We should all beware of those who change laws and modify the Constitution because they are inconvenient for the moment or challenge their thought processes. It also goes without saying that when we give up our rights to be calmed by the promise of security, then we have signed the contract with the devil.
KBOT asked about the journalists. This is a function of what started with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, whereby only those with lots of money and connections within government have the ability to report. In newsrooms we've seen big changes from shoe-leather on the sidewalk to sitting at desks feeding from press releases. I know of very little news agencies doing investigative reporting, other than newspapers which still has the ethics for some journalistic quality. TV has been dumbed down significantly. Radio news is non-existent except for "token" programs to let them say they are doing something.
What is the biggest threat these days are the large web site news feeds which, as you might expect, are controlled by the owners, (such as Google). And one should never think that these large news aggregates do not have some deal with government. In the early days of the Internet it was like the wild west, but today there is control, and one can be silenced in a moments time. If Google, Yahoo, or any web site were to suddenly become anti government or publish Snowden's documents, their connections would go down fast, real fast. The biggest challenge to oppression is the social media circles, such as Facebook and others. They remain open for the moment, but there has been speculation on their use. For example, a post I read suggested that someone's postings could, and would be used against them in a court of law. Ergo; if you cross someone in government, and you have posted a lot of anti-government things, then the prosecutor could demonstrate the threat under the Patriot Act and have you "detained".
In short, we stand within a hair's distance of transcending from a democracy to a ruled regime. I, for one, hope that someday my countrymen realize that they are not ruled by kind and compassionate leaders, but by elite that live off us. There is very little between us now, and our country in 1772. Maybe in a few years we will follow the same course.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson