Michael Hastings was a real reporter

June 21, 2013 | By | 3 Replies More

Tribute to Michael Hastings at FAIR, by Jim Naureckas:

Hastings, a reporter for Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed who died in a car crash in L.A. yesterday at the age of 33, didn’t see it as his job to maintain “good media/military relations,” or to decide what is “necessary to report.” To the contrary–he told CounterSpin (1/27/12) that one of his golden rules for reporting was, “What does everybody know who’s on the inside, but no one’s willing to say or write.”

Hastings never forgot that journalists’ loyalties are supposed to be with the public and not to the government officials whose actions they cover–and that approach distinguished him not only from Burns but from most of his colleagues. BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith (6/18/13) recalled in a tribute to his reporter:

Michael cared about friends and was good at making them; it visibly pained him when, late in the 2012 campaign, the reporters around him made little secret of their distrust for him. But he also knew…he was there to tell his readers what was going on.


Category: Journalism, Media

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Such a sad loss for the country at a time when investigative journalists are needed more than ever!

    I’m looking forward to the results of the investigation of his death.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    What could account for a man to wrap his car around a tree at high speed when he was deeply in the process of writing an article to expose government wrongdoing? http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-hastings-crash-emails-20130621,0,2806628.story Was he being chased? Not by anything visible, apparently. What about something like this:


    Or what if someone spiked his food or drink to cause this behavior, which certainly looked reckless. If any of this sounds far-fetched, you haven’t read about outrageous attempts to attack others who dare to disclose wrongdoing of the United States, for instance, the case of Daniel Ellsberg. Government operatives approved a plan to spike his food with LSD before he gave a speech, in order to discredit him.

    ” In his autobiography, Liddy describes an “Ellsberg neutralization proposal” originating from Howard Hunt, which involved drugging Ellsberg with LSD, by dissolving it in his soup, at a fund-raising dinner in Washington in order to “have Ellsberg incoherent by the time he was to speak” and thus “make him appear a near burnt-out drug case” and “discredit him”. The plot involved waiters from the Miami Cuban community. According to Liddy, when the plan was finally approved, “there was no longer enough lead time to get the Cuban waiters up from their Miami hotels and into place in the Washington Hotel where the dinner was to take place” and the plan was “put into abeyance pending another opportunity”.[29]”


    Another possibility: Someone could have taken remote control of Hasting’s car. It’s called “hacking a car.” http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/hacking_a_car_is_way_too_easy/

    “Conspiracy theories about the cause of the car crash that killed investigative reporter Michael Hastings on June 18 started sprouting immediately after the news of his death broke. So far, no conclusive evidence supports foul play, but on Monday, counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke made news when he told the Huffington Post that the circumstances of Hastings’ car chase were “consistent with a car cyber attack.””

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Michael Krikorian, an essayist and former Los Angeles Times crime reporter who admired Michael Hastings, concludes that the crash is a mystery, and that some of the “murder” evidence has been misconstrued and exaggerated. He is puzzled why Hastings would travel so fast at that location, an obviously dangerous maneuver. Way too dangerous. But so far it seems to be a freaky accident, not a murder. http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/07/14/the-michael-hastings-wreck-video-evidence-offers-a-few-clues/

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