Award-winning journalist Michael Hastings dies in a single-car accident in Los Angeles Tuesday morning (June 18). Hasting’s was best-known for a profile he penned in 2010 that led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal, the man in charge of the US-led war effort in Afghanistan.
Hasting’s death was first reported by Buzzfeed and Rolling Stone, two of the many outlets he contributed to. He was also an accomplished author, with three books to his credit. The first, “I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story,” tells the story of his fiancee’s death in Iraq, while he was stationed there as a reporter for Newsweek.
Those who worked with Michael speak of his true talent to get at the heart of a story, from his profile of McChrystal to an inflammatory email exchange with a spokesman for Hillary Clinton. Though he may come across less than flattering in the exchange, Michael thought it was important to release. When told it didn’t make him look good, he had a simple response. “Everyone knows I’m an a**hole,” he replied, “The point is that they’re a**holes.”
As Ben Smith, a Buzzfeed writer, puts it, “He cared about his image — he worked out hard, looked good in clothes and in pictures, and enjoyed it — but he always cared more about the story.”
Hastings was born in Burlington, Vermont and was a graduate of New York University. He is survived by his wife Elise, a former speechwriter for Condoleeza Rice. He was 33 years old.