I was reading an article the other day and I came across an interesting passage:
Notice that the weak form of the is typically [ði] before a vowel-initial word (the apple) but [ðə] before a consonant-initial word (the pear), although this distinction is being lost in the United States. 
I'm concerned with the United States part. Is it true that American speakers don't make this distiction? I have never found this information in any book on accents for English learners or actors. It seems to have been taken from this book:
Ladefoged, Peter (2006), A Course in Phonetics, Thomson.
Since I don't have it, and I can't find it anywhere on the Internet, I can't really check its contents. Are there any American speakers here who don't make this distinction when speaking? And even could provide some additional sources? As I can't find any. Thanks for your time.
The link to the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_and_vowel_reduction_in_English