classics of television, but I guess at the age of 87 he doesn’t care anymore.

    Comment by Jalar on November 30, 2008 at 9:04 pm

  • Proven Methods Seminars (aka National Grants Conferences) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on December 3, 2008.

    Comment by Jose P on December 17, 2008 at 5:57 pm

  • Yeah – I just found out my father paid $1000 to “PROVEN METHODS 888-809-5074″ (that’s what was listed on the CC statement). My ‘alert alarm’ went off immediately – after enough digging I found the truth. I’ll parrot the comment above about “grabbing money from the aged and naively hopeful”.

    Comment by terrance g on December 29, 2008 at 7:40 am

  • Without reading, investigating, trying and disproving the information being touted by a celebrity in a book presented in an infomercial, how can any reasonably intelligent individual criticize it? I agree that there are many infomercials selling garbage and dreams, but most everything we buy as a result of regular advertising contains a significant amount of garbage and dreams. With enough money and ad time I could not only make you believe certain things work better than others but I can make them work better (in your eyes) too irregardless of whether they do or don’t. In fact with enough money I could probably make most people believe that the earth was always really flat (for anything more outrageous than that you need to look to Religion) Does a leading tile cleaner kill mold in the shower better than common bleach does or does the bleach work better? What is “The Real Thing”? What makes it more “Real” than all the fake things? How is it that “Coke is It”? What’s It? Oh now I get it “It” is “The Real Thing” and “Coke is It” Coke = It but aren’t there other things that are Its, like It looks like rain, that’s an It isn’t “It” hahaha? Oh yeah, but Coke must be the only real “It” because “Coke is It” and “It’s The Real Thing” Coke is “It’s the Real Thing” Everybody knows “It”. There are many tricky circuitously presented disingenious claims made by advertising professionals who avail themselves of psychologically proven human conditioning methods reinforced with constant repetitition to result in favorable brand recognition, purchase of and subsequent use of products no one needs. While this type of hype has become common it does not justify product endorsement by celebrities who know absolutely nothing about the products they are soliciting and who just spit out words from a script written for them. However, one’s acceptance of the idea that the mere appearance on an infomercial lightens the credibility of a lifetime of accomplishment is to say the least prejudice, narrowminded and foolish. I doubt the author of this blog actually even read the book. It might be worthwhile, but the author of this blog only mentions the book as what it’s “supposed” to be with the generalized unsubstantiated idea that the book is “supposed” “to reveal all kinds of “amazing” cures that doctors don’t want you to know about” and the misinformed blogger has not even named one amazing cure or one doctor that doesn’t want you to know about it. I know a lot of doctors and most are not really concerned with how much you know about anything they’re concerned with what they themselves know about you and what ails you. One thing I know for sure is that if Hugh Downs were to ring my door bell I would let him come into my home and I could leave him alone and trust that he would not be going through my draws looking for credit cards to steal. I wouldn’t go so far as to classify him as a typical used car salesman without ever driving a car he sold me.

    Comment by Joseph Iacovacci on January 2, 2009 at 11:24 am

  • Dear Joseph Iacovacci,

    This is a HUMOR blog that makes jokes about infomercials. I did not “criticize” any book. I only made jokes about has-been celebrities who appear on infomercials.

    I really think you need to relax with an ice cold Coke.

    Comment by Paul Lucas on January 3, 2009 at 2:37 pm

  • the last thing Iacovacci needs is more ‘coke’. what else makes you ramble like that. what he really needs is a newly discovered herb discussed on page 33 of The World’s Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets!

    Comment by glen on January 17, 2009 at 11:15 am

  • To Hedy: Jerry, Jerry (as in Jerry Springer).

    That “The World’s Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets” infomercial mentions that 3 (or was it 2) Nobel Laureates coming on their own to help people by appearing in the infomercial. I saw at least one of them in the infomercial.

    I can digest a Secretary of State being in an infomercial (as they say, Politics = “Poly” + “Tick”s), but for a Nobel Laureate scientist to appear in such an infomercial, I find that really degrading. Maybe science is over hyped, after all!

    Comment by Znkp on January 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

  • BEWARE OF SCAM BY HUGH DOWNS

    I write because Hugh Downs is using the PBS name for his personal profit undertaking unethical business practices. Mr Downs is fronting for this organization: http://heroesofhopetv.com/Main.htm, the “Heroes of Hope Series”.

