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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Hastings’

BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings Remembered One Year After Car Crash

heres-the-late-michael-hastings-10-essential-tips-for-young-journalistsToday marks the one year anniversary since BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings died in a car crash in Los Angeles. The former Rolling Stone contributing editor‘s novel The Last Magazine was posthumously published this week by Blue Rider Press.

The highly regarded journalist was the recipient of a George Polk Award for his Rolling Stone profile of General Stanley McChrystal, published June 22, 2010. Two years later, Hastings wrote for Rolling Stone about Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal, asking whether the Pentagon would leave him behind. Eleven days before his death, he penned an op-ed for BuzzFeed on “Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans.”

Click on over to the Post for James Rosen‘s review of The Last Magazine, by Michael Hastings, and to BuzzFeed, for an excerpt of the book.

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Morning Chatter

Journos react to Hastings’ autopsy

“Hey kids. Drugs are wack. And they won’t make you a better writer.” – TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer in response to Michael Hastings‘ autopsy released Tuesday in LAT that revealed that there were small amounts of pot and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death.

“Drugs are bad.” — RedState and FNC’s Erick Erickson.

Governor saves an insect

“Walking up statehouse steps I observed @LincolnChafee save a praying mantis. Used paper to move it to grass. Then got in car and drove away.” – AP‘s David Klepper.

A question we must all ask ourselves

“I’ve got a bunch of tomato water and don’t have ideas for it. What should I do?” — Slate‘s Farhad Manjoo.

Official number of women who have accused San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment: 17

Cookie time at WaPo

“My favorite time in the office: @WaPoFood has already started “research” for their famous annual Christmas cookie feature.” – WaPo Book World Editor Ron Charles.

Real HuffPost story promo: “Sex with goat gets man banned from every farm in entire country”

Real Headline in The Daily Caller: “Weiner tries to slip back in”

Vast liberal media conspiracy? Editor, please.

“If he’d been Bob Filner (R), the whole party would’ve exiled him weeks ago & the press would still be talking about damaging narratives.” — Townhall Political Editor Guy Benson, who clearly hasn’t been watching the news as Filner’s every grope or “pat on the tush” is covered.

Politico Playbook Publish Time: 9:49 a.m.

Bo and Sunny fallout…

“I’m surprised the Obamas didn’t name their new puppy ‘Cousin Oliver.’” — National Review‘s Jim Geraghty.

MoJo Smacks Down Examiner Writer ‘Investigating’ Michael Hastings’ Death

A Mother Jones story today by Gavin Aronsen comes out swinging at Kimberly Dvorak—the so-called journalist “investigating” Michael Hastings death—and for good reason.

Dvorak has been pushing unsourced and, in some cases, debunked conspiracy theories about Hastings’ death at Examiner.com (most notably that he was assassinated, but she’s also open to the idea that he could’ve faked his death, too). Being that we’re talking about Examiner.com, this would make her only mildly annoying. Except that now, a San Diego TV station has started giving her airtime. That’s only led to papers like Britain’s Independent, Fox News (of course), Reason.com and others citing her work.

When asked for comment by Mother Jones, she says, “I’m going out on a limb reporting this. Journalists are becoming so irrelevant right now.” San Diego’s TV station refused to comment for the story.

An excerpt from Mother Jones:

“Dvorak’s reporting—and mainstream media outlets’ embrace of it—is ongoing. On Monday, Dvorak reported that she had ‘confirmed’ a claim made last week by Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, that Hastings was working on a profile of CIA Director John Brennan at the time of his death. (The news that Hastings had been investigating Brennan first appeared in the Los Angeles Times the day after Hastings’ death in June.) ‘It’s curious how his wife came out and talked about [Hastings' death] and kind of had a smile on her face and didn’t seem like a grieving widow,’ Dvorak says.”

This isn’t the first time someone has taken issue with Dvorak. Huffington Post writers Jason Linkins and Ryan Grim pointed out way back in 2010 that not only had she fabricated a story about the Mexican Los Zetas gang seizing ranches in Texas (Dvorak claims border security as one of her areas of expertise), but also ripped off a legitimate story about an Immigration and Customs Enforcement informant who played both sides of the drug war.

