The Lord Stays in the Picture

Photo: Sue Hoffman

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As the Supreme Court ponders public displays of the Ten Commandments, it’s worth noting Hollywood’s supporting role in planting the Laws of Moses on the courthouse lawn. When his epic The Ten Commandments was hitting theaters in 1956, Cecil B. DeMille was seized by the notion that moviegoers might benefit from seeing the biblical tablets in 3-D. And so Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner went forth into the land to unveil granite decalogues in North Dakota and Wisconsin, while Paramount donated part of the film’s box-office take to build more. By the mid-’60s, more than 100 monuments were scattered across the country, ready for their constitutional close-up.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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