I don't think he was trying to ignore the "icky parts." His point was that this whole study/article fails to acknowledge the nuance behind the word "socialism." Calling West Germany capitalist and East Germany socialist is an incorrect simplification that reeks of bias and circular logic (in fact, the study's abstract so obviously demonstrated this I felt no need to read further. .
There are obvious flaws with the study:
1) The jump associating the results of west Germans/east Germans to capitalists/socialists. They had a couple hundred participants, hardly enough to even be conclusive about just the attitudes of Germans, yet they still make this jump.
2) Considering the small sample size, it's likely that increasing the sample size will regress the results towards the mean. Perhaps that means that east Germans are even more likely to cheat, but that's irrelevant. The point is that the study isn't comprehensive enough to be conclusive.
Using an abstract die-rolling task, we found evidence that East Germans who were exposed to socialism cheat more than West Germans who were exposed to capitalism.
To me this sentence really highlights what shoddy scientists these guys are. Of course, they're sociologists, so I guess that's to be expected. I could probably rip the methodology apart, too, but that'd be a waste of time.