Let's be honest, this behavior of a company shunning a person/publication because they criticized the company isn't new. Many companies do this all the time. Electronic and car companies employ have been employing this behavior for quite some time. I'm not saying it's right, it's just the way business is. The company is in the market of selling something and if you bad mouth it or hurt the company, why should they give you access to them or their products. Now the difference is that developers are actually providing something that can help the companies sell more products. But from Apple's perspective there are new developers that can replace any that decide to leave. I imagine that they don't want to lose those developers, but right now it's not hurting their bottom line.
I think with people like Marco Arment and other people that were mentioned in the article, they know some of the guys that are working on iOS or MacOS and may of felt bad cause they criticized their work. As a developer my self, I never want to release a buggy product and work my hardest to fix as much as I can, but sometimes that choice is out of my hands. And obviously given that some of these people make their living off of writing about Apple, I think it's understandable they may be concerned that their words could hurt their reputation with the company and thus their living could be impacted. But that's a risk when you take a stance on something that impacts someone else.