Eric, I agree with a lot of your points in your longer post. I have some slightly different opinions on some of the skippers, but haven't watched an interview in a few days.
They do have an open channel with the RC. They're fed a lot of data from the RC as well.
One way to solve this problem in "normal" racing is for the RC to make announcements to the fleet (not to answer a specific boat). This takes caution obviously, the RC has to wonder why the question is being asked. If the change is unclear, that's a good reason for a fleet announcement. If you're answering a specific boat who just isn't paying attention, that's probably worthy of radio silence. Either move could cause a redress hearing under the wrong circumstances, but generally speaking, everyone wants more communication from the RC.