REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Through others' eyes

To read some of the anonymous comments on the Register's online forums and comment threads, one would think Osama bin Laden himself
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

To read some of the anonymous comments on the Register's online forums and comment threads, one would think Osama bin Laden himself had set up shop at Buckeye Cablevision.

When did we become so afraid to consider other people might not look at the world the same way we do?

Not "other people" as in those who fly planes into buildings or blow themselves up in the middle of a crowd of children or shoppers, but "other people" as in those who do not live in Whitebread, U.S.A.

Al-Jazeera English starts today at Channel 229 on Buckeye Cablevision, and we welcome it. Some of us would welcome it even more if it were on the more basic service and not on the more-expensive digital, but we suppose that's progress..

We got an advance look at it the week before last, when it showed up for a couple days on Channel 70, normally occupied by a shopping channel. No televised beheadings, no anti-America rants, no State-of-the-al-Qaida address. Just something that sounded vaguely like BBC America on public television -- measured, thoughtful, slightly boring. No perky celebrity journalism, no bubba rants by the likes of Glenn Beck or Nancy Grace, just the news and, yes, analysis with more than a hint that countries other than the U.S. of A. might occasionally be right.

Even President Bush says our grievance is not with Islam or the people of the Middle East, but with the hijackers and car-bombers and those who whip them up into killing frenzy.

"Oh, would some power the giftie gi'e us," poet Robert Burns wrote, "to see oursel' as others see us. It would from many a blunder free us, and foolish notion."

The good Scotsman was right then, and he is right now.