    This enterprise contacts individuals doing humanitarian work purposefully creating the impression that they are journalists seeking to do an interview for Mr Down’s television series. After a series of sales tricks they then request a $25,000 “contribution” “to cover costs”. I have been doing humanitarian work for 15 years and this is the second time I have seen this type of bait and switch scam.

    This is a sophisticated scam. I was passed through four people over three days in order to create the illusion of large media company like PBS.

    Of course, I confronted them about these unethical practices and they responded that they never represented themselves as journalist. It was clear from the panned response that surprised individuals often confront them – thinking they were being interviewed by PBS, but coming to understand that Mr Downs is praying on the innocent, people who devote their lives to helping others.

    One can only imagine that the final product delivered by the unsavory group with Mr Down’s name on it is of low quality. Thereafter, the individual who has dedicated their live to humanitarian work learns that of course they will never be featured on TV. Shameful.

    It is one thing for Mr Downs to be a pitchman for anything that will pay him, but to be involved is a scam like this is unethical and wrong. Fallen indeed.

    Comment by David Satt on January 31, 2009 at 11:30 am

  • We have now been billed 3 times for a book we ordered that Hugh Downs promotes. Consequently, I have phoned Boardroom’s Bottom Line and am returning the book along with an additional book that I ordered from them as well as the free books they sent. I do not even want the free books in my possession! I am very disappointed in Hugh Downs for accepting a salary from them and them ripping off the elderly who may have forgotten and paid them again! How do I report this infomercial company and stop their abuse?

    Comment by Ouida Manchester on February 5, 2009 at 11:12 am

  • How sad it is that people on this blog can take anon potshots at other people’s life choices. It’s easy to poke fingers AT things BUT can you do anything else???? CAN YOU ACTUALLY BE PRODUCTIVE – ARE YOU JUST ANOTHER BLOODSUCKING SET OF VOYEURS – feeling free to comment safe within your womb but without an ounce of integrity. Was anything said or done that was false? Wsa anything done to harm to you, your family, the country? Do you honestly believe that drug companies and the med profession have all the answers to life’s ailemts?

    Comment by t4 on February 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm

  • Thanks for your comment Ouida Manchester. Today I received a call from Janette Morrison. She absolutely gave the illusion that she was part of some larger TV production company with Hugh Downs, and she is basicaly selling a product, a commercial. Thank goodness that I had read this site while she was talking. Total scam and worse directed at people who are trying to help families that have sick children. They might provide a good service, however, they should be up front about the $22,000.00 that they require for a non profit to participate.

    Comment by Pamela Ferro on February 19, 2009 at 9:35 am

  • Glen. What IS on page 33? I need to relax!

    Comment by Blase Wharton on February 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm

  • Glen: It says you have been scrued

    Comment by ed on April 7, 2009 at 8:06 pm

  • Thanks for your comment, David Satt. I also was recently approached by the “Heroes of Hope Series” and went through exactly the same experience you described. The name Hugh Downs and their claim that they were filming a PBS special made me think they were credible. But when I finally learned I had to pay $25,900 for them to interview me and my organization, I quickly lost interest. It saddens me that a man of Hugh Downs’ stature has lent his (formerly) good name to such an enterprise.

    Comment by Don Eggert on April 9, 2009 at 6:42 pm

  • Why dosn’t someone go and iterview these guys doing those infomercials and find out what in the world they were thinkng when they signed on to promote some obvious scam?

    Comment by jay macke on April 10, 2009 at 8:48 am

  • There is no lower form of humanity than a notable who takes advantage of his or her celebrity. Hugh Downs and Ed McMahon are two of the most despicable, money grabbing former “top dogs” who have shown us what the meaning of “avarice” really is.

    They have no conscious for those in our society who are desperate and easily persuaded that there exist “magic” healing methods and easily gotten treasures. If only there were laws that could stop these disingenuos parasites and expose then for what they are.

    Comment by donald musickant on April 10, 2009 at 10:09 am

  • As disappointing as Hugh Downs doing infomercials is, I still respect him more as a journalist than any so-call journalist on 20/20 right now.

    Comment by Jacob on April 19, 2009 at 11:29 pm

  • I was apaproached by Business Trends who said they were doing a series about the new economy under Obama. They wanted to spotlight my small business and give me exposure in 400 markets. I too was asked for an up front $22,900 to cover production costs. I had my lawyer go over their 2 page contract and there were too many things not said or guaranteed to mention. Obviously I pulled the plug on that. BUYER BEWARE. Check, check and double-check, I never did get the references I asked for.

