Jimmy the Fetus answers your questions about morality.

Backwash 

We drag the river for stuff you didn't know you were missing.

Jimmy the Fetus
Hey, kids, Jimmy the Fetus here, your guide to moral values in the Midwest, helping everybody see that what we learned in Sunday school really matters.

Dear Jimmy:

I just wanted those of you who share the view of Jimmy the Fetus' April 7 column to read what the Good Book says about your comments. One day, Jesus said to his disciples, "There will always be temptations to sin, but how terrible it will be for the person who does the tempting. It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck than to face the punishment in store for harming one of these little ones." In other words, stop your blasphemy and repent before it's too late for you.

Frank
Via the Internet

Dear Frank:

Hey, the rest of the folks at the Pitch may be having trouble getting letters (see Letters, page 4), but I'm glad your very real e-mail got through our clunky Web site. Thanks for your reply to my April 7 column, which was about cloning and oxen-rustling. Now, I'm not sure which of those subjects you were referring to, but remember that the Bible also tells us, "Then Jacob said to Laban, 'Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.'" So you see, Frank, there are really two ways to think about nearly everything. I may be no bigger than a jalapeño popper, but I know that temptation is a two-way street -- one that I'm only too happy to travel down. So lighten up, put down that millstone, and let's all just try to get a little, er, get along, shall we?

Got a moral quandary? E-mail Jimmy at editorial@pitch.com.

Network Sign-Off
Backwash heard through its media back channels that local TV reporters were chuckling over an embarrassing video starring one of their own.

So naturally, we begged for a copy.

It seems that last August, KMBC Channel 9 reporter Donna Pitman found herself pulled over by a member of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department for driving her automobile a tad fast, and she reacted by getting a little huffy with the flatfoot.

The entire episode -- Pitman being ticketed for speeding and then driving away -- was captured by the officer's dash cam. It probably would never have seen the light of day, but Pitman didn't like how the traffic stop went down, and she made a formal complaint to the department. That caused the department's civil personnel department to review the tape (no action was taken against the officer), and eventually the department began using the footage as a training tool.

When we called the KCPD's Tony Sanders, he knew immediately what Backwash was asking for, and he let us come get a copy.

Frankly, we were a little disappointed. Judging from the rumors spread by Pitman's fellow TV newsies, we were expecting a full-on celebrity meltdown, with the spirited Independence native being dragged away in handcuffs and screaming, "Don't you know who I am? You'll pay for this!"

But no such luck. On the tape, Pitman doesn't freak out, but she acts like she's never seen a traffic ticket before and repeatedly asks the cop, Thomas Brown, why she has to sign the thing.

Every time Brown tries to explain how a ticket works -- signing it is not an admission of guilt; it just means the driver acknowledges that she'll either ask for a court date or send in payment for the fine -- Pitman talks over his answer with nervous jabber.

After nearly ten minutes waiting for Pitman to sign the thing while traffic whizzes by, Brown begins to lose his patience. "You keep asking questions, but you never listen to the answer," he says more than once.

Finally, after more forcefully asking for Pitman to apply her autograph so he can get the hell out of there, Brown gets her signature and returns to his car.

"I don't think he acted inappropriately at all," Sanders says. He adds that the tape was used briefly in the department "as an example of the officer showing restraint in how he conducted himself with a citizen."

But did Pitman, with her repeated interruptions, come close to a free ride to county jail? "You can't arrest someone for being annoying," Sanders says.

Pitman says she's glad that she complained. "I was concerned about my treatment," she says. The 29-year-old Mizzou grad says this wasn't her first ticket, but it had been about ten years since her last one. "I paid the ticket. It wasn't too much ... I never disputed whether I was speeding."

And how did she feel about becoming training fodder for other cops?

"They have the right to use it in any way they see fit," she says.

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