Poorly worded article. We controllers never flew the airplanes, or sat in the pilot's seat. We were in the cockpit to observe and ask and answer questions.
I agree, though. Long overdue. The lack of casual conversation between ATC and pilots has hurt the fine-tuning of aircraft movement. I learned quite a bit of what to expect out of a flight crew on the many FAMs that I took. And likewise, it's refreshing to have pilots visit the tower (or ARTCC/TRACON) to see what's going on on our end.