BOB GARFIELD: And now for a few of your letters. On our discussion on whether China is unduly influencing the content of Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, Paul Maidment of Manhattan had this to say: "The South China Morning Post has long genuflected in the direction of whomever was running Hong Kong. When I lived there in the '70s and the '80s, the joke was that the governor dictated the Post's editorials as he shaved each morning. But," he adds, "the fate of an English language paper in Hong Kong is less important to the health of a free press than what has happened to the much larger circulation Chinese language press. That was long divided into pro-Beijing and pro-Taiwan camps with only Ming Pao as the independent voice of Hong Kongers -- or at least middle class Hong Kongers. Stilling that voice has been the greater hurt to a free press."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Wendy Lavine of Greensboro, North Carolina wrote in with this: "Did y'all do a little bit on the pervasive and ever-present Claritin ads that are on my television, internet, radio, every magazine I read, et cetera? I know I heard something about this evil ad campaign (well, perhaps allergy relief is not evil, but it is EVERYWHERE) and I just wanted to hear that little bit again talking about this campaign and am hoping you have all the answers."
BOB GARFIELD:Well, Wendy, in honor of your request and of allergy season we will replay my memorable direct-to-consumer drug advertising piece at the end of the show, so -- stay tuned. And keep sending your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:And before we forget, many of you wrote in to correct us on our attribution gaffe. Of course the great Cole Porter did not write the lyrics to Let's Call the Whole Thing Off. It was the great Ira Gershwin.
BOB GARFIELD: Yeah, my bad. [BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
BROOKE GLADSTONE: [LAUGHS] And to make amends-- [LAUGHS] and to make amends here for your delectation, a few bars of perfection.
ELLA FITZGERALD: [SINGING] ...BETTER CALL THE CALLING OFF, OFF-- LET'S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF--
BOB GARFIELD: Coming up, the birth of satellite radio and the death of Ally McBeal.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: This is On the Media from National Public Radio.
"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"
by Sarah Vaughan