Via Dolorosa

By Emma Woodhead

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Good evening and welcome back to the Stars and Stripes Daily Show; as you know, I’m Tucker Fox, and it’s a pleasure to have you all tuned in tonight. If the events that happened earlier this morning don’t chill you to the bone, then I personally would like to apologize for your lack of morality.


This week our court systems ruled in favor of Mr. Cortez and his wife; yes, they are married; that is why we are referring to them as such. We know that fact has been hidden from the public also while Mr. Cortez lied on the stand about the relationship and their business partner Mr. Wilde. Words can not begin to describe the horrendous actions that have been taken, other media outlets aren’t even going to try to inform their viewers on what happened. We will don’t worry.


Today the court rules that the three businessmen, Mr. and Mrs. Cortez, along with Mr. Widle, were found innocent of the charges brought upon them. But what exactly was the charge? The other media outlets won’t tell you. You thought they were on your side, these channels have ripped men like Mr. Wilde apart for decades because of their wealth and social status, yet now they are turning a blind eye to one of the most disgusting things in the history of these three men.


Isaiah and I have spent all day since the court decision and we decided that we also can’t even begin to describe what happened today. But luck the other media out let’s, we found someone who could. Gospel of Matthew 5:3-10.


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for there is the kingdom of heaven.


The poor in spirit are the humble. A lack of Pride. Pride is the deadliest of the vices. We are specifically warned about it and the other vices all stem from it. Clearly, Mr. Wilde wasn’t warned about that today. He lacked the presence of a humble man, he and his posse strutted into the courtroom today with smiles knowing that they would be found innocent even though all the evidence pointed to the exact opposite.


Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.


These people didn’t mourn over what they did. But their victims did. Any human being with a heart should. Who would want to see children working in sweatshops being paid just enough in an entire week to buy half a loaf of bread? Or the victims of the illegal gun violence that these men produce because of their hands in the illegal arms trade. I have a gun, manufactured and sold in America. Proper regulations, I have my license, and I make sure to get my testing done. People who don’t get their firearms that way clearly have something to hide. Instead of manufacturing those guns in America, where businesses have to be transparent, they manufactured them with sweatshops in Ukraine, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and other countries with struggling economies and looser regulations than the ones we have here. The only reason anyone found out about it was that there was an explosion at one of the factories. There were women and children in that factory. Mr. Wilde and Mr. Cortez also took part in the drug trade. Not only was it weed; drugs like acid, cocaine, heroin, and many others were circulating through their conglomerates who were selling them all around the world. Maybe even to your children. Remember that next time you buy the products these men sell, either legally or illegally. People everywhere should be mourning the hardships of these people.


Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.


But Tucker, meek is bad. Isn’t it? Should we be the opposite? I’m sure you’re asking yourself that. Meek in this sense, means self-control. Something we thought the jury and the judge would have. But it seems a check from the rich billionaire is enough to make a group of people that we put our trust in losing their self-control and dignity. Accepting bribery is probably the weakest thing a person can do. Isaiah, our staff, and I had all received bribes from the three men just like other news outlets and reporters. As you can tell we didn’t accept it, unlike others.


Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.


A lot of people were left starving today in the search for justice. Prosecutor Derek Schmit and his team worked all around the clock to seek justice for the people hurt both domestically and abroad. Exhausted and mentally drained these men and women were crushed to hear the ruling by the court system. They left hanging their heads in shame, feeling like they have let millions of people down. They didn’t. The jury did. Mr. Schmit, you and your team are in our hearts and we have the utmost respect for you here at Stars and Stripes.


Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.


Mercy is the last word I would use to describe Mr. Hoang who was the defense attorney, along with his team, that represented the three men. As the good men and women who fought for justice were beaten by our court system, he laughed and smiled, collecting his paychecks from the three billionaires. It wouldn’t be the first time Mr. Hoang refused to show mercy to victims of heinous crimes like this. He’s gotten murders, mobsters, and drug traffickers off multiple times. As a man of faith, I can honestly say that I hope Mr. Hoang rots in hell for what he has done to the people of this earth.


Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.


In Catholicism, we are taught to be like children. Pure, accepting, and untainted. Children are the fruit of all innocence in the world. They are meant to be protected. That is why we have laws in this country to make sure that they aren’t forced to work in these horrific places and witness the abuse of people. Other countries don’t have that. It sickens me to the core that these children have had to manufacture guns, work in oil factories, or be exposed to deadly narcotics. The purest of hearts exposed to some of the most evils of men before, during, and after production. Who knows where those finished products went. We will never know the true body count.


