In "The Worship of the Wealthy," Chesterton criticizes the way very wealthy people are written about in the popular press. He begins the essay by contrasting the way wealthy and powerful people were written about in the past to the way they are presented in Chesterton's time. In the past, he says, writers knew the wealthy were ordinary. As a result they simply went straight for over-the-top, vastly exaggerated praise. They might, for example, compare a king to a sun at noonday or say with his single sword he had conquered the world. The "safety" of this was that it was so artificial it bore no relation to the real person.
Chesterton says, in contrast, that the way we praise the wealthy now is much more "poisonous." This happens in several ways. First, ordinary traits or hobbies, such as hating doctors or liking cats, are treated as if they are extraordinary. Because a person is wealthy, boring and mundane things about the rich man are treated as if they are stunning and special.
Second, even if the person is stupid, he will be treated as if he were intelligent, his very dull and ordinary thought framed as if he had read and rejected sophisticated philosophy.
Third, his lavish way of life will be treated as if it is "modest" and "simple" and "quiet." This is especially annoying when the funerals of the rich are described as modest and simple, when they include lavish flowers, for example, and are attended by all the most important people. Chesterton mocks this, asking: are they simple because there was no human sacrifice on the grave?
In sum, Chesterton argues that if we are going to lie about the rich, we should do it in the old-fashioned way by out-and-out exaggeration, not by pretending their ordinary traits are extraordinary or by declaring their lavish lifestyles are modest and simple.