What was seen here is a particularly insidious, caustic and ultimately, demoralizing and self-defeating attitude from your colleague (and something I've seen routinely on HN). I don't particularly think he was in any way truly convinced that it was deserving of it, however it must be thrashed in accordance with a self selected pecking order in order to assert his dominance.
This "politeness is rubbish" attitude which also applies to common niceties in communication will one day be the death of us all.
There is truly awful code out there and it doesn't deserve commentary or any other sort of attention. Just a yanking and replacement with good code.
 Politeness devoid of sincerity is not politeness. It is in fact the worst of all forms of rudeness.