    Comment by Donna Ramos on May 15, 2009 at 10:35 am

  • Hugh Downs has an advertisement on a website to hire speakers esp in healthcare. He states he has a degree in gerontology and credentials in health and aging–making him knowledgeable in the healthcare area. Does he really or are they honorary? HOw they get away with it–From the website of the company that produces these “documentary” informercials at
    http://www.ecoplanettv.com/faq.htm3.

    Question: Does our programming or production studio have any affiliation with programs produced by PBS, or other independent organizations?

    There is a typical misunderstanding that PBS and Public Television are one and the same. PBS and Public Television are not one and the same and our series is not associated with PBS. The producers and studio are not associated with, distribute programming for, review underwriting for or otherwise have any business relationship with PBS (or any other entity program provider such as APT or NETA).

    Comment by PJ Mony on May 18, 2009 at 4:10 am

  • I got a message left on my ansering machine from AMY with the invitation to the scam. This BS producer wants to ‘feature’ me on the upcoming “The future of Spinal Care” for PBS and the Discovery Channel. Oh boy I can’t wait! Thanks for the Blog folks, I have to wonder how many poor scnooks will fall for this!

    Comment by Dr Mark on June 18, 2009 at 9:57 am

  • http://www.frankwbaker.com/thirtysecadcosts.htm

    2004-2005 Prime Time 30 Second Ad Rates
    (as reported by Adage.com Sept. 27, 2004)

    Program Network 30 Sec. Ad Cost
    American Idol (Wed) FOX $658,333
    American Idol (Tues) FOX $620,000
    ER NBC $479,250
    Survivor CBS $412,833
    Apprentice NBC $409,877
    Joey NBC $392,500
    CSI CBS $374,231
    Will & Grace NBC $359,546
    Simpsons FOX $336,935
    Contender NBC $330,000
    Monday Night Football ABC $323,000

    $2.25M for 30 Second Super Bowl Ad

    Definition of producer
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/producer

    pro⋅duc⋅er  /prəˈdusər, -ˈdyu-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [pruh-doo-ser, -dyoo-] Show IPA
    –noun 1. a person who produces.
    2. Economics. a person who creates economic value, or produces goods and services.
    3. a person responsible for the financial and administrative aspects of a stage, film, television, or radio production; the person who exercises general supervision of a production and is responsible chiefly for raising money, hiring technicians and artists, etc., required to stage a play, make a motion picture, or the like. Compare director (def. 3).
    4. British Theater. (formerly) a director of theatrical productions; stage director.
    5. an apparatus for making producer gas.
    6. Ecology. an organism, as a plant, that is able to produce its own food from inorganic substances.

    Definition of Host
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/host

    host1  /hoʊst/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [hohst] Show IPA
    –noun 1. a person who receives or entertains guests at home or elsewhere: the host at a theater party.
    2. a master of ceremonies, moderator, or interviewer for a television or radio program.
    3. a person, place, company, or the like, that provides services, resources, etc., as for a convention or sporting event: Our city would like to serve as host for the next Winter Olympics.
    4. the landlord of an inn.
    5. a living animal or plant from which a parasite obtains nutrition.
    6. Surgery. the recipient of a graft. Compare donor (def. 2).

    –verb (used with object) 7. to be the host at (a dinner, reception, etc.): He hosted a reception for new members.
    8. to act as host to: The vice president hosted the foreign dignitaries during their visit.
    9. to act as master of ceremonies, moderator, or interviewer for: to host a popular talk show.

    –verb (used without object) 10. to perform the duties or functions of a host.

    interstitial World-Wide Web
    A World-Wide Web page that appears before the expected content page. Interstitials can be used for advertising (intermercial, transition ad) or to confirm that the user is old enough to view the requested page, etc..
    (2003-07-11)

    Comment by Producer on June 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm

  • Why pick on the likes of Hugh Downs? What a bitchy, pms-laden story.

    Comment by Joe Allgeyer on July 10, 2009 at 12:34 pm

  • They may be has beens, but you all are never were’s.

    Is that “never were is” or “never were” possessing something mysterious?

    It remains hard for me to take anyone seriously who cannot write properly.

    Cheers.

    Comment by Wally Ford on July 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

  • “They have no conscious for those in our society …”

    You mean “conscience”?

    “…so-call”

    You mean “so-called”?

    Now this one is tricky:
    “I can digest a Secretary of State being in an infomercial.”

    Does that mean your digestive system can handle eating him? Perhaps you mean that you can sum up or condense the information he is disseminating? Or perhaps you can take his body of printed work and summarize it in a book?

