People can look at the same issue through two ends of a telescope and see them much differently.

Many Washingtonians cheered when the Senate adopted a proposal by Sen. Mark Andrews (R-N.D.) that, among other things, would restrain the growth of passenger traffic at Washington National Airport.

Among those other things is a directive that Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole work to "improve the availability of New York-Washington-type shuttle operations" to and from Dulles and Baltimore-Washington International airports.

This, Andrews' proposal continued, would "encourage" train travel between these two cities. All to the good, in the view of those who would curtail or even shut down National.

But now comes The New York Times, looking through the other end of the telescope, editorially viewing the proposed curtailment at National as a boon to "influential Washingtonians living in the airport's noisy flight paths."

Says The Times: "National Airport, just a $5 cab ride from the White House and a 10-minute subway ride from downtown Washington, is an air traveler's dream . . . a particular convenience for New Yorkers" or others within an hour's flight time from Washington.

To suggest that New Yorkers should take "(expensive) helicopter or (slow) bus service to Dulles" is, in The Times' word, "ridiculous."

MetroScene agrees.