While some were terribly in awe of Brooks and Coulson, a lot of us recognised even then that they had sold their souls to Murdoch. Now, they are paying the price.
Most people thought that Rebekah Brooks would have gone a lot earlier than she did. But knowing when to leave is not easy.
Truly, this relationship has damaged our governance. It has infected every Party and made it ever more difficult to make complex but essential arguments on behalf of those unable to defend themselves against the mob. The tabloid press, its campaigns, its lack of ethics, its use of emotive rhetoric to advance its causes and its influence on government has changed our democracy for the worse. It is the responsibility of all political Parties, not just the government of the day, to turn their back on cheap tabloid headlines and act, for once, in the public interest.
Last week I was researching film locations for a series of films I'm doing about a France, which most Britons won't recognize, most French too. Housing projects encircle Paris. Maybe 'encircle' is too mild. Maybe 'lay siege' to Paris is appropriate.
We don't know how far phone hacking went beyond the News of the World. Evidence from the Information Commissioner's inquiry - What Price Privacy? - found that illegal methods of intrusion went beyond News International. Who else was involved in illegal methods of information gathering?
A week ago it emerged that the News Of The World had been hacking into the voicemails of dead children. We donned out grubby macs and cheap trilbies and set out to expose the evil doers. We planted porn in Andy Coulson's bin, handed out bungs at the police bravery awards and tried to doorstep Rupert Murdoch. The result is a very silly short film NEWS OF THE SCREWED for Don't Panic TV.
Events of the past week don't mean Ed Miliband is suddenly a sure thing to win the next election. But they have given him an authority he previously lacked. It is he, not David Cameron, who looks like a leader today.
Rebekah Brooks has been profiled as the consummate networker and schmoozer - but what of her leadership to set the agenda, strategy and way of working and her own management style that would have set clear expectations throughout the organisation?
It's fair to say that the strength of Ed Miliband's attack on News International during last Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions caught most political spectators by surprise. Amidst headlines of scandal and skulduggery, the Labour leader took a calculated risk to challenge the most powerful man in media. Could Miliband's surprising show of principles mark the beginning of a power shift - and a possible turnaround in his fortunes?
The public don't feel merciful, and nor should they. The cynical banishment of moral truth has long undermined not just our journalistic canon, but social dialogue, justice and democracy.
After 168 years in the business, the terminal edition of the News of the World is weighed down by more than the gravity of the present situation. It is steeped in history, humour, hurt, hubris and boundless self-congratulation.
"Apparently, James Murdoch went to the School of Lawyerish Non-speak, and passed with high honors!" Denise Graveline (@dontgetcaught) via Twitter, yes...
After years of scandal after scandal, the News of The World seized publication amid its own home made scandal. For 168 years, they have entertained us...
With the New of the World final issue now printed, going out with a bang with sales of 4 million, attention turns to an expected launch of the Sun on Sunday, which is expected to replace its axed sister tabloid sometime in the near future.
Let's be honest- BSkyB is what this all is about. It is why Rupert Murdoch has flown in to the country, it is why News International keeps on emphasising that a lot has changed in the four years since it last hacked into someone's personal voice messages.
By closing the News of the World Murdoch has scored a temporary coup in that attention has been drawn to the plight of his sticken journalists, rather than the allegations of phonehacking themselves.