    Finally, putting aside grammatical or semantic issues, how about the following:

    “Why pick on the likes of Hugh Downs? What a bitchy, pms-laden story.”

    Pick on him? He’s the one hawking products on infomercials! PMS-laden? You sexist asshole! Is every complaint a product of PMS? Try joining the rest of us in the twenty-first century you neanderthal.

    Comment by Patrick on July 21, 2009 at 10:35 am

  • To Patrick’s comments of July 21st.
    Patrick, your response to comment of Joe Allgeyer says more about your rationality than any of the content within it. What prompted your immediate retreat behind the skirts of the opposite gender that claims Joe is a sexist? In actuality, the use of PMS to describe your outrage is keenly accurate, since your expressed opinions seem more appropriate coming from the equally talented,
    deserving of respect, female members of Homo Sapiens.

    Comment by Paul Comi on August 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm

  • Whoa! WTF-over?

    Comment by Tim Bo on September 1, 2009 at 7:20 pm

  • Has any of the participants of this blog actually read the book Hugh Downs promoted?

    Comment by Mark Brid on September 4, 2009 at 9:21 am

  • Very few things are rarely only one way or the other. The truth is that there is some benefit to the information that Hugh Downs is reporting. Natural substances can and do affect your health and can do so in a positive way. It is a balance. We are what we consume (in so many ways). Broaden your perspective and consider a balance in convential medicine and natural preventive care. It is not all one way.

    Comment by gdawkins on September 21, 2009 at 11:01 pm

  • I’ve lost all respect for Hugh Downs after seeing this infomercial for Ultimate Healing books. Right, they have the cure for diabetes by eating “this one food … see page 307″. They also have the cure for Alzheimer, which they call a “diabetes of the brain”. All you have to do is buy their books and they never seem to be up front about how much shipping is! Anyway, all of the best physicians and researchers in the world are searching for cures for diabetes and Alzheimer’s, when Hugh Downs already knows the secret…just buy his books! This guy has become a bottom feeder. Hugh, at 80-something, shouldn’t you have already made your fortune? Or are such a big spender that you prey off the less fortunate in hopes of some miracle cure just because you are a well know name. Well, Hugh, the last thing you do is what you’ll go down in history for….screw job Hugh Downs.

    Comment by Ronito on September 26, 2009 at 2:21 pm

  • Shame on you, Hugh Downs! Someone who has gained so much respect over your career now has to stoop to such low levels as to push for ‘miracle cures’ in your Health Secrets books. OK, you’ve got my money, which outfits like you seldom do. You suckered me in. I bought this as much on your name as with the advertising. What a sham!

    Based on your recommendation that I give up my Lipitor for the natural supplement ‘L-Arginine/L-Citrulline Complex’, I cut my Lipitor in half and took your recommended product for about 3 months. On my next blood test, my chloresterol had substantially increased, both total and LDL. My cardiologist chewed me out real good, told me what this supplement would really do, and ordered me to go back to my regular dosage of Lipitor, without the supplement.

    I wonder how many have died permaturely by following your advice. Shame on you Hugh Downs!

    Comment by Dave P on September 27, 2009 at 10:17 am

  • And here you are making a living Blogging about these losers. Hmmm.

    Comment by Suzanne Giancoli on October 3, 2009 at 7:04 am

  • To say the least I wondered about Hugh Downs when you associate yourself with selling books.
    I was further wondering about the Wikipedia how accurate information is regarding Hugh Downs.
    It is disheartening to read all the blogs so far for not mentioning Hugh Downs financial situation he is in now.
    Could anybody make a statement regarding Hugh Downs as a human being?

    Comment by Byong Uk Chung on October 8, 2009 at 3:27 am

  • gonna say three things, first, people who nit-pick the smallest details in an arguement (like spelling or misuse of descriptive verbs) are idiots, remember this old saying? its better to remain silent and thought a fool then to speak up and remove all doubt. some of you should really take it to heart, tear down an opinion because it differs from yours and you don’t have the facts to back it up. come back and hit me with the facts maybe i’ll reply maybe i won’t, actually i probably won’t i doubt i’ll return to this site after i finish my research.

    second, let’s see “there’s a sucker born every minute”, “a fool and their money are soon parted”, how many of these quotes would you like posted? idiots get scammed, if you enter into a contract without knowing the person you’ve entered into it with your an idiot.

