News of Hasting’s death first came Tuesday afternoon from BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, who posted a note on the site that said,”We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone.”
“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,” Smith said in his note. “He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold.”
Rolling Stone followed with an obituary a few minutes later.
Hastings’ hallmark as reporter was his refusal to cozy up to power. While other embedded reporters were charmed by McChrystal’s bad-boy bravado and might have excused his insubordination as a joke, Hastings was determined to expose the recklessness of a man leading what Hastings believed to be a reckless war.
Buzzfeed has a full story about Hastings here, there are tributes from the Buzzfeed staff here and finally, a collection of remembrances from other journalists, here.
Read on for a selection:
At a real loss. Michael Hastings was an inspiring human being, a great colleague, a fierce reporter. He will be so very missed.
— Scott Lamb (@scottlamb) June 18, 2013
You know who was afraid of Michael Hastings? Anybody who answered the phone and heard “hey it’s Hastings. What’s up with …”
— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) June 19, 2013
Hastings and I sat next to each other when we first came to BuzzFeed. I learned more from overhearing him yelling at Twitter than anything.
— Katie Notopoulos (@katienotopoulos) June 19, 2013
Time columnist James Poniewozik:
So sorry to hear about Michael Hastings, who remembered that he didn’t work for his sources but for his readers.
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 19, 2013
Frank Rich, New York Magazine writer-at-large and executive producer of VEEP:
Michael #Hastings: Not just a fearless young journalist but a wonderful writer and delightful, modest guy. What a sad and irrational loss
— Frank Rich (@frankrichny) June 19, 2013
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: