Sound of Freedom: Why Are Progressives Targeting a Film Exposing Child Trafficking?

Courtesy of Angel Studios Inc.

Why all the fuss over the new movie “Sound of Freedom?” The film has elicited furious backlash from folks on the hard left. Several different left-leaning media outlets have published reports and op-eds savaging the film, which is based on the real-life journey of Tim Ballard, a former Homeland Security official who runs an organization that rescues children from sex trafficking. But why would the left choose this particular hill to die on?

Various leftist media outlets are attempting to discredit the film, which is based on a true story about human trafficking, by associating it with the QAnon conspiracy theory and right-wing extremists. Despite the film not engaging in conspiracy theories, these propaganda mills are linking it to fringe elements in an effort to downplay its box office success.

An article in The Guardian criticizes the film’s supposed ties to QAnon and questions its box office numbers, while Jezebel raises concerns about the actor Jim Caviezel’s alleged beliefs and accuses the film of being propaganda. The producer of “Sound of Freedom” dismisses these criticisms as distractions aimed at undermining the film’s release.

The Washington Post published a hit piece making similar criticisms:

“Sound of Freedom” doesn’t depict anything close to QAnon conspiracy fantasies, which have been linked to incidents of extremism and violence including the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The film’s villains are common criminals, not the shadowy cabal of occultists imagined by QAnoners.

But the movie has nevertheless been promoted on QAnon message boards, and some accuse it of playing into the movement, which is based on the false belief that a highly organized network of global elites are kidnapping children, having sex with them and harvesting their blood.

That’s partially because Ballard and the actor who plays him, Caviezel, have both expressed support for some of the QAnon’s movement’s wildest claims.

For starters, Caviezel’s and Ballard’s supposed beliefs related to QAnon are irrelevant to this story. Even left-wing propaganda outlets admitted that the movie does not promote the conspiracy cult, so there is no reason to even mention it unless one is engaged in dishonest hit pieces.

Silly criticisms aside, let’s look at the numbers regarding human and sex trafficking. A 2022 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery report notes over 27.6 million reported human trafficking cases worldwide in 2021. About 6.3 million (23 percent) of these were sex trafficking victims.

But what I have been trying to wrap my head around is the vitriol being leveled against the movie. For the life of me, I cannot determine why anyone would have a problem with a film exposing the demonic evil that is sex trafficking.

It would be one thing to criticize the movie on its merits. If it had bad acting or writing, or if the quality of the film were subpar, these would be more understandable. But these propaganda outlets are not addressing the quality of the film at all – instead, they are simply trying to smear those involved as far-right wing QAnon cultists without any real evidence.

I believe the primary reason why these entities are so gung-ho about attacking the movie is partisan politics, plain and simple. As many of us know, toxic hyperpartisanship has been at the forefront of political discourse in America, which means it pervades almost every area of society.

Conservatives have been quite vocal over the past decade in their passionate condemnations of child sex trafficking and pedophilia, often demanding stringent action to combat these heinous crimes. Given the hyperpolarized political climate, it appears to me that hard leftist progressives feel compelled to oppose anything conservatives support, even if it is a film shedding light on a crucial issue. We have seen this type of reactionary behavior on both sides of the political divide.

By discrediting “Sound of Freedom,” left-wing outlets can create a false narrative that paints conservatives as conspiracy theorists, thereby undermining their stance on combating child exploitation. Unfortunately, this approach risks detracting from the urgency of addressing a grave problem affecting countless innocent lives across the globe.

To a much lesser degree, a second possibility is the reality that some have incentives to downplay sex trafficking. While hyperpartisanship may explain some of the opposition, it is also worth considering the possibility that a small number of individuals or groups benefit from the continuation of human trafficking. The exposure and eradication of such crimes would be detrimental to their interests. Downplaying the severity of the issue and dismissing films like “Sound of Freedom” as conspiratorial may serve as a shield to protect their illicit activities.

Either way, the fact that politics is playing any part in the hubbub surrounding this film shows how far we have fallen as a country. Opposing the widespread abuse of children should be an endeavor on which most could agree.

In fact, it seems likely that much of the fuss is not being driven by regular everyday folks, but by the fringe elements who are unfortunately given the microphone. I suspect that if you ask the average Democratic voter if they would have a problem with a movie highlighting the evils of sex trafficking, they would respond with an emphatic “no.”

This is another story showing how elements in the media exist only to further divide the country. The question is, how much longer will we allow them to succeed?


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