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RIP Michael Hastings

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by buckweaver, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Holy shit. Great young journalist who has contributed to Newsweek, Rolling Stone, GQ, among others.

    Just died in a car accident in L.A., Buzzfeed is reporting: http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed1/michael-hastings

    He's most famous for his profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal in 2010 that led to McChrystal's dismissal.

    Also wrote a book about his fiancee who was killed in a convoy ambush in Iraq.

    He was 33.
  2. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    That sucks. He was a great journalist. His e book traveling with Obama press corps during election was
    tremendous. At one point he was suspended because he reported about an off the record drink up that Obama
    attended. Seemed liked he was not well liked by the Washington inside press corp because he was not willing to
    be a lemming. Just a few weeks ago I watched him tell one of the MSNBC weekend hosts that they needed to stop
    reading the White House talking points and think for themselves.
  3. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    From RS:

  4. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    From RS obit:

    In a memorable exchange with Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, Hastings' aggressive line of questioning angered Reines. "Why do you bother to ask questions you've already decided you know the answers to?" Reines asked. "Why don't you give answers that aren't bullshit for a change?" Hastings replied.

  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    From LA Observed: (details on the crash)
    "Michael Hastings, the investigative journalist who recently began writing for BuzzFeed in Los Angeles, died in a one-car crash on North Highland Avenue about 4 a.m. this morning. The car he was driving struck a palm tree in the median on the 600 block and burst into flames, police said. Hastings was most known for his 2010 piece in Rolling Stone that brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal."

    Really weird, 4 a.m. that section of N. Highland isn't really a high-speed area and it's flat. Cue the conspiracy theorists.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    This news made me physically ill when I first saw this morning. It literally made my stomach hurt. I remember how thrilling it was to find out that Hastings was just in his early 30s when the McChrystal story broke. And I remember how much it exposed the rest of the D.C. media as a bunch of star-fucking sycophants. I hope I can find it later, but I recall Jon Stewart playing one of his clips packages of host after host on the 24-hour news networks decrying Hastings' work, including a healthy dose of concern trolling about how this poor young pup isn't going to be able to develop sources because of this.

    There are so few journalists in America willing to take on the armed forces, many of them following the general public's lead by granting mindless deference at best and jingoistic, pandering cheerleading at worst. This guy would have none of it. Fuck. This is awful.
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    It was not just the military that he was willing to take on. It was all of Washington.
    You could sense the tension and disregard whenever Hastings was on one of cable talk shows with one off Washington's inside the beltway reporters.

    With the NSA story the past few weeks, Hastings was on a roll.

    His E book - "Panic 2012 :The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Side Story of Obama's
    Final Campaign" was a great read. Did not get the sense that there was any love lost between Ed Henry, President of The White House Correspondences Association and Hastings. A lot of the main stream media were unhappy with Hastings because they felt that he did not play by the rules of Washington.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I cannot imagine that Hastings stood around the punch bowl with Peggy Noonan and Maureen Dowd too often at cocktail parties.
  9. tmr

    tmr Member

    I loved his stuff. I read "The Operators" and all of his RS work. I actually haven't read Panic 2012, so I'm going to do that this week. Here's a great section from the BuzzFeed obit that illustrates how he was respected. I think this is how most of us want to be looked at as a reporter, feared and respected for telling the truth.

    "Perhaps most to Michael’s credit, though, is the esteem of his enemies. I asked Michael’s advice not long ago for who to call for a story about David Petraeus’ comeback, expecting a list of haters. Michael’s definitive story on the former general and CIA director had, after all, begun, “The fraud that General David Petraeus perpetrated on America started many years before the general seduced Paula Broadwell…”

    Instead, Michael gave me the emails of some of Petraeus’ closest friends and allies. “I shouldn’t mention your name, right?” I asked. “Actually,” he said, “I should”; and his name, of all things, prompted people devoted to Petraeus to talk openly and freely to me. I still haven’t quite figured that one out."

  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    RIP. Sad news on several levels.

    And ...

    Am I the only one here surprised there hasn't been more journalistic curiosity expressed on this thread about this car accident crash?
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member


    Much journalism as practiced today depends on access, which often depends on not pissing off the powerful. You want your calls returned; you want to be able to tell your editor that, yes, you can get that high-profile interview. And many journalists—whether from ambition or simple human nature—don’t want to endure the shunning, attacking, and awkward encounters that come from exposing the people they deal with professionally, or rejecting a widely-agreed-on narrative. Thus, stories are saved for the bar, do-overs granted, horses traded.
  12. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Sad but realistic commentary. Most have little idea how filtered and manipulated the news out of Washington is these days.
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