Yes, we read the same exchange.
I’m not saying that grabcocque was the epitome of cultured exchange, but again notice what Graham does and doesn’t say.
Graham doesn’t deny the existence of the issues that grabcocque raises. (Bluntly, denial would be a lie anyway.) This in itself isn’t strange, as Graham doesn’t really actively deny these issues when raised by others, either. The difference in this reply is instead that Graham appears to openly acknowledge the existence of these issues, when normally he remains silent.
Next, consider the options Graham offers. Grabcocque is told that if he isn’t willing to accept that from RPS’s ads, then his only other options are to become a Subscriber or leave. There is nothing about RPS trying to improve ad matters on their side. (The banning stuff is irrelevant to this matter.)
Now, this only really matters because of how it fits with the overall message and silence. In a vacuum, much less in a contradicting environment, this would mean little. But the sentiment here meshes well with both the things said and unsaid elsewhere, as well as the last several years of RPS’s history. RPS appears to have no interest in improving in regards to the ads it does present; there appears to be no desire to improve the site to actually warrant current blockers to switch to whitelisting.
The cynical view would be that RPS wants to drive people to subscribe. Or that RPS doesn’t want to clean up its ads because clean ads make much less money than exploitative ads. Or that the current ad situation is all a higher corporate mandate, and RPS doesn’t want to make waves by appearing to put the blame and responsibility on their owners.