e and I worked together often when we were fellow writers at Newsweek. among the last of a disappearing breed of fearless investigative reporters. A friend and former colleague, h
I haven't exactly gone easy on Patraeus, either, but I've typically left it to my sources to evaluate him in stories such as this one for Newsweek/Daily Beast. Michael had no time for that. It just wasn't his style. He called it the way he saw it, and I admired him for it.
Sadly, there aren't many journalists out there who are still willing, or able, to tell it like it is. Sure, there are plenty of ranting bloggers, but trained, reputable journalists who have both the skills and courage Michael had are a disappearing breed, thanks in large part to the corporatization and conglomeratization of the news industry.
fierce campaign to tell the truth about Iraq and Afghanistan, and more.
A reliably controversial guest on the cable news shows, Michael often verbally chastised powerful officials and even his fellow members of the national media. He was quite good at rubbing people the wrong way (check out this incendiary showdown with CNN's Piers Morgan). But Michael was simply speaking truth to power. And for the record, the Michael Hastings the public didn't see was a kind, caring person who really did love his country and who, like me, had great respect for our warriors and veterans, if not the ones who killed civilians.
Part idealist, part cynic, Michael was a Hemingwayesque figure. A young man who was trying to make some sense of all the horrors he'd seen, Michael Andi Parhamovich, while covering the war in Iraq for Newsweek in 2005. I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, which is both love story and chronicle of the human cost of war.
Michael was a member of that diminishing club. He truly loved his work. I think the advice he recently gave to a group of aspiring journalists really shows what made him tick. "Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting," he wrote. "Like it's more important to you than anything else in your life--family, friends, social life, whatever."
Michael, who' survived by his wife, the writer Elise Jordan, lived an examined life. His writing really mattered. He will be greatly missed.