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Leftist critics of 'Sound of Freedom' movie confronted by contrarian evidence from FBI, Texas cops

Explosion of sex trafficking busts and child rescues undercut liberal narrative movie was a QAnon exaggeration.

Published: August 10, 2023 6:00pm

Updated: August 10, 2023 11:38pm

Left-wing media almost uniformly derided the anti-sex trafficking film "Sound of Freedom" as a QAnon exaggeration filled with conspiracy theories. But a series of recent busts by the FBI and child rescue operations by Texas troopers have undermined their argument.

The film, released on the Fourth of July, has become an unlikely hit at the box office and attracted acclaim from audiences. "Sound of Freedom" is based on the true story of former Department of homeland Security Agent Tim Ballard, who left his position to rescue child victims of human and sex trafficking. It stars Jim Caviezel as Ballard.

The political right loved it

Republican lawmakers uniformly lauded the film, with former President Donald Trump hosting a screening at his Bedminster, N.J. estate and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy screening it congressional lawmakers.

"What a powerful movie," McCarthy said after the July screening. "You just see human trafficking, these young kids who are in slavery; somebody has to stand up and do something about it. I think this just tells such a powerful story."

The left-wing media called it a conspiracy flick

The reception was not entirely positive, however, as the left-wing media regularly tied the film to the Q-Anon movement. The Guardian ran an article entitled "Sound of Freedom: the QAnon-adjacent thriller seducing America."

NPR ran a headline stating "QAnon supporters are promoting 'Sound of Freedom.' Here's why." That article took aim at Caviezel, whom the author said "spout[s] QAnon falsehoods."

Vox described the film as merely the latest in a string of motion pictures "tinged with hallmarks of the modern right-wing worldview: moral panic, hints of vast leftist conspiracies, and a sense of persecution." It also parroted the accusation that "Sound of Freedom" pushes "QAnon-adjacent rhetoric."

Child trafficking busts are on the rise

The FBI's website acknowledges the pervasive nature of human trafficking in the country, stating that "[h]ere in the United States, both U.S. residents and foreign nationals are being bought and sold like modern-day slaves."

"Traffickers use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to exploit victims. Victims are forced to work as prostitutes or to take jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay. Human trafficking is a heinous crime that exploits the most vulnerable in society," it continues.

Recent busts have further lent additional substance to claims of the problem's severity.

Texas officials announced this week that the state had rescued more than 900 children being smuggled into the country from Mexico by human traffickers as part of Operation Lone Star, the state's unilateral border security operation.

The FBI earlier this month announced that it had located 200 sex trafficking victims, among them 59 children as part of a two-week operation in July that saw officials arrest or identify 196 suspects for alleged trafficking crimes.

Speaking on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show on Thursday, the FBI's former intelligence chief, Kevin Brock said the sex-trafficking of children is likely much more severe than even the film suggests.

"This is a wildfire. I haven't seen Sound of Freedom," he said. "But I can almost assure your audience that whatever they saw there is worse in reality. And human trafficking, the exploitation of children is so mind numbingly devastating that it's hard to watch."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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