Here’s the best argument for him being right:
1. He’s run hugely successful and profitable businesses for many years in many countries.
2. You haven’t.
3. Ergo, he knows more than you about how to make money.
Of course, this isn’t a foolproof argument by any means, but it’s a useful antidote to the lack of humility of some commenters who, despite zero track record at successfully running a business, are 100% sure that they know better than Rupert Murdoch.
UPDATE MANY YEARS LATER: The critics who argued that paywalls were laughable aren’t laughing at the Financial Times, The Economist, The New York Times, The Times….