More than two months after “Sound of Freedom” opened in theaters, it continues to stoke controversy.
The film, which is based on the true story of former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard’s mission to rescue victims of child sex trafficking, topped box office charts in July despite — or perhaps because of — the relentless attacks of leftist news outlets that claimed it was somehow evidence of a far-right conspiracy.
More recently, the U.S. Southern Command headquarters planned a screening of the movie, but the showing was nixed after an inquiry from the Military Times.
In addition to claiming a tenuous connection between the film and QAnon conspiracy theorists, a subsequent Military Times article — written by a pair of reporters who previously worked at a left-leaning Texas-based news outlet — belittled Ballard’s efforts.
The hit piece described Ballard as someone “who claims he worked for the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security, before launching the controversial anti-child-sex-trafficking group, Operation Underground Railroad,” adding that “the organization has been publicly maligned for allegedly creating more media frenzy and attention for Ballard than solutions for the rescued victims.”
Sound of Freedom is currently dominating the charts as the TOP FILM in 18 Latin American countries.
Yet, the United States Military canceled showing it to our troops because the Military Times got mad.
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) September 7, 2023
In announcing the cancellation, the U.S. Southern Command did not cite this article as a factor, instead asserting that its decision was made in an effort to “prevent the appearance of copyright infringement.”
Furthermore, the update confirmed that “the film is currently available to view at local theaters, and personnel and their families who would like to see the film are encouraged to do so.”
For his part, U.S. Southern Command spokesperson Jose Ruiz told Military Times that the film was perfectly appropriate for the scheduled screening and tackled an issue of utmost importance to the command’s mission.
“The subject of the movie is something that’s of great concern to the command, in that it follows as part of its mission of countering transnational criminal organizations,” he explained. “Because of the way these transnational criminal organizations exploit migrants — the hopes of migrants — in ways that end up being serious violations to their human rights, and unfortunately in some cases lead to the deaths of the migrants.”