June 18, 2015 is the two-year anniversary of the mysterious death of investigative journalist Michael Hastings. The car crash that took his life was quickly dismissed at the time as the consequence of some inherent recklessness on the part of the victim. An intrepid reporter, Hastings did indeed cover some controversial topics, but was he really a wild man responsible for his fiery demise? Here, we present an interview with a very different fellow, a thoughtful and likable person, on a more prosaic but timely topic: ways to view a presidential campaign.

Was reporter Michael Hastings a drug-addled nutcase who recklessly or even deliberately allowed his car to jump the pavement on a straightaway, before it hit a tree and exploded? That is the official explanation of what happened to the internationally celebrated journalist who brought down a general and was involved with all manner of controversial inquiries.

Does he sound unstable in this email he sent less than a day before his car seemed to go crazy, as if it had a mind of its own?

From: Michael Hastings

Date: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Subject: FBI Investigation, re: NSA


Hey [5 REDACTED WORDS] the Feds are interviewing my “close friends and associates.” Perhaps if the authorities arrive “Buzzfeed GQ”, er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radat [sic] for a bit.

All the best, and hope to see you all soon.


Or how about in this interview with Jeff Schechtman, now our RadioWhoWhatWhy lead podcaster, as Hastings muses about covering presidential campaigns five months before his death? Does he sound unstable? You be the judge.

[For WhoWhatWhy’s reporting on Hastings’ death and his impact, see our complete coverage of the journalist, and his bizarre death, here.]


  • Jeff Schechtman

    Jeff Schechtman’s career spans movies, radio stations and podcasts. After spending twenty-five years in the motion picture industry as a producer and executive, he immersed himself in journalism, radio, and more recently the world of podcasts. To date he has conducted over ten-thousand interviews with authors, journalists, and thought leaders. Since March of 2015, he has conducted over 315 podcasts for WhoWhatWhy.org

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