This particular edit, whatever you may think of it, "clearly conflicts with the author's intent".
"Even edits that make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner."
One of Ed's goal was to make a dig at Reiser based on his mugshot photo, and this edit clearly conflicts with that. It should be rolled back, for that reason. Not liking or disagreeing with part of a post is not justification for editing that part out, it is justification for using that little down arrow off to the side.
Furthermore, someone's mugshot with a tame, but derisive comment on it, is not really so inappropriate as to warrant summary removal from a post. Again, this is something that should be handled with a downvote, if anyone actually feels that strongly about it.
Not that I expect this to actually happen, but that's what should happen, according to SE's own guidelines. That it doesn't, is part of the broader problem with the community and, I'd argue, SE in general. Why bother having rules, if they're going to be enforced arbitrarily? As Ed said, just another thing on the pile of reasons for diminished interest and participation. Seriously, pick your battles... this is not something that's worth further alienating one of the very few quality contributors the community has left.