Posted on | August 16, 2013 | 79 Comments
On June 19, the day Michael Hastings died, I remarked: “The conspiracy theorists have already gotten way ahead of me on this story.”
That day, I wrote a 2,000-word article for ViralRead (“The Short Career and Sudden Death of Michael Hastings“), and the next day I wrote another 500 words (“Michael Hastings Was ‘Paranoid’ About FBI Before Fatal Crash“). Then I wrote a long column for The American Spectator, “Hope, Fear and Michael Hastings”:
Scarcely had the charred remains of Michael Hastings been pried out of the wreckage of his Mercedes-Benz than conspiracy theorists began to suggest that the award-winning journalist’s fiery death was not an accident. Within 12 hours, it was reported that Hastings had told a lawyer before Tuesday’s fatal crash in Los Angeles that he was under investigation by the FBI. His friends soon confirmed that Hastings had been “paranoid … incredibly tense and very worried” about government surveillance, and the fevered imaginations of the kook fringe cooked up all sorts of wild-eyed claims: Hastings had been “murdered” or “assassinated” by a “car bomb,” perhaps by the CIA.
Welcome to America in 2013, where Hope and Change have transmogrified into Fear and Loathing, where even a liberal reporter who last year praised Obama as “one of the most talented politicians around” could not resist the pervasive paranoia inspired by what voters were once promised would be “the most transparent administration in history.” . . .
You can go read the whole thing, if you’ve never read it or if you need to remind yourself that Michael Hastings himself seems to have slipped over edge into paranoia before his death.
The idea that Michael Hastings was assassinated because he was “getting too close” to some hidden truth — the spy-thriller scenario, “The Man Who Knew Too Much” — was something I also explored in a 700-word article for ViralRead: “What ‘Big Story’ Was Michael Hastings Working On When He Died?” And the bottom line of that story is, Hastings seems to shown interest in three or four different stories, none of which looked like a motive to have him targeted for death by the Military-Industrial Complex or any other shadowy Force of Evil.
You kooks should stop using cheap tinfoil in your hats. Insist on premium Reynolds Wrap™ to block those CIA brain-control waves.
Mother Jones has an article about Examiner columnist Kimberly Dvorak’s writing on the death of Michael Hastings, “Meet the Journalist Spreading Michael Hastings Conspiracy Theories,” which stops just short of calling her a kook. Dvorak seems to be a conservative, and has actually gone to L.A. to try and report on the story, which is a hell of a lot more than some of Hastings’ liberal friends have bothered to do, but the problem is, she’s chasing the wrong story.
There is no reason to believe that the car accident was anything other than a car accident — insofar as a fatal crash is an “accident” when you’re driving a Mercedes-Benz sports coupe 100 mph down a city street at 4 o’clock in the morning.
The real story — and I’ve said this from the get-go — is why Michael Hastings was driving so fast at such an ungodly hour.
Frankly, I think Hastings had slipped back into the substance abuse that once caused him to drop out of college for a year, and I think those of his friends who know about his personal problems won’t say anything about this, out of respect for their deceased friend.
If you want to know what happened to Michael Hastings, you need to find out who he was hanging out with in the final week or so before that crash, and you especially need to look at why he was out on the streets of L.A. at 4 a.m. Had he been to a nightclub? Had he been to a party?
Had he been hooking up with call girls or strippers?
Was he abusing alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine?
Maybe I’ve missed something in the past two months. Maybe some mainstream reporter or one of Hastings’ left-wing buddies has told the story of why he was out on the streets at 4 a.m., but I don’t think so. No, I think that there is not a deliberate cover-up, but rather an embarrassed silence among the friends of Michael Hastings who know the real truth: He had a paranoid breakdown, or went off on a binge, or both.
They don’t won’t to admit their buddy freaked out, see? They want Michael Hastings to be remembered as a courageous journalistic hero, and so none of his friends are interested in telling the truth.
Conspiracy theories about Michael Hastings’ death gain traction because his liberal journalist friends are afraid to report the truth.
They should be ashamed of themselves.