The author of the piece concluded that because Jobs was so important to the company's worth (the estimate was that if Jobs had to leave the CEO post b/c of legal trouble, the stock price would lose up to half its value in one day), he was not going to be prosecuted, and other executives would take the fall instead.
Regardless, just because Jobs is valuable to the company shouldn't mean he's above the law. It's my understanding that CEOs convicted of securities fraud can still serve their post, assuming their not in jail.
You're not asking them to shut up. You're asking them to stop stealing from the shareholders. That's what options backdating is - stealing from the company's shareholders.
And by fining companies, the SEC is hurting those shareholders. It's important for the shareholders (you and me) to realize that.
It's like telling a thief: If the police catch you stealing: they're going to fine the victims as punishment. What kind of motivation is that?
But try to punish the cheaters, not those who are being cheated. Don't fine the company - fine and/or jail those committing the fraud.
Options backdating is tricky, because the cost of backdating is reflected in the company's financial statements whether or not they announce it. It's like paying employees less than standard wages, but giving them lavish perks -- it's all the same on the income statement, so it's closer to PR than to lying.
Of course others have pointed out that Jobs is so important to Apple that doing anything to him would hurt the shareholders that the laws are supposed to protect, whereas some option backdating -- which isn't even illegal, the problem was a paperwork filing technicality -- did zero harm to anyone.