"The very notion of empirical fact is being attacked and corroded"

“People decide about an article’s validity based only on its headline or the language in the tweet linking to it. They judge books by their covers,” Tapper said. “I urge you to read the story. I urge you to think for yourself. I urge you to click the link.”

Tapper also spoke at length about the importance of civility, decency and treating people with respect at a time when, as he put it in his speech, “nastiness and mockery and meanness sometimes seem as if they’re spreading like a contagion.”

“I realize that the nation right now is not exactly getting a crash course in exemplary behavior,” he said, adding that “we are in a time now where we cannot look to Washington to exemplify the standards of behavior we want to teach our children.”