The Lineup: Again, Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith with the big hire (Michael Hastings); plus, a message from Christopher Hitchens' lighter

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Michael Hastings. ()
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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

Ben Smith keeps one-upping himself with the collection of reporters he's been reeling in to turn BuzzFeed into what he calls a "new news" operation.

Michael Hastings, the veteran war correspondent and author of 2010's bombshell Rolling Stone profile, "The Runaway General," is his latest catch.

Hastings, whom I profiled back in January around the release of his new book about Afghanistan, The Operators, has come aboard to cover President Obama's relection campaign from April 2 through the November election, according to a press release that broke the news this morning. He will remain a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.

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This won't be Hastings' first time out on the trail—the 31-year-old covered the 2008 campaign as a rising star at Newsweek. Of course, things are different this time around.

"The story of President Obama's fight to remain our president, to me, is the biggest story of the year," Hastings told Capital in a brief phone interview.

Hastings' conversations with the meme-driven website began, as Smith has said his own did, rather spontanesouly. He said he ran into Smith at a campaign event in New Hampshire back in January.

"We started talking and then emailing back and forth over the next couple of months," said Hastings. "It just seemed like a good fit. It seemed like the right thing to do."

Hastings said he expects his beat will involve a combination of fast-paced, granular and (most importantly given BuzzFeed's mission) social-media-friendly bursts, and longer pieces.

"I've grown up in news organizations writing for the web all the time so it's something that's always been part of what I've done in journalism," he said.

"It will give me the chance to be part of a media organization that's breaking new journalistic ground, finding innovative and fresh ways to report the story," he said in the press release.

Before joining BuzzFeed in another month, Hastings is expected to publish articles in Rolling Stone and Men's Journal.

In other news...

At Graydon Carter's annual Oscars bash last night in honor of the late Christopher Hitchens, attendees received Zippos inscribed with the Hitchens quote: "Everyone has a book inside them, which is exactly where I think it should, in most cases, remain.” [Page Six]

The latest on the ongoing inquiry into British press standards. [A.P.]

Rupert Murdoch shows off his new Sun on Sunday. [The Sun]

Financial Times journalists have voted to strike. [The Guardian]

The Wall Street Journal has pulled back on articles offered free through Google. [Search Engine Land]

More and more metro dailies are jumping to charge readers for online content. [Poynter]

"During a point in history when our government has been accused of sending prisoners to secret locations where they were said to have been tortured and the C.I.A. is conducting remote-controlled wars in far-flung places," writes David Carr, "it’s not a good time to treat the people who aid in the publication of critical information as spies." [The New York Times]

Ann Curry snuck into Sudan to report on "what appears to be ethnic cleansing." [Media Decoder]

Behind Pat Buchanan's ouster from MSNBC. [N.Y.T.]

Gloria Allred's 380-person press list revealed. [The Cutline]

Yet another luxury magazine launch. [Media Decoder]

What's Slate boss Jacob Weisberg got against quotations? [W.W.D.]

Felix Salmon on the importance of linking. [Reuters]

Pinterest is now a top traffic driver for women's magazines. [Mashable]