Michael Hastings (journalist)

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Michael Hastings
Born(1980-01-28) January 28, 1980 (age 33)
NationalityUnited States
Known forReporting from Iraq and Afghanistan
Notable work(s)Book I Lost My Love in Baghdad; A Modern War Story[1] and Rolling Stone, "The Runaway General"
Home townBurlington, Vermont
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Michael Hastings
Born(1980-01-28) January 28, 1980 (age 33)
NationalityUnited States
Known forReporting from Iraq and Afghanistan
Notable work(s)Book I Lost My Love in Baghdad; A Modern War Story[1] and Rolling Stone, "The Runaway General"
Home townBurlington, Vermont

Michael Hastings (born January 28, 1980) is an American journalist, writer and reporter for BuzzFeed.[3] He was a regular contributor to Gentlemen's Quarterly and now is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine.[4] From 2002 - 2008, he was a journalist for Newsweek magazine,[5] famous for his Iraq War coverage and book about the death of his fiancée Andrea Parhamovich I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.[5][6][7][8][9]


Stanley McChrystal interview

In June 2010, Rolling Stone published "The Runaway General", Hastings's profile of US Army general Stanley McChrystal,[10] then commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force in the war in Afghanistan. The article reported remarks by McChrystal's staff that were overtly critical and contemptuous of White House staff and other civilian officials. On June 22, the news of the forthcoming article reached the attention of the American print media and the White House. McChrystal immediately issued an extensive apology, and Duncan Boothby, the civilian contractor responsible for coordinating the article with Hastings, resigned. U.S. President Barack Obama summoned him to the White House on June 23,[11][12] and relieved him of command.[13] Hastings offered his views on relations between McChrystal and the Obama administration.[14]

Hastings was originally meant to have controlled contact, which expanded when he had to catch a bus to Berlin with the general and his entourage after international flights were grounded, because of the air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which gave him sufficient time to pick up less discreet remarks.[15] How Hastings got access to McChrystal's inner circles is detailed in a Newsweek article.[16] Huffington Post named Hastings a 2010 Game Changer for his reporting, along with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone.[17] Hastings was also awarded a Polk Award for his reporting.[18]

Michael Hastings and Eric Bates, executive editor of Rolling Stone, repeatedly defended the accuracy of Hastings' article about General McChrystal. In July 2010, the U.S. Army launched its own investigation into whether McChrystal and his team were insubordinate, and concluded that the most inflammatory comments were made by an officer in the Navy Special Warfare Group, according to the New York Times.[19] This was later confirmed in Hastings book about the war in Afghanistan that was published in January 2012, The Operators, which attributed a number of damning quotes to Lt. Commander Dave Silverman, now CEO of McChrystal Group.[20] A subsequent Pentagon investigation attempted to challenge the accuracy of Hastings' article "The Runaway General" which quoted anonymously people around McChrystal making disparaging remarks about members of President Barack Obama's national security team, including Vice President Joe Biden.[21] The report from the inquiry states “In some instances, we found no witness who acknowledged making or hearing the comments as reported. In other instances, we confirmed that the general substance of an incident at issue occurred, but not in the exact context described in the article.”[22] In response, Rolling Stone stated, “The report by the Pentagon’s inspector general offers no credible source — or indeed, any named source — contradicting the facts as reported in our story, 'The Runaway General.'"

In an interview with Matt Lauer of NBC's TODAY show on June 23, 2011, Hastings said “I did not think Gen. McChrystal would be fired. In fact, I thought his position was basically untouchable, I thought it would give them a headache for maybe 72 hours.”[23]

In February 2011, Hastings wrote another lengthy article profiling McChrystal's successor, General David Petraeus, and detailing Petraeus' strategy for the war.[24]

The Operators book

In January 2012, Hastings published the book, The Operators, which gives the most detailed public account of his travels with General Stanley McChrystal and his team. It included extensive quotes, taken from over 20 hours of audio recordings of McChrystal and his inner circle. A close read of the book suggests that McChrystal himself told Hastings that Obama was "intimidated and uncomfortable" the first time the president met him. The Daily Beast called it a "book of great consequence...The Operators seems destined to join the pantheon of great GWOT literature."[25] The Wall Street Journal slammed the book, though the author of the review was a military consultant who had worked for both McChrystal and General David Petraeus, a fact the paper failed to disclose.[26] The book became a New York Times bestseller.[27]



