Strictly business, sonny
Steve Gilliard is right about the Kos pie ad, it is about the money.
Kos is a businessman. Ultimately, his advertisers pay for his readers' eyeballs. If Kos's readers don't like his ads, it's very much his problem. Readers who take the time to complain are doing him a favor. If an ad is hurting traffic or alienating valued diarists, then it's in his best interest to hear about it.
The problem is that people have come to expect that when they express a concern, it will be considered and taken seriously, instead of being told to pound sand. Sometimes, they get told to pound sand.
Kos isn't going to explain why that ad wasn't going anywhere, but I think you deserve to understand the issues here. I see this from the publisher's side and I think that's the real issue here.
Yes, readers expect media outlets to consider their complaints and respond respectfully. I don't see that as a problem. Consideration != Deference.
Obviously, Kos can't please everyone. He was well within his rights to ignore the offended parties or tell them to take a walk.
Instead Kos went on a decidedly unbusinesslike rant. He was rude. He wasn't just snooty about the unnamed individuals who complained. He insulted everyone who might agree with the emailers, and anyone else who might be sympathetic to any aspect of (what he assumed to be) the emailers' worldview.
If Kos had said what Steve said, we wouldn't be having this argument. The sensible answer is simple:
"I'm running a business, I can't afford to micromanage my ad content. I'm sorry if the ad offends some of you, but my decision is final."
Kos was pissed off because some female readers had the nerve to question his advertising policy. If these emailers had written to any other professional media outlet, they would have gotten a polite reply. No newspaper or TV station would berate an entire demographic over a few letters of complaint.
Male privilege is not a sound business model.