On the death of Hugo Chavez, much of the mainstream media implied he wasted Venezuela's oil wealth when compared with the glittering towers of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The following was sent out by Associated Press and was carried by large media outlets, including Ireland's national broadcaster RTE. It gives you an idea of what I mean:
"Chavez invested Venezuela's oil wealth into social programmes including state-run food markets, cash benefits for poor families, free health clinics and education programmes.
"But those gains were meagre compared with the spectacular construction projects that oil riches spurred in glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world's tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi."
That paragraph sums up perfectly the values of this section of the media and those whose interests they represent.
Mockney imitations of the Louvre and Guggenheim, miles of shopping malls with designer shops in which only a minority can shop, skyscrapers with hotels and apartments for millionaires where they can flaunt their wealth, they act as if such useless baubles add value to ordinary people's lives.
All the mainstream media sees is the glitz and gloss, never a thought for those who toil building these glittering towers, or clean and service them after they are built. Often migrant labour paid pitifully low wages.
Chavez and his comrades built things of value which even his enemies cannot deny.
Schools, hospitals, health centres, he channeled oil wealth into social programs, free health care and education.
Is it any wonder the rulers of the United Arab Emirates are hated by their own people whereas Chavez was loved by the masses, the greatest honour they can bestow?