Len Downie, Automaton

As flagged by Romenesko, here’s a hard to believe exchange from an online Q&A with now-officially outgoing Washington Post editor Len Downie:

Arlington, Va.: You are known for being so objective that you don’t vote. Now that you are retiring, will register and vote?

Leonard Downie Jr.: I’ll have to think about that since I didn’t just stop voting, I stopped having even private opinions about politicians or issues so that I would have a completely open mind in supervising our coverage. It may be hard to change.

No private opinions on candidates or issues? What about thoughts? Or even notions? At least once? No? Is that neurologically possible?

Well, in anticipation of Mr. Downie’s upcoming retirement time, CJR is happy to provide a reading list that might help him fill out that tabula rasa. Try here. Or here. Or here.

That’s just a start. Let yourself go, Len. You’d never believe what sort of opinions you could develop from regularly reading a quality newspaper. Like, say, The Washington Post.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.