    here’s a third, i have to agree with the people who say if you don’t know don’t criticize, i mean look at the cultures of the far east that have had “civilization” for hundreds of years before western cultures. they have medical techniques that are frowned upon here in the states that work, and tribes that were scientifically proven to not be suseptable to certain diseases due to something in their diets. if you believe that there are no other cures out there other than the cures a pharmaceutical company can give you your idiots. smash infomercial “stars” all you like for unethical behavior, pharmaceutical companies are still sending medicines over seas to charitable organizations near their expiration dates so they can get the tax write offs. by the time the medicines arrive at their destinations their out of date makeing them poison or worse useless. (last claim was first covered by 60 minutes in the late 70′s or early 80′s if memory serves me for time and there have been subsequent stories by other minor rags since)

    in summation be sure you choose the right side to endorse before making ass-nine statements about scamming folks. at least do enough research so that you appear informed, i was researching the ads claim to have been sponsored on a Hugh Downs program when i came across this blog page, and i don-t view infomercials as credible programs.

    enjoy your day.

    Comment by johnny cash on December 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm

  • when I was in Grade school there was a program on wmaq (nbc) in Chicago broadcast saterdays from the 19th floor of the Merchandise Mart called Uncle Ned’s Squadron, the show was a kid’s show and featured Ned Locke (Bozo’s Circus), and Hugh Downs. I was on the air as Executive Officer once and many times as a contestant and member of its kid’s live audience. I remember my mother and her friends gathering at my grams to listen to a pre-recorded show that I was to have a speaking part. They were all gathered in the kitchen and talking to each other like adults do. Then they asked me, when is it going to be on? I told them it was just on and you were all talking . I tried to tell you but you shushed me.

    Comment by allen Lindquist on January 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm

  • I did not buy their book. However, I researched Ignarro, and a doctor using his info: Dr. Joe Prendergast. I tried taking the active ingredients used in one of the formulas for atherosclerosis. it consisted of 5grams or so of L-arninine, 800mg L-citrulline, vit-c, e, folic acid, and resveratrol. I also threw in some L-Lysine. These are all available at healthfood stores. at first little happened, but then I doubled the dose (I am a larger person). This within an hour had a remarkable effect, suddenly I had tons of energy. At 63 I felt like 25 again. It says it opens up arteries. And it should even clear them from plaque. I tend to doubt this latter. But the effect is unmistakable, repeatable, and without side effects at least in the few weeks I have been using it. Guys, I dunno, Dr. Prendergast has been using it on his patients and no heart problems in any of them in 19 years of practice now. I would not expect belief, but such heavy skepticism that prevents people trying it is just not wise in this case, you could lose the upside, while downside risk is minimal.

    Comment by bobl on January 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm

  • Mr. Downs has my respect. The chelation therapy works just as well or better than anything the American Heart Assoc. or the Cancer Society of America has to offer. I am living proof.
    4000 mg of Vit C and 1000 mg Lysine everyday and I have out lived all my Father’s side of the family by 14 years so far. The big societies will never find a cure for any disease. The day they do is the day they go out of business. You may as well be giving your money to the kids who really deserve it, the victims of the Catholic Church sex abuse. I said the victims, not the attorney fee’s.
    AWMAC

    Comment by Andrew McGovern on January 22, 2010 at 12:42 am

  • hugh dowens is human garbage. he now cheats the same people who ‘believe’ him to be honest.
    hugh: i can only hope that what happened to that other piece of road kill – billy ‘fork you americans’ mays – happens to you asap.
    you truly are a disgrace and you deserve to die.

    Comment by ralph ferrara on January 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm

  • hugh, how could you?

    my generation trusted you.

    Comment by nick on March 6, 2010 at 10:59 pm

  • This is Really SAD! Maybe Hugh has GWBush syndrome and believes in this product because of his own personal experience, meanwhile his own senility permits the folks in his periphery to take advantage of him, and us.
    Most people need guidance with natural remedies as do Pharmaceutic. The beautiful thing here is that the very people who Trust in Hugh have so trusted in most Media especially TV Since the 40′s or so, and have had the wool pulled thick over their eyes for decades, They are suffering and in great pain, as a generation they are probably the sickest ever because Doctors with Pharmaceuticals and surgical errors are the # 1 killer when put together from article in JAMA 2002 by Barbara Starfield, they know!! The money is too good, I am so happy for people who trust in natural curs ! They work in my office day after day, are are showing me and my patients miracle after seaming miracle, I’ve never had so much fun, Lovin ya all!!

