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For immediate release”

February 5, 2019

SPJ Detroit condemns censorship by Dearborn mayor and firing of
Journalism Hall of Fame reporter, Bill McGraw.

The SPJ Detroit Chapter condemns the actions of Dearborn Mayor John “Jack” O’Reilly in
halting the distribution of the current issue of The Dearborn Historian, citing a special
report, “Henry Ford and the Independent Jew,” written by award-winning Detroit
journalist Bill McGraw.

The report, published in an edition of the official publication of the Dearborn Historical
Museum, coincided with the 100th anniversary of Henry Ford’s purchase of the
Dearborn Independent, a weekly newspaper that the auto magnate used for years to
spread his virulent anti-Semitism,

The magazine’s cover displayed a photograph of Ford, accompanied by this quote from
his newspaper: “The Jew is a race that has no civilization to point to, no aspiring religion,
no great achievement in any realm.”

McGraw, who served as a part-time editor at The Historian, said he was fired and his
contract was terminated Jan. 30 by Jack Tate, the curator of the Dearborn Historical
Museum, at the behest of the mayor.

In an email to SPJ Detroit, McGraw provided the following insights, “I wrote and
published the article about Henry Ford’s anti-Semitism in the Dearborn Historian
because January 2019 was the 100th anniversary of Ford buying the Dearborn
Independent, which he used to attack Jews; because anti-Semitic incidents are on the
rise in the United States and because most people don’t know the details of Ford’s
multi-million-dollar effort to spread his hate around the world in the 1920s, and how
these ideas influence people on extremist websites and forums today.”

Rather than to suppress anti-Semitic awareness, McGraw encourages more open
dialogue, “Southeast Michigan needs more discussions like this, and I’m sorry the
usually steady mayor of Dearborn, John O’Reilly, made the self-defeating decision to
suppress the Historian.”

SPJ Detroit condemns these actions and calls on those who believe in a free press to join
our protest of this attempt of censorship.
“ Any effort to suppress the dissemination of factual information is an act of censorship
and goes against our country’s long tradition of freedom of the press,” said SPJ Detroit
Chapter President Beth Konrad.
The report was distributed by Deadline Detroit, so far attracting more than 14,000
viewers, and can be found on the Deadline Detroit website.


For more information about SPJ Detroit, please visit
Media Contact: Dan Stocking, SPJ Board member
(248) 203-8979