Podcasters Are Not Your Role Models

Humble and Fred Are Not Your Role ModelsI just caught up on the recent controversy involving my friends Humble and Fred. I have a few thoughts on the subject.

Humble and Fred have been podcasting daily for almost three years now. They sign up sponsors who pay actual money. At some point, I have to figure out how to do this for Toronto Mike'd, but I digress...

Their newest sponsor is Ashley Madison. Ashley Madison's slogan is "Life is short, have an affair". The boys did what they do when a legal company offers them cash and espoused the virtues of this service. In other words, they celebrated a company that enables and encourages affairs.

This has rubbed many the wrong way. Humble and Fred present themselves as folksy everymen and hearing them push Ashley Madison's services initially seems a little off-brand. Nobody wants to hear Fred telling listeners you can discreetly cheat on your wife in less than 48 hours.

I get it, but I also know Humble and Fred personally and talk to them often. I don't think there's a legal business on the planet they'd turn down. I don't think Humble and Fred make good morality role models nor do I think they should assume such a role.

These are guys who celebrate the fact they'll take donations for a food bank and bring home all the good stuff. When Fred's not returning used items to Costco, Humble's talking about his visit to an adult spa or driving while high. These guys put it all out there, as raw as ever, and that's what makes their show work.

But they're not role models, and if you look up to them as such, that's on you, not them. And if you don't like hearing them espouse the virtues of Ashley Madison, you don't have to listen. But if this is the straw that broke the camel's back, I'd question how closely you've been listening these past few years...

Use Ashley Madison's services if you wish, but don't do it because Humble and Fred told you to. Because life is short, and Humble and Fred are not your role models.


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Argie

Life is short - don't waste your time listening to podcasts. Um, I mean, the one exception being Mike's.....

August 13, 2014 @ 2:58 PM

this guest

I practically don't even know who Humble and Fred are
might have heard them once
I don't know
but this is an informative
post

does Ashley Madison accept
canned beans

August 13, 2014 @ 3:10 PM

Garg-o-smell

Humble and Fred are not good role models, nor are they funny.

August 13, 2014 @ 3:32 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Garg-o-smell

If you don't find them funny, you don't have to listen. What a world we live in!

August 13, 2014 @ 3:35 PM

Cbab

Outrage is severely misplaced of late. Our city has been devoid of leadership for ages, and this is what people choose to get angry at.

August 13, 2014 @ 3:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cbab

I doubt it's this or that. People who look to Humble and Fred for moral guidance likely hate the shit out of Rob Ford.

August 13, 2014 @ 3:54 PM

Desperation

Is what this is all about.

August 13, 2014 @ 3:59 PM

Anonymous

So Humble and Fred want their listeners to cheat on their partners so they can make more money.

These are the same guys who cracked jokes about mental illness and suicide the day after Robin Williams passed.

If they tell you to go right - > go left!

August 13, 2014 @ 4:16 PM

Corey

As one of the people that contributed to their discussion, I still feel like there's a lot of misunderstanding about what I was trying to get across. I heard H&F read an email in response to mine that went something like, "Corey needs to relax, where was his moral outrage about Muse Spa?" First of all I don't see how that comparison is relevant, unless are we stating that Muse Spa's sole purpose is for married people to have sexual contact without their spouse knowing. Secondly, I wasn't morally outraged by anything. I don't begrudge H&F for bringing Ashley Madison on as a sponsor, I don't think AM is responsible for infidelity, I'm not going to boycott their show for any reason, and I definitely don't look to them as moral role models.

My only issue was the lengths they seemed to be going to portray AM as this high-minded, socially conscious company who only wants to help those poor desperate souls who are "trapped in sexless marriages" that have no other options. I'm pretty sure if AM came clean you'd find out something like 70% of their clientele are men. Men that are bored with their spouse and just looking to get some strange. So why not just say, "If you've been considering having an affair, for whatever reason, Ashley Madison can help?" instead of this overwrought stuff about women who are trapped in marriages that are afraid to speak out or leave their husbands (i.e.: this dark spectre of potential abuse)?

My opinion only. I'm a daily listener, I get a lot of entertainment from Humble and Fred, and I want them to have every success. I also respect that they are willing to address listeners' criticisms openly. I made my point, and have happily moved on.

August 13, 2014 @ 5:08 PM

markosaar

@Corey,

Maybe the socially-conscious angle is what it took to get it past their significant-others.

I agree with you; comes down to calling a spade a spade.

August 13, 2014 @ 5:49 PM

Speysidephil

I can't believe this post is even necessary.
My my you are sensitive people.

August 13, 2014 @ 7:14 PM

Johnny

I'm surprised Bill "The Shill" Carroll didn't get to Ashley Madison first. He'd do anything for a penny.

August 13, 2014 @ 8:29 PM

J

What really bothers me is when Humble says "Ashley Madison doesn't want you to have an affair, but if you do...."

That's 100% bullshit. Ashley Madison does want you to have an affair and their slogan "Life is short. Have an affair" proves it.

Like someone said, they should just call a spade a spade and stop with the outlier examples and lies.

I'm a very disappointed long time fan.