So why do legit outlets keep giving Dvorak a pedestal to shout from? Maybe they just don’t have time to use Google to check her bona fides, or lack thereof?

Summer Superlatives ’13: Most Despised Flack

Today we are asking for your expertise in deciding who is the most despised flack in Washington. Is it Clintonland’s Philippe Reines, who last year told BuzzFeed‘s Michael Hastings, now deceased, to “fuck off” and “have a good life”? Under the circumstances–ouch. Or could it be White House Press Sec. Jay Carney, who manages to piss off one reporter or another on a weekly, sometimes daily basis? Or else…Brad Dayspring, the fiery flack who relatively recently returned to the NRSC. Dayspring previously worked in the press shop of House Maj. Leader Eric Cantor. He left that job after a confrontation that nearly turned physical. Forget all that though. Our absolute favorite memory of Dayspring involves those sexy ladies that used to turn up on his Twitter feed. Nah, it wasn’t illegal or even Weinerish. But it was hilarious. We also have a strange nomination in this category for Breitbart‘s Matthew Boyle. We protested, saying he is a reporter and not a flack. But as it was explained to us in the nominating process, “He’s not a flack under the tradition sense of the term, but he’s no journalist, either. I consider him to be a promoter of the GOP and far-right.”

Morning Reading List 06.20.13

Michael Hastings’ wife confronts NY Times — Since Michael Hasting’s tragic death was reported Tuesday, numerous friends, coworkers and journalists have published remembrances and obituaries, most sticking to a pretty obvious guideline of, say, not questioning Hastings’ most well-known and praised piece of journalism, “The Runaway General,” which was featured in Rolling Stone. HuffPost‘s Ryan Grim and Jason Linkins reported that the NY Times, however, did just that, and Hastings’ wife, Elise Jordan, wasn’t happy about it. So Jordan emailed Times editor Jill Abramson after she read Margalit Fox’s obit that was published on the Times’ website Wednesday evening to ask Abramson to correct it before printing it the following day. Jordan quoted parts of the Defense Department Inspector General’s report in a response to the obit suggesting that Hastings’ reporting had been disproven. Abramson sent the email to Bill McDonald, obituaries editor, who wrote back to Jordan to say, basically, that she was wrong and that the obituary was correct, making it clear that he wasn’t going to change it before it printed.

Rich Lowry on Rand PaulPolitico published a column by National Review editor Rich Lowry in which he examined Rand Paul’s chance of a 2016 presidential bid. So far, Lowry said, his chances look good, thanks in large part to recent headlines, the NSA surveillance leak being the most recent and helpful to Paul’s case. Lowry runs through a checklist of Paul’s ideals touched on by the secret surveillance program: “ [The NSA] meta-data program couldn’t be better fashioned to play into fears of the government. Is it vast? Yes. Was it secret? Check. Does it arguably run outside the normal checks and balances of government? Uh-huh. Does it raise profound questions about privacy? Roger.” And this leak comes just after the disclosure of the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups and the seizure of the AP’s phone records by the Justice Department. Lowry points out that pretty much all of the headlines are catering to Paul and giving him ammo as he vies to be the Republican front-runner in a crowded field of candidates. It also helps, Lowry explains, that Paul is somewhat of an anomaly in the GOP: he’s interesting. Lowry also makes sure to point out that he’s no “Rand Paul-tie,” but he sees the establishment’s ideals aligning more and more with the unique libertarian conservative from Kentucky.

See what WikiLeaks is up to now…

Read more

In Memoriam: Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings, a writer for Buzzfeed and Rollling Stone best known for the career-ending profile of Gen. Stanely McChrystal, was killed yesterday in a car crash in Los Angeles.

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:

Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

WHOSE SHOES? “Footwear of the fashion forward men of POLITICO Video.” — Politico‘s Christine Delargy.  Hints: The guy in yellow has been known to frequent Pete’s, a pizza eatery in D.C.; his colleague showing off his fancy boat shoes, meanwhile, frequents Peregrine in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington. We’ll tell you later. But send your guesses and commentary to fishbowlDC@mediabistro.com or to Betsy@mediabistro.com.

