I prefer to think that animals such as Carlson and Snow combine the worst of both worlds, dispensing lies and truth with equal vigor, since they have been conditioned to not worry too much about which is which.
Carlson, if he even bothers defending himself on this, would no doubt say almost reflexively that he simply misspoke. Oh, mea culpa and all. But of course he did not misspeak; he meant to say exactly what he said. They always do.
The market is there, and the viewers and listeners of this drivel are constantly -- and I mean constantly, every minute of every day they choose to watch one of these stupid shows, because it's apparently all they watch -- gulled by this nonsense. A snotty little mezzofanuc like Carlson is there to practice his embouchure on the Gooper skin-flute issue of the week, because he doesn't bother checking his facts, and he knows his viewers don't either. Same with Limbaugh harrumphing about dhimmicrat morality while he himself decides on Bangkok or Santo Domingo for his next travel destination; same with O'Reilly scaring the codgers with lurid tales of lesbo gangs mugging nuns and orphans.
It's no stretch at all for these people to habitually calumniate whoever happens to cross their path. It's not that they don't know they're lying, or even that they don't care. It's that facts are orthogonal to their prime motivation, which is to gin up this incoherent swell of fear and disdain that John Kerry is going to come to your trailer and repo your Beanie Baby and salt shaker collections if you don't get with the program.
It makes sense, perversely. How else are you going to con idiots into voting against themselves, again and again and again, without flat-out lying about what demographic or income level is most represented by which party? Thus Al Gore and John Kerry, both obviously wealthy men, become caricatured as hypocritical, indifferent plutocrats, lighting cigars with million-dollar bills and sleeping on polar-bearskin rugs while lecturing the plebes on environmental and social morality. But George W. Bush, who literally has not succeeded at any point in his entire life without the initial effort of his parents and their "friends", is a man o' the people. Ditto lifelong lobbyist/lawyer Fred Thompson, and all of this nonsense is helpfully recycled by Rush Limbaugh, who makes $25 million per year, and a veritable industry of professional liars.
There's obviously a whole mess to unpack there, which has to do with how Americans view money, which in turn relates to how we've devolved from a culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation to a culture of consumerism and hucksterism. We have a very unhealthy attitude about money in general; most Americans, judging by their actions, are financially illiterate or semi-literate, and apparently view wealth merely as a means to live some cobbled-together fantasy of decadence that seems to be part Cribs and part Scrooge McDuck.
Any time people view an entire class of people with a combination of resentment and envy, the cognitive dissonance is bound to catch up with them. And so it has. Facts get the same short shrift; everybody apparently wishes to appear they know what they're talking about, without having to actually find out the relevant details and put them together.
The people who actually do take the trouble invariably find themselves marginalized for being too partisan, as someone failed to inform the factual data that the appearance of objectivity, however false, is infinitely more important than doing the research and finding out that the truth takes a side. The earth is not flat. George W. Bush is about as good a judge of character as he is a nucular physimacist. The Iraq War is a deadly boondoggle that is going to ruin this country if we don't stop screwing around with phony debates and manufactured outrages.
So maybe the question is not whether Tucker Carlson and Tony Snow and their slimy ilk are liars or fools (or again, both), it's whether the people that enable them to remain gainfully employed are one or the other, or both. It is impossible to have a healthy perspective on what's truly important in a climate where truly useless people are allowed to thrive in this sort of exalted capacity of unearned money and influence.