Like other ConWeb outlets, Newsmax embraced the anti-child trafficking film "Sound of Freedom," based on the story of Tim Ballard, as a way to advance right-wing political narratives. James Hirsen unspririsingly gushed over the film in his July 3 column:
During one of the many dramatic scenes in the film, Ballard alludes to a passage from the Gospel of Luke.
“It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than you should ever hurt one of these little ones,” Ballard says.
In the Bible, Jesus himself instructs us about the inherent value of each and every child.
When in the film Ballard is asked why he has taken up this arduous mission, he replies, “Because God’s children are not for sale.”
For me personally, another passage from the Bible comes to mind. It is that of the Good Shepherd.
The shepherd has 100 sheep in his flock. But if one single sheep goes missing, he leaves the 99 in search of the one.
At least in prayer, may people of conscience continue to strive to be like the Good Shepherd.
And may God in his goodness send more Tim Ballards to rescue the one in need.
Like those other ConWeb outlets, Hirsen wasn't about to admit that the film leans into conspiratorial QAnon narratives about trafficking -- in which global elites are purportedly trafficking children for the purpose of harvesingt a chemical called adrenochrome from their blood to stay young -- or that star Jim Caviezel has become a serious QAnon adherent, or that Ballard himself has refused to distance himself from QAnon.
Hirsen gushed over the film again in his July 11 column -- "The public loves the film, giving it the highest CinemaScore rating possible, an A+. And movie fans who weighed-in on the Rotten Tomatoes website gave it a 100% rating" -- but then undermined that praise by enlisting two less-than-stellar people to help him endorse it:
In order to get more people to pay attention to the violations of human dignity with which the film deals, Dana White, President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (the global mixed martial arts organization) posted a video on social media.
White spoke out on the importance of “Sound of Freedom” and the chilling nightmare of human trafficking. He was joined by legendary actor and director [Mel] Gibson, who urged people to see the movie.
The White and Gibson video footage has gone viral, providing some powerful promotion for the movie.
During the video, White said, “There is a new movie out there called 'Sound of Freedom' and it’s about human trafficking. More importantly, about the trafficking of children. This is a disgusting, horrific issue that’s happening all around the world. And it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.”
The UFC CEO is utilizing his own company in an effort to get the word out.
As we've documented, White is something of a thug who defied COVID protocols duringthe pandemic to continue UFC matches and who was caught on camera slapping his wife during an argument. Gibson, of course, is the close friend and promoter of Hirsen that he has been trying to rehabilitate publicly ever since he was exposed as a raging Jew-hater. Hirsen mentoned none of this, of course, and he continued to censor the QAnon ties of the film and its principals.
Newsmax also gave the film other promotion as well:
- Film Studio Boss to Newsmax: 'Sound of Freedom' Exposes Child Trafficking
- Movie Distributor Purdie to Newsmax: 'Sound of Freedom' Resonates With Viewers
- Dean Cain to Newsmax: Why Is 'Sound of Freedom' Being Suppressed?
- 'Sound of Freedom' Shows Power in Conservatives' Pockets
- Goya CEO Unanue to Newsmax: 'Hand of God' All Over 'Sound of Freedom' Film
- Breitbart: 'Sound of Freedom' Tops 'Mission Impossible'
- 'Sound of Freedom' Continues Boom Up to $125 Million
- Trump: Death for Human Traffickers, 'Modern-Day Slavery'
- 'Sound of Freedom' Projected to Hit $150M in Revenue
- 'Sound of Freedom' Adds Theaters for Fourth Weekend in Row
- Ballard, 'Sound of Freedom': Trafficking Incentivized
- Jim Caviezel Joins Anti-abortion Prayer Rally in Ohio
(All those articles on how well the film is doing would seem to disprove Cains claim that it's being "suppressed.")
The only time the film's QAnon links were somewhat seriously addressed came in a July 9 article by Eric Mack that dishonestly addressed the issues by blaming "the liberal media" for bringing it up:
The biopic of Tim Ballad, a man leaving government work to hunt down child sex-traffickers in Colombia, is getting rave reviews by the public, while being trashed by the liberal media – a dichotomy not entirely lost on some.
While Rolling Stone magazine, The Washington Post, and The Guardian have denounced "The Sound of Freedom," to varying degrees, as a dog whistle for QAnon conspiracy theorists, it is making noise as a box office smash, raising an estimated $40 million in six days, according to Deadline.
Rolling Stone's meltdown titled "Sound of Freedom' Is a Superhero Movie for Dads With Brainworms" had Bryan Chai of the Western Journal taking particular note of critics minimizing the issue of child-sex trafficking to dis the film as a QAnon conspiracy spreader.
"Ballard, Caviezel, and others of their ilk had primed the public to accept 'Sound of Freedom' as a documentary rather than delusion by fomenting moral panic for years over this grossly exaggerated 'epidemic' of child sex-trafficking, much of it funneling people into conspiracist rabbit holes and QAnon communities," Rolling Stone's Miles Klee wrote. "In short, I was at the movies with people who were there to see their worst fears confirmed."
The Journal's Chai shot back that, despite Klee's dismissal, "child sex-trafficking is an objectively heinous, monstrous and evil stain on humanity."
Mack refused to tell his readers that Caviezel is a QAnon adherent or that Ballard won't distance himself from QAnon.