Journalist Michael Hastings, best known for his political writing for both Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed, has died at the age of 33.
His employers at both publications announced Tuesday that Hastings had died in a car crash in Los Angeles.
“We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone,” BuzzFeed‘s editor-in-chief Ben Smith 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.”
His legacy includes the 2010 Rolling Stone story that led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal. He is also known among his peers for his fearlessness, sharp wit and relentless pursuit of the truth in every story.
Hastings made international news three years ago when his Rolling Stone article “Runaway General” heavily and smartly critiqued the Obama administration’s handling of the war in Afghanistan. Days after the article was published, McChrystal resigned.
Hastings is also known for his two books: The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, based on his time with McChrystal and Afghanistan military leaders, and I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, about his then-fiance who was killed in a car bombing in Iraq while she was serving as an aide worker.
Hastings is survived by his wife, Elise.
Many publications and prominent media figures took to Twitter to pay their respects and mourn his loss.
R.I.P. Michael Hastings http://t.co/cBrIvCMV1g
— Salon.com (@Salon) June 19, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Michael Hastings. #rip
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) June 19, 2013
Fearless reporter Michael Hastings passed away early this morning in L.A. http://t.co/0KLx6CqvO4
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) June 19, 2013
If you’re unfamiliar with Hastings’ work, a brilliant example of his confident and fearless style is his questioning of a Hillary Clinton aide on the Benghazi investigation last year. After the unsatisfying press junket, Hastings decided to call out Clinton aide Philippe Reines in an attempt to get the full story.
After what was, frankly, a hilarious series of emails passed back and forth, Reines told Hastings to “f*ck off” and called him an “unmitigated a**hole.”
The exchange was published to BuzzFeed, with most commenters and fellow journalists praising Hastings for his tough focus on the story while Reines spiraled out of control.
You can check out a video of Michael Hastings talking about his work below. Our thoughts and prayers here at IQ are definitely with Hastings’ friends and family. The journalism world has definitely lost a smart, fearless and old-school reporter. He will be greatly missed.
[Image via: Gawker]