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Thursday, September 7, 2023
WND Hypes 'Sound of Freedom' Movie, Censors QAnon Ties
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like the Media Research Center, WorldNetDaily loves the movie "Sound of Freedom" because it advances right-wing political narratives. Bob Unruh made that exact point in a July 10 article by pushing the bizarre conspiratorial claim that President Biden supports child trafficking:

The modern world has been unable, so far, to effectively rid itself of the scourge of child trafficking.

It's been especially noticeable in the United States in the last few years. WND reported the U.S. has become, under the leadership of Joe Biden, a de facto "middleman" in a massive "child trafficking" scheme.

That's according to a damning new report compiled by journalist and Gatestone Institute Senior Fellow Uzay Bulut.

But also like the MRC, WND wants you to think that only crazy people (and liberals) think that the film has some QAnon-adjacent shenanigans going on. Around the 10th paragraph of his article, Unruh finally got off the politicizing of child trafficking and got around to addressing the actual movie:

Now,  a report in The Blaze reveals that legacy media, so befuddled by the facts, has become a critic of movie revealing the extent of the problem.

The report said "leftist media outlets" have taken to slamming the new "Sound of Freedom Movie," and making claims that the anti-child trafficking project is a "QAnon fantasy."

The movie is based on the true story of a federal agent who is confronted with the facts of child trafficking, and leaves his job to work to save children.

It was written and directed by Mexican director Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Mexican producer Eduardo Verástegui. The movie features "The Passion of the Christ" star Jim Caviezel and Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino.

The movie, on a $14.5 million budget, is outperforming Disney's highly promoted "Indiana Jones" movie.

The report said, "Rolling Stone published an article with title: ''Sound Of Freedom' Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms.' The sub-headline reads: 'The QAnon-tinged thriller about child-trafficking is designed to appeal to the conscience of a conspiracy-addled boomer.'"

The writer of that piece claims the movie is "fomenting moral panic" with its "exaggerations."

But Unruh refused to explain exactly why the film is considered QAnon-adjacent; a key component of the QAnon conspiracy is the utterly baseless claim that, as summarized by NPR, "an international cabal of elites is abusing and killing children to extract a substance called adrenochrome." Also, Caviezel has become a QAnon adherent and has promoted the whole "adrenochroming" wackiness, and Tim Ballard, the federal agent whose story the film is based on, won't distance himself from QAnon.

But conspiracy theories have always been more important than facts at WND, and it has previously touted Caviezel's ranting before. An anonymously written 21 article hyped how "Actor Jim Caviezel, whose brand new 'Sound of Freedom' move is just arriving on scene, is warning Americans about the dangers of the subject of the film: Human trafficking. Of small children," adding that "he implicated "U.S. agencies" in the child sex trafficking industry."

WND also parroted the MRC in attacking a critic of the film. A July 17 article by Peter LaBarbera claimed that "Among the left-leaning critics attacking the surprise hit film 'Sound of Freedom,' about a man who quits his Department of Homeland Security job hunting pedophiles to rescue sex-trafficked children in Colombia, is a man who represented a group that is leading efforts to recast pedophiles as 'Minor Attracted Persons,' or MAPs." He went on to tout Caviezel plugging the film:

Though cynical leftist ideologues like Berlastky claim "Sound of Freedom"-type "narratives do little to help victims," that is precisely what SOF star Caviezel is hoping to do with the movie. In a special message to theater-goers shown after the film's ending, he states: "'Sound of Freedom' is one of those films that can legitimately change this world, so we want to ignite a fire in audiences and open their eyes to the dark reality of millions of children that need our help. Let's make this film an historic event and the start of the end of child trafficking... ."

"Pre-order your tickets today and you can send the message that 'God's children are no longer for sale,'" he says, echoing the main theme of the Angel Studios production.

LaBarbera also complained:

Despite hopes that a movie about saving innocent children from sex-traffickers might unite a bitterly divided nation, left-wing activists are dwelling on its alleged links to extreme-right "Q-anon" conspiracies rather than joining conservatives and people of faith in celebrating its focus on solving the crisis of the horrific exploitation of children.

Like Unruh, LaBarbera failed to tell his readers that Caviezel is a QAnon adherent and that its subject won't distance himself from QAnon.

WND also published several articles, mostly from other sources, touting the film and Caviezel:

Unruh kept his own rah-rah campaign as well. A July 17 article uncritically repeated claims that theaters are "intentionally sabotaging" showings of the film. He touted the film's ticket sales in a July 24 article:

Most movies have a huge opening weekend. But then the attendance and income rapidly deteriorate.

That's why studios spend the big bucks on advertising and such, to get fans out for those first few days.

One film, however, is showing the ability to move against the trend.

A new report from Celluloid Junkie reveals that "Sound of Freedom," the stunning story of a former federal agent who turned his life's goals into helping those children who are being trafficked, is seeing surging attendance – weeks after its opening.

The movie from Angel Studios, where filmmakers use crowdfunding to create and distribute films, confirmed its third weekend total revenue was "a strong $20,140,647."

The figure is higher than its debut weekend.

"Angel Studios is projecting nearly $125 million total cumulative box office revenue through Sunday," the report said.

But Unruh censored the fact that the film's promoters are using a "pay it forward" strategy, in which people buy tickets for others to claim. As much as 20 percent of the film's box office take may be coming from "pay it forward," artificially inflating those box numbers, and there's little evidence to show that people actually claimed those tickets and watched the film.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 7, 2023 12:24 AM EDT

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