It appears that the fanatical ranks of Mac and iPod fans aren't the only ones who can't find something to laugh at when it comes to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). According to Wired, Colin Crawford, the new CEO of PC World's parent company IDG, decided that it's out of bounds to poke fun at Macs, options backdater Steve Jobs, and Apple in general.

Thus, Crawford killed an upcoming story called "10 Things We Hate about Apple" while it was still in draft form. Wired's PC World sources say that the CEO also complained that editors needed to, in general, "start being nicer to advertisers." PC World editor Harry McCracken didn't stand for the meddling, and resigned.

At first blink, Crawford's decree seems like a decent business plan, and a great way to cut down on the angry letters. No one does self-righteous, vituperative email and board posts quite like the iBorg.

There's just one problem: This blatant, top-down pandering is a sure way to lose credibility with readers, especially in a publication to which people turn for tech reviews. Reduced credibility, in turn, will eventually mean fewer readers. In the end, you're doing your advertisers a disfavor by going easy on their products.

That said, I've worked in the magazine biz, and I realize that most publishers and CEOs in the space can't see further than the next couple months' worth of ad sales. When Crawford sees that no one wants his magazine -- neither readers nor advertisers -- he'll only need to remind himself of this short-sighted decision to realize why.

Comments? Bring them here.

At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had no positions in any company mentioned here. See his latest blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here