What they will do is demonize bitcoin. They are already doing this. Note how the politicians and media constantly note that bitcoin is being used for drugs and gambling? Why do you think that is? Its designed to make bitcoin sound like some shady criminal system. Even though the vast majority of people don't use bitcoin for illegal activities.
If they do make arrests the media will spin it so it sounds like the people they arrest are drug dealing, money laundering criminals.
All the average American needs in order to tip from 'apathetic' to 'go get those Bitcoin bastards' is to hear the government (through our phony media outlets, of course) say that they have evidence that some terrorist group is being financed using Bitcoin or they're using it to buy stuff. Make no mistake, Bitcoin presents a *much* greater threat then Julian Assange because it threatens the entire fake money system that's in place here in the USA. Get the government pissed, you might get away; get the government financiers pissed and they'll take you out quick in any way they can.
You have to understand that Americans aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. They are EASILY manipulated by the main stream media.
Unfortunately, though I hate to admit it, you're right. Our country went through a whole period in the 1960's and 1970's where the mainstream news pretty much was dispatched to the networks from CIA headquarters in a giant public psyop. It's admitted, well established, and yet the average American still doesn't believe it. Ask them and they will give you 100 reasons why having an 'independent media' is so fantastic in this country. Makes me want to f*^king vomit.
Sometimes, I hate being American. Then I remember it's not the country, it's the government that's betrayed us.