You raise many good points, Quentin.
There is a notorious double-standard at work. When male athletes perform great and dominate their peers, they are praised. When women athletes do it, people trash the competition. What the ratings reflect though, is that people appreciate greatness. They would rather see a great player playing well and skunking his/her opponent, than to see that great player putting forth a mediocre performance just to make a match close. Fans like great players/teams. It's true in all sports. The NFL likes to claim it's salary-cap induced parity, where top teams can't keep their great players, in generating more excitement. But TV ratings are down in the absence of consistent, great teams.
It's the same in tennis. They want to see greatness. The widespread chaos on the men's tour this year even had some of their most ardent supporters in the media asking, is the tour really that deep, or is it an absence of great players at the top. We've seen at this US Open, when top players like Hewitt, Agassi, play well, they destroy their opponents. That's what great players do: they make very good players look very bad. It's just that the top women do it consistently. And it's only when the top men come down to the level of everyone else that they get parity.
The other problem is this adversarial attitude. The men's tour, and most of the tennis media, view the women's tour as "the enemy", instead of part of the sport as a whole. So whenever the men's tour struggles, they take potshots at the women. That's why the sport isn't getting where it should. When the Pete and Andre rivalry flared up in in the mid-90's, some tennis writers wanted the reaction of WTA officials, expecting them to be jealous. They were shocked when the WTA folk said they thought it was great. The WTA realized that the Pete/Andre rivalry wasn't just making men's tennis more popular, it made tennis more popular. And this helped the popularity of the women's tour too. When Magic Johnson's Lakers excelled, it didn't just make the Western Conference more popular, it made the NBA more popular. Likewise, the success of Jordan's Bulls didn't just help the Eastern Conference. Yet the people supporting the men's tour just don't get it. Yes, the success of Venus and Serena does primarily benefit the women's tour, but it benefits the sport as a whole. There is a coattail effect. But if they keep taking childish potshots, they will find the fans starting to draw a distinction between the two tours. It's happening already. If they're too self-centered to work for the good of the sport, I can't feel sorry for them when it happens.