If Washington journalists want to inoculate themselves from the criticism that they are merely stenographers to power, they should stop baseless name-calling of the White House's critics. Yesterday in an interview with Coleen Rowley , an FBI whistleblower who's joined the protest at Camp Casey, MSNBC's O'Donnell referred to anti-war demonstrators  in Crawford, Texas, as "extremists."
Extremists are people who blow humans up to achieve political objectives. Extremists believe in the righteousness of their ideology or religion to the exclusion of all other ideologies or religions. Anti-war demonstrators, on the other hand, are people who are using peaceful and democratic means to convey their message.
Rowley—who opposed the war before it started—didn't take kindly to O'Donnell's characterization. She countered that, in fact, the majority of the people she saw in Crawford were "actually veterans' groups." Which prompted O'Donnell to ask this penetrating question: "But, Coleen, they do oppose the war in Iraq, do they not?"
News flash to O'Donnell: A majority of Americans  oppose the war in Iraq. Perhaps the fact that the protestors at Camp Casey are willing to endure "extreme" circumstances—tent-camping in the scorching Texas heat—makes O'Donnell question their stability. Many of them, as we know, have lost loved ones in the war. That might make them a little more passionate in their devotion to their cause than the rest of us who oppose the war, but confine our actions to a bumper sticker or a march or a vigil. But it doesn't make them "extremist."
Of course, as the debate over the war heats up, it's not surprising to see a rise in the age-old tactic  of demonizing the war's opponents. This all serves perfectly the administration's goal of marginalizing its opposition. We can only hope the mainstream media doesn't continue to aid the White House in this effort.