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.


The most distraught reactions from the ruling were not the lawyers, or the witness, or the victims even. But rather the three federal officers who were put in charge of the investigation. Officers James Hanker, Easton Bourbon, and Charles Holmes have spent months doing everything in their power to help these victims. They went undercover, spoke to hundreds of people who have been affected by this, and boxes and boxes of reports, papers, and accounts. I’ve never seen men so hallowed when hearing a ruling. Officer Bourbon couldn’t help but break down in the courtroom, trying his best to hide his tears but it was impossible not to show any emotions as you watch your work being ripped away from you as you try to save the lives of innocent people because the jury and judge have no backbone. Mr. Cortez laughed when he saw Officer Bourbon getting emotional. Because how dare a human feel empathy for another’s suffering? Sickening Mr. Cortez. If anyone sees these three men around the city, please give them a smile. Anything to show them that we are on their side in this and we honor their hard work with trying to help the people gravely affected.


Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.


All of the people I’ve mentioned above are completely entangled in this case. Even us here. But depending on what side you are on determines if you are on the trigger side or staring down the barrel of this gun. Mr. Schmit, his team, and the three Federal Agents all now face threats from three monsters that they tried to save the world from. So are we here at Stars and Stripes. We knew that very well. Our entire staff had a meeting today because we knew that there was no going back after tonight’s broadcast. This would seal fate on whether we are saved from the hands of these men or whether we are next on the list for extermination.


You might recognize these eight blessings. They are the Beatitudes. All spoken from the words of the Son of God himself. The blessings all offer us future rewards for specific character qualities. Today people did not get their rewards today. Bad people did and now we must wait for justice to come another day.


We aren’t going to stop here at our little news station, we can assure you that. We will continue to bring light to this situation and to continue to speak out. We refuse to kneel and we all are willing to deal with the consequences of these actions, whatever they may be. Maybe we will be back tomorrow or maybe we won't. It depends on how a few select people respond to our little broadcast here.


Mr. and Mrs. Cortez and Mr. Wilde think that they can scare us into submission. But I promise you that I am not afraid of what you can do to me. I’ve had Molotov cocktails thrown through my front window, satanic symbols spray-painted on my church calling for my suicide, I’ve had bombs threats, home invasions, I’ve been maced while grocery shopping, super glue in my orange juice, and I still have the burns from when I had a firework shot at me. I’ve seen it all and I still live to tell the tale. Mr. Wilde, I dare you and your men to come after me. I’ll never stop until the three of you, and everyone connected to this rots in prison.


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Good evening everyone and welcome to Stars and Stripes. Many of you have heard my name before but never really seen my face, except for a few pictures that have been posted of me with Tucker or a few talks I’ve given. I don’t really go into the public eye much and for those who don’t know me I am Isaiah Hofer. I’m the producer and director for the daily broadcasts for this channel. I started this journey back in college with Tucker and I come today to all of you bearing heavy and heartbreaking news.


Tucker’s body was found today and he won’t be joining us anymore. It seems Mr. Widle and his hitman got to Tucker last night before the local authorities were able to. I rather not go into details about the gruesome actions that were taken to end his life, we know these men would take pleasure in hearing them again and also because they aren’t appropriate to say on the air. That is how vicious they were to Tucker.


Tucker was a good man, he fought for the truth and for people to be heard. He fought for the dignity of every man and woman and for the protection of children. Now he is dead. People like Mr. Wilde want others to fear him and to kneel in submission, that wasn’t Tucker’s legacy and it sure as hell isn’t going to be the legacy of this station. Tucker put everything he had into making this production company what it is and I will not let it die with him.


This was Tucker’s bible, it’s old and a little beaten up. When we met freshman year he had it. His parents had just gotten it for him before he went off to school. He has his favorite sections marked, which means almost all of them are marked. But the section I found myself turning to before we came on the air tonight was the part about the Stations leading up to the death of Christ. The Via Dolorosa, as many people call it. The walk from condemnation to death. Tucker walked to his car last night after saying goodbye to all of us here and we never got to speak to him again once he drove off.


Mr. Wilde, Mr. Cortez, Mrs. Cortez, you may have thought your fight ended with Tucker but you are gravely mistaken. I’m coming after each and every one of you who were involved in this and I won’t stop until Tucker and all those other people you hurt get justice.


Until tomorrow night, I’m Isaiah, signing off from Stars and Stripes.





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