The Dawn Patrol has a link toPatterico’s Pontifications � See-Dubya: Fundamentally Flawed which is an excellant treatise on what "Christian Fundamentalism" is compared to the MSM's lack of understanding of what it is. I think he hits the nail on the head when he says, ... media types and leftists generally tend to use “fundamentalist” when they really mean “person who probably listens to albums by rhinestone-wearing gospel quartets” or “politically conservative” or as a shorthand signal for “we think these guys are wackos”.
The fact is, most reporters cannot distinguish a fundamentalist from anything other than a liberal. The biggest distinction they have a problem with is the distinction between "fundamentalist" and "evangelical" (yes there is a difference). The best short answer for "what is the difference?" came from the late Dr. Ralph Lewis, my academic advisor in seminary who said, "The biggest difference is that as an evangelical I can share my faith with you without being insulting" (cf: See-Dubya's reference to 'Jack-Chick-fantasy' in the linked artical. Anybody familiar with Chick's work knows he would insult anybody who didn't fit his idea as to what is 'Christian'). Many evangelicals are not Biblical literalists and they are found across all liturgical traditions. There are also evangelical protestants as well as evangelical Catholics. Note that evangelical is used to qualify the religious affiliation. A fundamentalist is a fundamentalist. In the fundamentalist mind there is no other valid form of Christianity.