Combat reporter, Michael Hastings, killed in auto accident; spoke at 2010 MRE conference

Journalist Michael Hastings died in a car crash in Los Angeles early Tuesday at the age of 33, according to a statement from his employer, BuzzFeed.

Prior to reporting for BuzzFeed, Hastings contributed to Rolling Stone and GQ magazine. He was perhaps best known for his Rolling Stone interview with General Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, that eventually led to McChrystal being relieved of his command.

Michael Hastings
Michael Hastings

Hastings spoke for the first time about the Rolling Stone article at the Military Reporters & Editors annual conference in 2010. His talk and the Q&A were considered “spirited.” Hastings insisted his remarks were off the record, and were not to be recorded or filmed.

“We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone,” BuzzFeed 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. 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.”