Late Wednesday night, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEighttweeted out an utterly tone-deaf anecdote about being arrested once for no reason, but that it wasn't bad because he was given a burrito in his cell. (More on that in a moment.) The tweets followed the arrest of reporters Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post while they were covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., where last week where unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by police.
Shortly after Reilly's release, he appeared on All In With Chris Hayes and described his treatment inside a McDonald's at the hands of law enforcement, who questioned him after snapping a photo of them. That prompted police to ask for his identification, even though photographing and filming police is legal.
"The officer in question, who I repeatedly later asked for his name, grabbed my things and shoved them into my bag... He used his finger to put a pressure point on my neck.
"They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible...The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald's and then sarcastically apologized for it."
Enter Nate Silver, who had a real doozie of an arrest story:
Did you hear that? Nate Silver got arrested for absolutely no reason, but the cops gave him a burrito and even took him home!
Notice that it was only after Silver apologized that he was released, which would seem to indicate the cops were screwing with him.
But more to point, twitter user Ben Allain said what was on a lot of people's minds:
WTF, indeed, Ben. WTF, indeed. But, if anything good comes out of this, it's going to be my booming Nate Silver burrito t-shirt business, which I'm sure all loyal FiveThirtyEight readers will want to eat up in droves:
Follow Mike on twitter: @michaelsluciano