June 20, 2013

Journalist Michael Hastings had local ties

PLATTSBURGH — Michael Hastings, a journalist killed Tuesday in a car accident in Los Angeles, had ties to the North Country.

His father, Dr. Brent Hastings, is a cardiologist at Lake Champlain Cardiology in Plattsburgh, who lived in Malone for several years before relocating to Montreal and later, Burlington.

The Press-Republican interviewed Dr. Hastings in June 2010 about his son’s career after an article Michael wrote for Rolling Stone magazine resulted in the resignation of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

At the time, Michael was covering the war in Afghanistan for Rolling Stone. In that article, McChrystal spoke out against policies of the Obama Administration.

“He reports what he sees,” Dr. Hastings told the Press-Republican of his son at the time.

A graduate of New York University, Michael wrote full time for Newsweek before becoming a freelance journalist. His work was published in GQ, Slate, Salon and the Los Angeles Times.

“He knew when he was in grade school he would be a writer,” Dr. Hastings said in the 2010 interview.

“When Gulf War 1 was going on, he became interested in that type of journalism. Back then, he used to write for little newspapers and school papers.”

Michael also wrote two books: “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” and the memoir “I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.” The latter talks about the 2007 death of his then-fiancee, Andrea Parhamovich, who was killed by insurgents while working for the National Democratic Institute in Iraq.

The journalist, who died after his vehicle struck a tree, was 33. He leaves behind a wife, Elise.

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