I mean, do non-Americans think that we in America are THAT ridiculous and just stare numbly into our televisions absorbing nonsense like that?
I think that there is a major difference between the impressions we often get through the actions of American officialdom and through many mass media, and the real level of awareness and knowledge in the population. I can see no reason to believe that American people are less aware of the nature of societal phenomena than others, nor do individuals like Ernst Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould, Noam Chomsky and Neil deGrasse Tyson indicate that American academia cannot produce thinkers and competent minds of the highest class. My American friends are not ridiculous people in any way, or at least no more so than Europeans.
By the way, sensational "news" presentations, soap operas and "reality" TV are well known and popular in all of Europe. I guess one could make a case that Europeans are swallowing nonsense as well. But such a picture would of course also be misleading.