    Comment by Drzeke on March 11, 2010 at 11:32 am

  • Hugh Downs is 91 years young so he must know a thing or two about health issues. Supplements do work to prevent illness/disease if one is wise and knowledgeable with dosage. Too many people who now take prescriptions would not be so sick had they taken supplements before becoming disease-prone.

    Comment by Josie on March 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

  • Josie you have a point about Hugh Downs’ 91 years of longevity. What you don’t know is what if any prescriptions HE might be downing daily. Just because someone is a paid product hawker doesn’t mean they believe in it.

    Comment by Rick Evans on April 4, 2010 at 3:56 am

  • I’m not going to comment on whether Downs has fallen or not. I would like to add a few words going towards the scam side of things.

    I too watched this infomercial and having the laptop in front of me, started researching names. My guess is that the info in the book is fairly on the up&up. After picking through some of the scientists and their articles, the ones I read were straight forward and some were already common knowledge.

    However, I then started wondering scam-side (reminiscing Trudeau and his wonders). Searched “Ultimate healing book scam” and found this site and read the above comments. But I also came across another site that was dealing with Boardroom Inc & Bottomline Books.

    http://www.scamtimes.com/scam-times/headline/ultimate-healing-boardroom-bottom-line-books/
    (If you don’t want the URL posted here I understand).

    From what I have read on various sites, the company selling the books is extremely problematic. Please be aware of this company. If the owner of this blog permits, please have the information on the above URL listed – as the website I have posted tries to assist those already duped by this company.

    Thanks

    Comment by Don on April 25, 2010 at 7:29 am

  • Why could Mr. Downs or the sponsors not have given us one little tidbit of information that has worked according to the big BANG-BONG book about how to never get Alzheimer’s and other illnesses/diseases/conditions? Just throwing out those suggestions, but no real answers did not appear on the up and up. Looks like that would have sold more books at the regular first announced price, rather than having to sink to selling them online for
    $39.95 along with 4 or so other books?

    Comment by Dot Jacks on August 12, 2010 at 6:46 am

  • I don’t know how many hits this webpage will get in a year’s time; but I hope that people understand it is satire, and do not throw out alternate medicine, more because of the comments, than the article itself. Bottomline may be “a problem” in its business practices, but the books are fonts of information gathered in one place. Until you read one, don’t knock the infomercials or Hugh Downs. I have a couple of their books, added to my reference library of alternative medicine. Have never been double or triple billed. Alternative medicine is directed at formulating good health habits, using supplements, yes, diet and exercise too, to prevent future illness as the body ages. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have as many conditions as I do. All my conditions were “created” by “medical errors”. Buyer beware, yes, but that goes for your family doctor and the products he prescribes.

    Comment by Helen Mueller on August 28, 2010 at 9:20 am

  • I used to like watching Hugh Downs’ gameshow ‘Concentration’ back when I was a kid in the ’60s. However, I wouldn’t buy anything being pitched by anybody just because they were on old TV shows I liked. Same thing goes for Andy Griffith shilling Obama’s health scam.

    Comment by Robert Wayne on October 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm

  • Reading comments on this website leaves me quite sad realizing how many negative comments about Hugh Downs are based on someone else’s comments without doing any real study or research. No wonder America is going down the tubes when so few can think for themselves and judge so quickly. As for natural healing, it’s God who made vitamins and minerals and protein and fats and carbohydrates, and it’s man who messes it all up. Is that too hard to understand? Read your Bible. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” and “the hairs on your head all all numbered”.

    Comment by Jim LeBeau on November 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm

  • Jim,

    What on earth does that have to do with the informercial and the claims made therein?

    The sheer number of people falling for these scams is a reflection of how lazy, ignorant and credulous our society has become. Looking for an easy out, they plunk down $30+ to some huckster for an unproven solution their problems.

    Comment by Jordan on January 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

  • To Paul:

    After seeing Winkler peddle reverse mortgages, and noticing that even HE has fallen prey to our country’s weight, food, obesity epidemic, I wondered: is anyone else paying attention? Am I the only 40 year old who sees the indicative nature of such things?
    I googled “Henry Winkler Stoops Reverse Mortgage” & found your article. It was a relief.
    When I was young, the only really trustworthy news program on national TV besides 60 minutes was 20/20. It meant something. Hugh D’s demise.. is nothing sacred? Is there ANYONE left who has & exhibits true dignity?
    I’m thankful for your article. I’m also grateful for the comments from people who see this behavior & agree that sonething is wrong. These things give me (all of us, really) hope. Much appreciated.

    Comment by Lee Manning on June 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Leave a Reply