Journalists across the country were saddened when Michael Hastings died following a car crash earlier this year. Many of the biggest names in the political coverage game felt that Hastings was a rising star that had already contributed much to the field and would go on to do great work. Unfortunately, the admiration he received from his peers makes him a prime target for conspiracy theorists. As Gawker put it, the crash was the perfect target for the "'close analysis of low-quality YouTube frames' field of online conspiracy-mongering." In his too-brief career, Hastings often targeted the military and the police state in his reporting. You can guess where the conspiracy nuts go from here. The theories sound remarkably similar to those that surface whenever a respected political or social critic dies too young: our Orwellian government did him in. Though these conspiracy theories may be idle fodder for those who traffic in them, they can't be anything but hurtful to those close to promising minds whose careers are cut short.
Journalist Michael Hastings was assassinated.