Buzzfeed's Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith wrote this moving tribute, celebrating Hastings' talent, his approach, and even the disagreements that he and Smith had:
"Michael Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects; occasionally his editor. While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave. And he was warm and honest in a way that left him many unlikely friends among people you’d expect to hate him."
The Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi didn't know Hastings well, but he knew Hastings' work, and he wrote a sort of meditation from one news guy to another:
"I didn't know Michael Hastings very well, but one thing about him was always obvious – he was born to be in the news business, he loved it, he was made for it. He wrote about Iraq and Afghanistan as places he had always been destined to visit. By that I mean not those countries particularly, but those places as global hot spots, the trouble zones, the places where the news happened. "I am finally here," is how he described reaching Baghdad, and that was the lead-in to the school assembly story. Most people would describe Baghdad as a place one finally leaves. But Hastings, his whole life, he wanted to go to those places, he ached to do this job. He wanted to be one of those people who 'knew.'"
"9) Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it's more important to you than anything else in your life--family, friends, social life, whatever."
Reddit's RIP Michael Hasting's page has many people speculating about how such a crash might have been manufactured. Twitter, unsurprisingly, is rife with speculation:
Theory is that Michael Hastings was killed using the “Boston Brakes” technique.— Cameron Reilly (@cameronreilly) June 19, 2013
Based on no evidence at all, I think Michael Hastings' death is suspicious. Pisses off high-ranking people, dies in flaming 1-car accident?— Kim Marshall (@dangerblond) June 19, 2013
And lastly, this ominous note from WikiLeaks:
Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 19, 2013