Journalist Michael Hastings, RIP.

You might not know who Michael Hastings is. But I bet you’ve read his work. The young journalist was killed this week in a Los Angeles car accident.

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His profile of General Stanley McChrystal in 2010 brought an abrupt end to the General’s career. Apparently military bigwigs shouldn’t speak ill of their Commander-in-Chief, even if what they’re saying happens to be true in the eyes of many. Did Michael Hastings set out to cause this when he wrote the piece for Rolling Stone? Maybe. But if he did, that’s good journalism. Good journalism should make news. Good journalism should affect policy. Good journalism will sorely miss Michael Hastings.

Hastings believed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were reckless wars. He should know. In 2007, his fiancee, an aide worker, was killed in a Baghdad car bomb. It seems he lived a life of tragedy, marked by stunning successes.

The Rolling Stone piece that I’ve linked above says that Hastings was, “hard-charging, unabashedly opinionated original… and abrasive.” Sounds like somebody I would get along with.

America needs more journalists like Michael Hastings.

 

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