Agree with most of what you say, but as far as this bit is concerned I believe what Bernie is doing is keeping F1 at the pinnacle. By making sure that F1 is being operated in all the major world economies, regardless of whether many people in the area can afford to turn up, he keeps it world-relevant. If it were restricted to the same old European circuits and a few outliers, it could be dismissed by large chunks of the world population but he's kept it high on the agenda everywhere and he's done so without spending his own cash and making other people (indeed, Governments) spend theirs.
Regardless of whether this is a good or bad thing for the European viewer or fan, he's kept F1 right up there hasn't he? Those new sponsors need to come from the new big economies.
Arrangements like this almost inevitably involve some levels of 'shade' to achieve. Whether you have to take someone for lunch in the best restaurant in town, or have to bung a person of influence a couple of million to make sure he says the right things at the right meetings, there's always something. I would not be surprised if Bernie were to be found guilty for that reason, but much more surprised that he's been caught.
Surely if your premiss was correct then the US, by far the biggest market on Earth wouldn't have been so studiously ignored by Ecclestone for so long.
Yes, he was busy maximising income in all these far flung places that increasingly turn out to be simply unsustainable. But that illustrates poor judgement, just as poor I'd venture as reneging on an (alleged) agreement with Gerhard Gribkowsky to pay in addition to the agreed sum an uplift for currency fluctuations.
But you could be right, Ecclestone has an ability to keep F1 at the top of the agenda, usually for all the wrong reasons. Certainly bribery and corruption aren't things the ordinary fan or the casual race watcher will find acceptable under any circumstances. Some it seems, will feel this conduct is the acceptable face of business in the 21st century, well if my MP was fiddling their expenses I'd want them punished and the same goes for Ecclestone, Gribkowsky got 9-years, should Ecclestone get less?