August 13, 2014 @ 9:22 PM

Aurora Bob

I couldn't care less about Ashley Madison or their business.

What I find annoying is the commercial that they run has a woman who sounds like she eats gravel or is a 2-pack-a-day smoker. Is that supposed to be a sexy voice? It's not even close.

August 14, 2014 @ 9:32 AM

Ashley Madison user

Long time reader, first time caller here. I am single and use AM. For every person on there trying to have an affair there are 6 more who simply are looking for open minded sex. Most of the women I meet on AM are married and their husbands know what is happening and often take part. Those people are at least honest about their intentions unlike many who are critical of the service. Many married couples live in a prostitute - client relationship where the woman exchanges sex and material comfort for sex. I find that setup more immoral and revolting than having casual sex with consenting adults.

I've listened to the Humble and Fred podcast and I don't particularly enjoy it but I wish them success. I think it's a bad choice as a sponsor and really shows how hard up they are for advertising. I think of those late night TV shows where the only advertising is the chop and dice guy.

My $0.02 cents

August 14, 2014 @ 11:47 AM

Garg-o-smell

The only thing more offsetting than hearing Humble and Fred shill for Ashley Madison is hearing them brag about how much money they made.

Signing bonus more than dad made in a year!

I told my friend what I made and he didn't believe me!

Despite making 10 x what the others at the station made, we didn't treat them like the poor scum they were!

August 14, 2014 @ 2:23 PM

Exasperated

The back and forth from H+F about not wanting to be part of the corporate mainstream, then wishing they were a part of it again if only their brilliance was understood, has gotten tiresome.

Of course that means they'll double down on it this fall.

August 14, 2014 @ 4:21 PM

Anonymous

NEW EPISODES OF HUMBLE AND FRED RADIO RETURN SEPTEMBER 2ND - WITH FOUR NEW SPONSORS - OH YEA, IT CAN BE DONE!

AND IF YOU WANT A T-SHIRT, GO HEAR.

http://garbngitches.com/index.php?route=product%2Fproduct&keyword=humble&product_id=50

August 15, 2014 @ 11:32 PM

Cambo

There's a simple reason why they decided to speak for AM- and it's because they have very few other options.

I have a huge problem with a sponsor advocating destroying marriages- that's what an affair eventually does. AM simply makes it easier.

The fact that H-F took them on is sad. Quite sad. Fred is happily married yet is suggesting you use a site that wants you to have an affair.

H-F need to bring back just a bit of class. AM is far from class. Just because you broadcast on the internet- does not give you a license to leave respect at the door. You'll never work in the industry again.

August 16, 2014 @ 5:11 PM

Steve

Ashley Madison offers a product to people who are dissatisfied with their current arrangement. Let's face it: the last thing that's going to make you cheat on your partner is an ad that tells you to. Yes, it is sad when somebody's feelings get hurt, but trust me: the only people who will actually cheat are already on the prowl, regardless of any ad campaign.

Seriously, there are a lot of advertisers in mainstream media with far more bad karma than the likes of Ashley Madison. As just one example, have a look at American daytime cable television. It's riddled with predatory ads aimed at seniors for "reverse mortgages". In these slick ads, holding companies offer seniors a paltry monthly cheque for the rest of their meager lives. In exchange, these douchebags win their customers' estates.

Generally "reverse mortgage" providers end up getting these properties for less than 30% of their market value. Their business model is about capitalizing on the fact that modern pensions have become insufficient, and luring the elderly into terrible deals, Most seniors who would fall prey to these scams were dazzled with the idea of being able to afford their prescriptions and medical expenses. Reverse Mortgages deliver a double whammy, first by cheating the elderly out of the fair value of their property, and secondly, snatching properties that would otherwise be willed to their children. As a result, today's generation must work even harder.

It's a perfect example of the chokehold exerted on average people by the ruling elite. Doing business with them will only make them stronger, and your own descendants weaker. They are the very reason why pensions are becoming inadequate.

And that's just one example. There are many regular advertisements which are either predatory, or based on immoral products or practices. Seriously - don't you get upset about some big oil company taking out an ad to tell us how clean their operations are in Fort McMurray? Or ads for prescription meds which are supposed to be offered to you by your doctor (as opposed to telling your doctor what drugs you want).

OK, let's talk again about a podcast that sells ad spots to Ashley Madison, a dating service wiith a focus on two-timing. Consider the scale of that, compared to ads for Chantix on Oprah. Continue to protest AM if you must, even if it is only a diversion from the truly evil advertisers, the ones who are actually tearing apart our culture and our economy. The ones we apparently can't do anything about.

August 17, 2014 @ 9:53 PM

Cambo

@Steve

I'm not against AM advertising- however in these types of scenarios, spot producers usually hire a third party voice talent to voice the spot for them. When you have the host personally speaking "live" as Fred has done for AM, it becomes an endorsement. Something they have personal experience with. And given AM's service- it's sleazy.

H-F should have had AM pay for a production company to produce the spot for them- then H-F air it as a normal commercial.

When a host is speaking of a company such as AM, it suggests to his/her audience that "if you must have an affair", it's an endorsement. Much like he wants you to use "Core Fusion"- because he does.

August 18, 2014 @ 8:21 AM

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