“I’m wearing pajama bottoms, you can’t see it.”Daily Caller and The Week‘s Matt Lewis, joking (we think) during his appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning.

Burning the midnight oil

“hey @woodhouseb do you think holder should resign? what if ashcroft had investigated MSNBC reporter? you wld have been ok with it? comment?” — BuzzFeed‘s Michael Hastings to Democratic Party Spokesman Brad Woodhouse. Noteworthy: The tweet was sent at 3:25 a.m.

Just in case you think you’re having a bad day…“Not something you see everyday. A plane sticking out the side of an apt building. @ABC7John is live at 4:32am!” — Sara Van Aernum, executive producer of ABC7′s “Good Morning Washington.” The plane ran out of fuel and had to take a pit stop into this Herndon, Va. apartment building. Can you imagine waking up to this sh-t?

Anxiety-ridden TV watcher

“I need a xanax just to watch this thing.” — NPR freelancer Lizzie O’Leary watching yesterday’s Spelling Bee.

Just a normal day at work in Washington

“We are ALL CLEAR !” just received via email at @wusa9 after bomb threat. Broadcasts never interrupted. No evacuations.Thanks @DCPoliceDept” — WUSA9′s Russ Ptacek.

“Weird coincidence. #Tornado drill in #Senate, while #oklahoma has real thing.” — CQ Roll Call Staff Writer Alan Ota.

Reporter wishes she was better versed in car mechanics

“Wish I knew about cars so when mechanic went on ‘If you don’t give me all your money, you will DIE in a fiery mess’ spiel, I could check him.” — NBC Washington Social Media Editor Cheryl Thompson.

From the Dept. of Bragiculture…

“I was only reporter to ride 100k over 3 days w/George W. Bush on mountain bikes w/wounded vets on his ranch last week. 4k words posting soon.” — HuffPost‘s Jon Ward. In case you don’t think he’s the most humble reporter in Washington, he is. Just ask him! Read more

Michael Hastings Shows Some Chest Hair

You know it’s spring in D.C. when BuzzFeed contributor Michael Hastings makes a TV appearance with an extra undone button on his plaid shirt, showing off just the right amount of chest hair.

Hastings usually does his TV hits with all but the top-most button fastened. Sometimes he wears a tie. Other times he wears a hoodie and T-shirt. But until his Wednesday night hit on Current TV, he hasn’t been seen going all ’70s-porn-star, letting that bushel on his chest run wild and free.

Watch Hastings’ segment here.

Buzzfeed Turns The Tables on WHCD

With the White House Correspondents Dinner a little over a week away, most news outlets have made their plans. They’ve invited guests, scored party invites and rented tuxes. One outlet that won’t be representing at the annual nerd prom is Buzzfeed. Despite their application for tables, the WHCD has denied them tables at this year’s event. We have to wonder if WHCD President Ed Henry has turned this into a personal squabble. Buzzfeed’s Michael Hastings wrote about his dislike of Henry in his book. We wrote about that here. Maybe Henry is a little touchy with his tables?

Despite the snub, Buzzfeed is turning WHCD lemons into lemonade. They are throwing their own “BBQ with Buzzfeed” DURING the Correspondents Dinner. It’s a ballsy move that will allow folks without tickets to the actual dinner to party with Buzzfeed. We hear the entire NY based Politics team, including founder Jonah Peretti, is making the trek.

More details. Read more

The Current Faces of Michael Hastings

Anyone on the receiving end of the emails sent out by Current TV’s media relations department knows how awkward they can be. It’s as if the publicists sit around, waiting for Current show guests to blink and open their mouths as to capture the perfect screen still.

BuzzFeed‘s Michael Hastings, a regular on Current programs, is a perfect case study. If you were to only know Hastings from the pictures sent out of him by Current, you’d think he has a perpetual bug up his ass (he doesn’t, though he’s no daisy).

Let’s take a look at the many limited expressions of Hastings, as distributed by Current.

From a Sept. 25 appearance on “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer,” the spit-ready Hastings:

From a Sept. 26 appearance on “The Young Turks,” the condescending Hastings:

From a Nov. 19 appearance on TYT, the NUH UH! Hastings:

From a Nov. 27 appearance on TYT, the Hastings scowl… Read more

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