Having access to and mutilating the environment are two completely different things. Treating developers as hostiles by server admins doesn't create the friendliest work environment.
There is a big difference between a bug and the reason why the bug occurred - having access to a production environment is paramount to understanding the underlying issue.
In most newspaper sites the headline / lede / seo field / first graf may is usually programmatically brought in as the META description for SEO purposes (unless specifically overridden). It's a fairly common assumption that this field would be pure text and overlooked in that it doesn't need sanitization. Of course, it's also a fairly common consequence that some silly editor eventually breaks the site by putting HTML code in fields they weren't meant to house. You'd be surprised how many (even big) media sites fail to sanitize these fields.
Onto my point: having HTML (or faulty HTML for that matter) inside a HEAD description field seems like a bug. Sure, you can replicate the error by copying the environment and fix it by stripping anything unexpected out. However - that may not be the root of the problem. Thus, developers end up putting bandaids on a system and treating symptoms rather than curing the problem.
When copying this environment to reproduce the issue, one might simply grab the part that's affected, ignoring the user - CMS preferences which would actually end up telling you what the problem was. What a developer SHOULD do instead is poke around the environment, notice that this was a common occurrence with particular users, talk to the editors in question and shadow them for awhile to understand why this sort of thing keeps repeating.
In many cases, I've seen editors take advantage of programming or security holes to produce far richer and personalized web content than the original design or system permitted. By treating this problem out of the production environment context, the editorial side is completely cut out of the feedback and has no say in the matter and their creative outlet disappears with no dialogue. This in turn breeds hostility and distrust between technology and content.
I can assure you that in reality there is minimal dialog between developers, designers, project managers - and - editors. In my past experience access to the production environment was the only means of lateral communication between abstract technology and persons who use it. In my cases, I've been able to provide editors with features they hesitated to request to circumvent problems while still tightening various holes. This, in turn, improved everyone's day.
Look at it from a philosophical view- you don't want developers to be "writin' them codes" in vacuum of non-editorial space. They need to be a bit more intimately involved with the entire publishing cycle from start to end and not be ticket-solving space cadets when it comes to solving problems.