Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Media Falsely Blames Drugs For Michael Hastings' Death
The LA Coroner's office yesterday released the autopsy results yesterday for investigative journalist Michael Hastings. Reading the story lines from the mainstream media, one might conclude that Hastings caused his own death because he supposedly had a relapse and was using drugs after being sober for 14 years. The actual coroner's report says drugs played no role in his death. I repeat, drugs played no role in his death. What it says is that there were trace amounts of Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder. Yes, Adderall is an amphetamine, which is all most news outlets needed to make it appear that Hastings was a meth addict. He also had trace amounts of marijuana in his system. Yes, he had a medical marijuana card that allowed him to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The lede in the LA Times, a state-run propaganda newspaper, says "Coroner, family link Michael Hastings to drug use at time of death." Reading that headline, one might conclude that Hastings' crash was caused by drug use when it says no such thing. You have to read deeper into the story to see where it actually says "[n]either were considered a factor in the crash according to toxicology reports." Instead, the autopsy report attributes his death to blunt force trauma consistent with a high-speed crash.
Nonetheless, both the autopsy report and the LA Times seek to put in readers' minds that drug use was the actual cause, claiming that family members said he had started using drugs within the past month and that they were trying to have him placed in a rehab center. The medical marijuana card had been prescribed to him to treat post-traumatic stress resulting from his time serving as a journalist during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. An unidentified witness claims to have seen Hastings "passed out" hours before the crash, again implying that he was drinking or using drugs despite proof in the toxicology report that he was not under the influence of drugs at the time of his crash. The LA Times has the obligatory dismissal of conspiracy theorists who found the circumstances of Hastings' death suspicious and a statement from the FBI insisting that he was not under investigation at the time of his death as he had claimed in an e-mail he sent to friends and colleagues hours before his death. The "passed out" reference must have been inserted into the report to suggest that Hastings was drugged or drunk at the time that he sent that e-mail.
The autopsy report mentions that his car caught fire after he "apparently lost control" of the vehicle while traveling at a high rate of speed and struck a tree. This still doesn't answer the question of what caused the massive explosion that was captured by a surveillance video. One witness actually described the car as exploding before it ever impacted with the tree. The report throws in that a couple of beer bottles were found in the median near his automobile, even though there is no evidence that he was consuming alcohol before the crash. It mentions that parts of the car were found "strewn" in the north and south bound lanes, in addition to the media, without reference to the distance they were found from the crash scene or how they could have traveled such great distances. While mentioning that the crash was caught on video, "possibly two different views," it says further information is "pending at this time." One witness claimed Hastings was using the hallucinogenic DMT even though the toxicology report shows no presence of the drug in his system.
The autopsy report is full of incredible conjecture and innuendo. There is mention of him supposedly crashing into a pole a number of years ago in a vehicle accident when he was supposedly abusing Ritalin as a teenager. There is a suggestion that he might have had bipolar disorder, even though he wasn't diagnosed or treated for that disorder. He entered rehab 14 years ago for substance abuse according to the report. The report says that he had no suicidal tendencies but thought he was "invincible," supposedly claiming that he could jump from a balcony without being injured. The description of him being "passed out" is in reference to when he was last seen at his residence. So he could have just been sleeping since it was around midnight, but we'll chalk that up to being "passed out" for good measure. One witness supposedly told investigators that he wouldn't be surprised if they found cocaine in his system. As to the suggestion that he deliberately crashed his car, the report notes that he used a seat belt to restrain himself in the car. If he was trying to kill himself by smashing into an object at a high rate of speed, why would he use his seat belt in a high performance, safe automobile like the Mercedes equipped with airbags?