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Over the Fourth of July weekend, “Sound of Freedom” shocked many by closely contesting the latest Indiana Jones movie for the top spot at the box office. The relatively low-budget film from independent Angel Studios stars “Passion of the Christ” actor Jim Caviezel and is based on the story of Tim Ballard, a former Department of Homeland Security agent, and his quest to stop child sex traffickers.
A small indie movie with a powerful message about victimization going toe-to-toe with a major box office titan: This is the kind of story journalists should be lining up to write glowing celebratory pieces about. Instead, as if some form of order had been issued to all the most vile leftist outlets simultaneously, a flurry of hit pieces suddenly appeared to denounce the movie as red meat for QAnon conspiracy theorists. Journalists hate the movie for a simple and very telling reason: They have managed to code opposition to child sex trafficking as a radical right-wing position.
Outlets like Rolling Stone, Jezebel, the Washington Post, and the Guardian fell into immediate lockstep, framing the box office upset not as a David and Goliath story for the ages, but as evidence that dangerous right-wing conspiracy theories have seized the minds of the movie-going public. Each article made sure to use phrases like “QAnon-tinged” despite never linking any content from the movie itself to the fringe movement. Rolling Stone described the film as “A superhero movie for dads with brain worms,” while the Guardian accused the movie of “seducing America.” Rolling Stone famously defended the French movie “Cuties” against charges of child sexualization in 2020, praising the movie as “a sensitive portrayal of growing pains.” The writers who attended a showing of “Sound of Freedom” for their article treated the experience like a trip to the zoo, taking every opportunity to mock the backward yet dangerous nature of the GOP-voting plebians were absorbing conspiracy-theory-laced marching orders from their Klan-hooded overlords. The breathless journalists were desperate to frame the film as “Birth of a Nation” for the disgruntled Trump voter, a cartoonish depiction of hate designed to whip up the latent violent tendency of a conspiracy-addled public.
“Sound of Freedom” started life as a major studio project that was originally produced by 20th Century Fox and finished back in 2018. Despite being completed and ready for distribution, the film was shelved after Fox was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in 2019, with the new owners refusing to release the movie.
Disney later became embroiled in controversy after battling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over a child protection bill, going so far as to ban employees from using “boy” and “girl” in order to be more inclusive of “trans kids.” Footage from journalist Chris Rufo also revealed an internal Disney struggle session in which one television producer bragged about her “not-so-secret gay agenda” and her efforts to force LGBTQ+ characters into children’s programming at every opportunity. The entertainment giant is the parent company of Lucasfilms, the producers of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” the film that “Sound of Freedom” eventually did battle with at the box office.
I have not personally had the opportunity to see “Sound of Freedom” yet, but the film has been getting rave reviews. Despite the attempt to manufacture controversy by the mainstream press, the movie stands at a 76% fresh rating among critics and a 99% fresh rating with audiences on the popular movie rating website Rotten Tomatoes. This is made all the more impressive by the fact that Rotten Tomatoes is infamous for its political bias, often creating a large differential between favorable fan ratings and the scores of reviewers who punish films with the wrong political opinions.
Successful faith-based films with questionable production often rely on the favorable disposition of a devoted audience, but that does not seem to be the case with “Sound of Freedom.” Honest critics who might not like the political leanings of the target audience are still awarding the film favorable reviews and commending its message.
Child trafficking is not some delusional conspiracy theory manufactured online. At least 1.2 million children are trafficked every year worldwide, over 18,000 in the United States. Immigrant children are some of the most likely victims, and drug cartels are notoriously active in the child sex trafficking business, often using minors as cover to enter the country before selling them to the highest bidder. I wish this did not need to be said, but apparently it does: This is the most heinous type of crime imaginable, and those who commit it should face swift public execution after being found guilty by a jury of their peers.. Woodchipper, feet first, no exceptions. Progressives are quick to use children as political props, speaking about the need to protect the future of children by funneling more money to failing schools or the latest green energy boondoggle, but when it comes to protecting children from sex trafficking, the left has nothing but condemnation for those who would bring awareness to the issue.
Leftism has a very serious optics problem. The progressive revolution has devoured most of our social fabric and demolished the moral guardrails meant to protect society from its darkest appetites in the pursuit of power. Child sacrifice and mutilation now stand as the twin pillars of the progressive movement. The normalization of transgressive sexual identities has become one of the premier leftist goals, and exposing minors to those identities at the youngest age possible is the key to normalization.
Even if the sexualization of children was not the primary goal of activists, it would still be essential to advancing their agenda. But of course, it is one of their goals, and you can tell because adults exposing themselves to children at Pride parades has now become both common and legal. Progressive journalists reacted to “Sound of Freedom” and its desire to raise awareness about the evils of child sex trafficking as a personal attack because, for them, it was.
Ultimately, while most progressive journalists would never say it out loud, they hate “Sound of Freedom” because the wrong type of people like it. Donald Trump, whatever his many flaws, broke the media in ways that are still sending them into fits of utter derangement to this very day. Leftist elites have always struggled to maintain a thin veneer of civility over their utter contempt for red America, but when Trump forged populist energy into a campaign that secured lasting changes in institutions like the Supreme Court, progressive lost every ounce of their remaining self-control.
Leftists are sure that they have the right to rule, they know that the plebs are dangerous, and they believe that anything short of total control of the government and the culture stands as an existential threat to the progressive order they have created. They are right about that last part. The left will instinctively and rabidly attack anything leftists perceive as being supported by the MAGA crowd, even if it happens to be a movie warning of the unspeakable horrors visited on immigrant children by the sex trade.
America is in a dark and deeply divided place when opposition to one of the most heinous crimes imaginable is seen as a political act, but achieving this level of clarity is critical. Against all odds, there are many who still believe that America is simply engaging in another mild disagreement about policy that will be resolved with pithy arguments and the accumulation of sound policy proposals. When the media rip the mask off the way they have over “Sound of Freedom,” it becomes more difficult to pretend we are experiencing the normal ebbs and flows of civil disagreement.
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Auron MacIntyre is the host of “The Auron MacIntyre Show” and a columnist for Blaze News.