Update, 9:30 p.m.: The Dearborn Historical Commission Thursday night passed a resolution that supports the article and its author, Bill McGraw, and asks that Mayor Jack O'Reilly allow the magazines that he is holding hostage to be mailed to subscribers.
The resolution is not binding on the mayor. The vote was unanimous, with one abstention.
Thursday afternoon article:
Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly, already under fire for killing the current issue of the city-funded Dearborn Historian because it carried a report on Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism, has now fired the magazine’s editor.
Veteran Detroit journalist Bill McGraw, who was the Historian’s part-time editor, said he was informed of his dismissal Wednesday afternoon by Jack Tate, curator of the Dearborn Historical Museum.
“I continue to be puzzled by the mayor’s actions, which are just bringing more readers to the story he wanted to ban,” McGraw said. “The Dearborn Historical Museum is caught in the middle, and I have nothing but respect for the museum and the people associated with it.”
O’Reilly has not explained why he ordered the museum staff not to mail out the magazine. He and spokeswoman Mary Laundroche have not returned reporters’ calls this week.
The Historian, a quarterly, upset city hall when it arrived from the printer last week with a 10-page cover story that marked the 100th anniversary of Ford buying the Dearborn Independent weekly newspaper, which he used to attack Jews. The Historian story went into great detail on how Ford and his lieutenants spent millions spreading Ford’s anti-Semitic ideas, which flourish today on extremist websites and forums.
The Historian has no Internet presence. With its permission, Deadline Detroit published McGraw’s story, “Henry Ford and ‘The International Jew,'” last Friday, and it has spread far beyond the magazine’s small circulation, with O’Reilly’s order to suppress it further stoking interest. Deadline Detroit, Jalopnik, Michigan Radio, WDET-FM and the Jewish News have reported the story; CNBC interviewed McGraw Wednesday.
McGraw, 67, a Dearborn resident, was a Free Press reporter and editor for 37 years. He founded Deadline Detroit with current editor Allan Lengel, but has not been involved with the site for several years.
Readers were critical of the mayor after Deadline Detroit reported the other day that he planned to put the kibosh on mailing the controversial issue to subscribers.
"This is a huge mistake. Puts him in league with southern mayors protecting confederate statues," wrote Matt Hollerbach in the comment section of the story. "Also, Nazis were super into censorship as well."
"Puts the mayor in the same league as those Germans who burned books," wrote Alan Harman.