(That assumes, of course, that the tyrant isn't one of many tyrants all doing the same thing, or that the tyrant hasn't formed a monopoly on a vital service or good).
Integral to fighting that tyrant and preventing him from abusing his power, then, is people actually learning about what he is doing, and that relies desperately on the free trade of information - that is, that:
- People are able to discover what is happening
- People are able to communicate that discovery widely
Such a tyrant would, necessarily, need to attack the First Amendment in order to expand his power.
We've been seeing that happen from both the right and the left, lately, and in some very insidious ways.
First, we have the advent of "fake news." Though we have long been aware that news sources were not always reliable, in the age of Facebook their power has risen exponentially. On both sides of the aisle, they rouse the fervor of their readers by publishing stories that have a morsel of truth, but they couch that truth in a bed of lies and half-truths, all of which sound reasonable enough to the person reading. They take advantage of the human tendency to accept things which confirm our beliefs, known as "confirmation bias." When we are presented with some argument that sounds plausible, we don't tend to investigate it further, because we already know that it's right (even when it's not).
Fake news is a war against the First Amendment, however, for two reasons: First, because when we encounter fake news from the other side, we have a tendency to want to outlaw it, recognizing it as lies and seeking ways to protect ourselves from the fallout of fake news (namely, rising anger from the opposition and new arguments to deconstruct and prove false); Second, because fake news distracts us from real news. It provides an echo chamber that reinforces lies and blocks out facts. On our opposition side, it presents us with those arguments that we have to now deconstruct before we can start dealing with facts.
But we also have a war on the First Amendment from people getting upset with how people use the first amendment - and again, this is not one-sided.
For liberals, the most clear example are the cries to outlaw the burning of the American Flag. Though burning the flag is tasteless to most of us, we must accept that the flag is, at its heart, a symbol, and burning the flag is also a symbol - a symbol sometimes of hatred against America and an embrace of what we might consider "anti-American values," yes, but a symbol sometimes of disgust with certain things that America has become. America in many ways embraces lies and half-truths, promotes and values those views, makes policy decisions based on them. Let us not forget that for most of America's history, America embraced the belief that black people were sub-human, that they were not as capable as white people at understanding math, literature, and science, that they were good only for their muscles. This was a lie, but America based huge legal structures such as slavery on it. Many of those structures still exist today. The flag not only stands for the America that offers hope and love and opportunity for those who have had none, for the "American Dream," but also for those racist structures that it built so many of those dreams upon. Burning the flag for many is a protest against that version of America, and someone can still hold great love for the country while protesting those structures.
That said, there are other, less toxic examples. Taking a knee during the national anthem, for instance, is seen by conservatives as disrespect for the flag, and through it disrespect to those who have died for the nation, even though taking a knee during the anthem was designed specifically to show respect for those who have died while still disrespecting the national institutions of racism that are being protested. Again, though, you can only learn that information if you can accept news from outside of your echo chamber.
For conservatives, though, there are also clear examples. For instance, when Loretta Lynch started looking into whether climate-denying scientists could be charged with fraud. Conservatives say this is an attack on their freedom of speech - and they wouldn't be wrong (provided she had actually charged them with fraud, which she didn't).
As much as we sometimes hate it, the freedom of speech and freedom of the press are often used by our political enemies to extreme effect - but it is their right. The more we fight against it directly, the more we chip away at our own rights and protections against tyranny.