The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Michael Hastings Conspiracy Theories: Missing the Real Mystery of His Death

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.



  • vermontaigne

    Starring Nic Cage. Screenplay by Barrett Brown.

  • Kirby McCain

    No Vince Foster.

  • richard mcenroe

    Directed by Oliver Stone.

  • richard mcenroe

    Soundtrack by Moby. Choreography by Michael Moore.

  • richard mcenroe

    Special appearance by Barbara Streisand as Helen Thomas.

  • rmnixondeceased

    Soundtrack available through Justice Through Music Project …

  • JeffS

    Cheap tin foil works fine to protect against CIA mind rays, but you need at least 3 layers for maximum effectiveness.

  • M. Thompson

    Yeah, I’m thinking finding out what happened before the accident is a very good idea.

    Too bad the conspiracy theory nutcases are already out and about. A lie can get around the world before the truth has it’s boots on.

  • Jesse Jackpot

    special appearance by obama dressed as a rodeo clown

  • TiminAL

    Co-Starring Ted Nugent on the Grassy Knoll.

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  • Tz

    Thank you.
    I’ve been saying this for a month.
    Who was the last person to see him and why haven’t they said something.
    Where was he at 4:00 am? 3:00 am? 2:00 am?
    Where was his wife?

    I don’t understand how elise Jordan could take the time to nitpick the New York Times obit of her husband, but can’t either put the conspiracy stories to rest.

  • Quartermaster

    Buy the best Russian made foil straight from the Togliatistadt plant. Guaranteed to block all radiated suggestions from the CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA, NOW, NRA, and RSM. Only one layer required.

  • DaveO

    You may have missed the experiments that proved a car’s computer can be hacked through a wireless connection, reprogrammed, or just have settings adjusted like, like no breaks and steady acceleration.

    Then there’s a principle in IT: what is built for good, can be used for evil, once someone evil enough learns how, or can make a going concern of it.

    Interesting juxtaposition: Hastings death (nothing to see here) is not a conspiracy-except-he-could-have-had-chemicals-in-his-system and then Dodd’s report to the Reece Commission (nothing to see here, but there could’ve been!) in your report on Diana West’s book.

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  • JMcMahon

    I have been banging on the same point on comment boards since right after the accident. His wife has come forward to say that is was probably just an ‘accident”, but has not provided any clues as to Hastings’ whereabouts before the crash. For his pals who are reporters to just sit back mum while needless speculation goes on is wrong if they know anything, and I’m sure they do. Hastings was a public figure, and eventually the truth will come out, no matter how embarrassing it may be.

  • Cahoots

    Shame? Do liberals know what that is?

  • Astromathman

    Look – I know it’s a judgement call, but it looks to me like the brake lights are ON. Like the driver has his foot on the brake trying to slow down a car that is speeding out of his control. It would be useful to see night time video from the same camera of other cars going by, to compare the brightness of the brake lights.

  • TMLutas

    Clearly it’s possible to penetrate via telematics. You can also just upload during your emissions test when the state actually plugs into your car so the back and forth regarding telematics is actually unnecessary. You just have to do hostile code injection when the right VIN comes through the facility.

    But that just gives you a method, a possibility that is creepy as all get out but doesn’t ultimately mean squat without the rest of the elements of a crime. What was the motive?

  • mdfuller56

    nah, too ugly…maybe lady gaga

  • richard mcenroe

    Lady gaga has a cameo as Jane Fonds.