Journalist Michael Hastings Dies In Car Crash At Age 33

NPR icon by Bill Chappell
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Paul Morigi

Michael Hastings, the journalist whose candid interviews of Gen. Stanley McChrystal led to the officer's eventual removal from his post, has died in a car crash. The news was announced Tuesday by BuzzFeed, which employed Hastings, 33. He was reportedly killed in an accident this morning in Los Angeles.

In a statement released this afternoon, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith called Hastings "a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians."

Hastings "wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten," Smith said, "and without him there are great stories that will go untold."

In a 2010 interview with NPR's Michele Norris, Hastings said he had been shocked by the uproar generated by his Rolling Stone profile of McChrystal, who was then the commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. After the article was published, McChrystal was recalled to Washington; he eventually resigned.

"Hard-charging, unabashedly opinionated, Hastings was original and at times abrasive," Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson writes. "He had little patience for flacks and spinmeisters and will be remembered for his enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism."

A native of Vermont, Hastings is survived by his wife, Elise Jordan.

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