Indeed, no matter what the facts say, we're always, "Living in 'The Greatest Nation on Earth'"
Like communist propaganda & censorship regimes, the US media does excellent job of "normalizing" & legitimating mass immiseration, and whatever benefits the ruling Oligarchy, which they obsequiously serve, while occasionally, meekly criticizing their masters to retain some veneer of independence, objectivity, & neutrality.
A study of the US media will show very rare objective comparisons to other OECD members, regardless of whether reporting on poverty, inequality, health care, education, infant mortality, etc. (for typical coverage of recent US census data on poverty/inequality, see, Washington Post article, "US poverty rate at 15 percent in 2011; record numbers of poor persist." Only in in the US, can political & cultural elite get away with ridiculously, factually absurd claims, like "The US has the best health care system in the world!" Like in the USSR, US elite can safely resort to such Orwellian absurdities & stay in power.
For example, the children of poor Americans are much more likely to remain poor, compared to poor children in many European countries, Australia, etc., where the poor are more likely to get a fair chance at the good life, if they have talent, study, and/or work hard.
The sad truth is kids in Sweden are much more likely to live the American Dream, and Americans will be kept too ignorant to ever learn about this moral outrage.
However, we can count on our "free press" to drown us in reports about distracting, foreign Evils, like Russia's harsh sentencing of Pussy Riot, just like we used to hear about Soviet (but not many of the American) pro-democracy dissidents during the Cold War.
Imagine a US "free press" that expressed a fraction of the moral outrage, and coverage of epidemic American poverty & grotesque inequality, that they devoted to the tribulations of three poor Russian woman from anarchist, punk group, Pussy Riot. Can You?