To the casual observer, it looks like news.
Politico certainly does nothing to present it as something else — say, a single liberal theologian's opinion.
I'm talking about the article published over the weekend with this clickbait of a headline:
Marco Rubio Is Tweeting the Most Republican Part of the Bible
The piece has a byline and reads — to some extent — like straightforward, fact-based journalism:
Marco Rubio had a message for his nearly 3 million Twitter followers on the morning of June 26: “As dogs return to their vomit, so fools repeat their folly. Proverbs 26:11.”
That one might have been his most head-snapping, but Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida, had been tweeting verses like that one since May 16. He has tweeted a biblical verse almost every day since then. Almost all of them come from the Old Testament, and specifically the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs is notable in that is presents a fairly consistent view of the world: The righteous are rewarded, and the wicked are punished. In the understanding of Proverbs, everyone gets what is coming to them; behavior is directly linked to reward or punishment. This worldview has social consequences: Those who succeed in life must be more righteous than those who struggle.
Some, including The Hill, interpreted it as a news story, reporting on Rubio's response:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday pushed back at a news article that claimed the conservative lawmaker was tweeting "the most Republican part of the Bible."
"Proverbs is the Republican part of the bible? I don't think Solomon had yet joined the GOP when he wrote the first 29 chapters of Proverbs," Rubio said tongue-in-check, while retweeting Politico Magazine's story on the matter.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., a former Southern Baptist youth pastor, also weighed in via Twitter: