What is frightening for some lawyers is how broad the judge's powers are when considering a contempt motion. Such a motion brought by another party is one thing, but a motion made on the fly and enforced by a judge is quite another.
And, yes, judges do use that power to maintain order in the courtroom and enforce their personal rules. It's not unusual for a judge to find an attorney in contempt and then command that lawyer to whip out a checkbook and pay a fine. That is a big hammer for a judge to use and some might argue that it is a necessary tool to have.