The journalist and author Michael Hastings died at the age of 33 on Tuesday morning. According to his employer BuzzFeed, Hastings was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles.
“We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone,” Ben Smith, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief, said in a statement. “Michael was 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. He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold. Michael was also a wonderful, generous colleague and a joy to work with. Our thoughts are with Elise and and the rest of his family and we are going to miss him.”
Hastings gained national attention in 2010 after exposing inflammatory comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal about President Barack Obama and the civilian leadership of the military.
Rolling Stone, which employed Hastings as a contributing editor, praised him Tuesday as a “fearless journalist” who sought out hard stories and refused to “cozy up to power.”
“My friend Michael Hastings died last night in a car crash in Los Angeles. Writing this feels almost ghoulish: I still haven’t processed the fact that he’s gone. Today we all feel that loss: whether we’re friends of Michael’s, or family, or colleagues or readers, the world has gotten a bit smaller. As a journalist, he specialized in speaking truth to power and laying it all out there. He was irascible in his reporting and sometimes/often/always infuriating in his writing: he lit a bright lamp for those who wanted to follow his example,” his friend and co-reporter Matt Farwell told the Rolling Stone.
On his show Tuesday afternoon, The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur choked up while reporting that Hastings had passed away. Hastings had frequently appeared on his show to discuss a number of issues. Uygur said Hastings death was a “great loss for the country.”
A person who witnessed the crash early Tuesday morning said he saw Hastings speeding down the road in his car when it suddenly jackknifed, slammed into a tree, and burst into flames.
Watch video below:
With reporting by David Edwards
[Note: Updated with Rolling Stone's statement and video]
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