Late to the party here, but what the hell...
I lived in Europe (UK, France, Denmark) for 5 years and it all boils down to values and how the concept of "Freedom" is valued. In terms of legal entitlements, the USA is not more free than Western Europe, Japan, etc. In fact it is less free than say: Portugal (You can legally buy any hard drug in Portugal). Dutch citizens enjoy more freedom from police harassment than Americans do.
There is sort of a metaphysical freedom though that truly is unique to America. European nations are awash in group-think. There is a perspective and philosophy on life in many Europeans countries that is as absolute as a fundamentalist, religious orthodoxy. It isn't just Europe either, you see this in Canada as well. Canadians and to a lesser degree, always put every issue to what I call the, "American Benchmark Test". The more a given opinion is on an issue to how they think Americans might approach the matter, the worse of an idea it is. In Canada, you can hear this expressed any time someone mentions opening a private MRI clinic "Private health care facility? Too American!" (I'm not kidding, "Too American" is a valid political argument in Canada) or in the UK, "give our police guns? Just like the AMERICANS? Are you mad?!?!?!". The last thing anyone wants to be is viewed as doing anything "American".
Put simply, in the USA, we have more freedom of thought. There are far left news organizations, far right, centrist, and just about everything else. The Dutch and British Media love to paint Geert Wilders as "Far Right". In truth he's not. I wouldn't vote for him, but I would have a hard time calling him "far right" with a straight face. He has kind of a harsh view on immigration (especially muslim), but outside of that one issue, he would be too liberal for Fox News, but he bucks the establishment's politically-correct orthodoxy so he's painted as such. If you were a journalist in France and published an article that was pro-American, you'd be out of a job before it hit the press.