The US and any other government has a lot of power because of the entity that it is. The government uses means to violate peoples privacy through communications and bombarding citizens with marketing to advertise their agenda. Controlling the media is another tool the government uses to shape peoples opinions.
It is my opinion that the United States government gains more control over its citizens by manipulating the media and its content. By controlling the media, the government keeps its citizens focused on the things that will be least likely to cause unwanted conflict or rebellion concerning any government foreign or domestic policies.
That does do a good job to make sure certain people hate the media as well the government. Neither system has a very good track record. Some people in government use all means necessary to make sure people do not know the real story. If Americans knew the real story, many politicians would not be in office right now.
I definitely think that the government gains control over the public by controlling the media in some ways and its content. When the government is able to manipulate and slant news reports, it helps an administration gain support for their cause. It is something that is wrong but it happens.
Media manipulation is terrible, but it's an amazing way of gaining more control of the people. Propaganda can be used in many terrible ways, so if it were to be used to control the content the media produces if it already isn't, it should be used for the right reasons and to not limit peoples rights. Even thought that in ifself would limit freedom of the press.