  1. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Lost-My-Love-Baghdad-Modern/dp/1416560971
  2. ^ Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2010. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2010. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC Document Number: H1000192617
  3. ^ http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings
  4. ^ Hack: Confessions of a Presidential Campaign Reporter, GQ, October 2008.
  5. ^ a b Packer, George (April 20, 2008). "What She Did for Love". New York Times Book Review: p. 12. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/books/review/Packer-t.html?_r=1. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  6. ^ Wilson, Craig (April 3, 2008). "Grieving journalist writes 'final love letter to Andi'". USA Today (Gannett): p. 3D. http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2008-03-31-hastings-iraq_N.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  7. ^ "Backstory". Gentlemen's Quarterly. April 1, 2008. http://business.highbeam.com/437597/article-1G1-187867499/backstory. Retrieved 2010-06-24. "This war. It takes and takes. Drains the budget, flays the soul. Or--immeasurably worse--it claims the person you love most. In January 2007, aid worker Andi Parhamovich was killed in Baghdad while her boyfriend, Newsweek 's Michael Hastings, worked a few miles away (page 166). Hastings has since returned to Iraq; he can't get Andi or the war out of his system."
  8. ^ Iannotti, Lauren (June 1, 2008). "I Lost My Love in Baghdad". Marie Claire: p. 99. http://www.marieclaire.com/world-reports/news/international/love-war-zone-baghdad-1. Retrieved 2010-06-24. (interview with the author)
  9. ^ Freeman, Jay (April 15, 2008). "I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.(Brief article)(Book review)". Booklist. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-34420981_ITM. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  10. ^ Hastings, Michael (June 22, 2010). "The Runaway General". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236. Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  11. ^ Cooper, Helene; Thom Shanker; Dexter Filkins (June 22, 2010). "McChrystal’s Fate in Limbo as He Prepares to Meet Obama". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/23/world/asia/23mcchrystal.html?hp. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  12. ^ Funding the Afghan Taliban. Al Jazeera English. June 22, 2010. http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insidestory/2010/06/2010622133429161976.html. Retrieved 2010-06-24. "General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of US and Nato military forces in Afghanistan, has been ordered to report to the White House and explain comments he has made about the Obama administration's Afghan policy. In an ironic twist of events, US citizens have discovered that it is their tax money that indirectly funds Taliban – the very people their troops are fighting in Afghanistan."
  13. ^ Waterman, Shaun (June 23, 2010). "McChrystal resigns Afghan command". Washington Times. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/23/mcchrystal-leaves-white-house-war-meeting. Retrieved 2010-06-24. "President Obama said Wednesday he had accepted the resignation of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, bringing to an ignominious end the storied but sometimes controversial career of one of the country's top soldiers. Mr. Obama, who angrily summoned Gen. McChrystal to Washington after the general and several aides may have disparaged senior members of the administration in a series of interviews with Rolling Stone magazine, ..."
  14. ^ Michael Hastings (June 23, 2010). Writer explains McChrystal article (4:42). Al Jazeera English. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/06/201062323918352563.html. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  15. ^ "The volcano claims another victim: General McChrystal – When the ash cloud threw the American commander and a journalist together it was bound to end badly"
  16. ^ http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/22/rolling-stone-author-discusses-general-mcchrystal-interview.html
  17. ^ Leo, Alex (October 29, 2010). "HuffPost Celebrates Its 2010 Game Changers With Geoffrey Canada, Sean Penn, Mayor Bloomberg & More (PHOTOS)". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/29/game-changers-2010_n_775869.html#s168156.
  18. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (2011-02-27) The military/media attacks on the Hastings article, Salon.com
  19. ^ Shanker, Thom (September 22, 2010). "McChrystal Article Inquiry Leaves Questions Open". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/world/asia/23military.html.
  20. ^ Lamb, Brian (January 12, 2012). "Michael Hastings". C-SPAN. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/ajax/ajax-transcript.php?progid=268364&init=true..
  21. ^ Shanker, Thom (April 18, 2011). "Pentagon Clears McChrystal Over Rolling Stone Article". http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/us/politics/19military.html.
  22. ^ Inspector General, Department of Defense http://rawreplaymedia.com/media/2011/1104/ROI-508.pdf
  23. ^ http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/37893363/ns/today-today_people/
  24. ^ Hastings, Michael (2 February 2011). "King David's War". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/king-davids-war-20110202.
  25. ^ Gallagher, Matt (17 January 2012). "The Operators by Michael Hastings (Review)". Daily Beast. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/17/the-operators-by-michael-hastings-review.html.
  26. ^ Can't Give This War Away blog. 5 January 2012. http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/cgtwa/2012/01/index.html.
  27. ^ New York Times. 5 February 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2012-02-05/hardcover-nonfiction/list.html.
  28. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Operators-Terrifying-Inside-Americas-Afghanistan/dp/0399159886

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