Problems for Murdoch's media empire
Murdoch's position as head of NI -- which controls the top mass market paper The Sun, the prestigious The Times, and leading Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times as well as satellite news channel Sky News -- has given him unrivaled influence over and access to British politicians for 30 years.
His papers supported the Conservative party during the 1970s and 1980s when it won three general elections on the trot under Margaret Thatcher. As the Conservatives became unpopular in the 1990s, Murdoch adroitly switched support to Tony Blair's Labor party, which went on to win three general elections in a row.
His influence has been strongly felt at the highest level all through that period, but now leading politicians have found their critical voice, and they feel they no longer need to pay tribute at Murdoch's 'court'.
For Murdoch and his media empire, the fear is that further revelations will cause more damage and that the phone-hacking scandal will damage his operations in other countries, like the United States and Australia.
The British scandal may also have implications for Murdoch's wider and much larger interests in the United States and elsewhere, which includes the Fox News channel.
Questions being asked over whether News of the World journalists hacked into the phones of victims of the 9/11 terror attack and if alleged payments were made to British police to obtain these phone numbers could mean NI executives committed crimes punishable under American law as well.
Cameron's links with Coulson and his decision to employ him have caused embarrassment and have lost him credibility.
In a bid to contain the issue before the summer holiday period, Cameron returned early from a government trip to Africa and addressed parliament on what should have been its first day of holiday.
He answered more than 200 questions, and although main opposition leader Ed Miliband has gained considerable political capital from the events and has improved his popularity with the public, he failed to hurt the prime minister during the long debate.
It was revealed that Cameron has links with senior NI executive Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of the News of the World when the phone hacking took place but who denies knowledge of it. She is a neighbour of Cameron in his Oxfordshire constituency. Cameron, along with Miliband, regularly attended NI parties where she was present, and Brooks was invited to Cameron's birthday party last year and also attended a party at his home this Christmas.
Brooks was arrested over the weekend as part of the phone-hacking investigation, and Cameron's links with her are now looking increasingly embarrassing.
His enemies will seek to prove that he had inappropriate conversations with NI executives against the backdrop of the BSkyB bid, and even if they fail to prove this they will continue to make as much capital as possible out of Cameron's embarrassing position.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg summed it up at a press conference on Thursday morning. Clegg, leader of the smallest major political party the Liberal Democrats, said, "Entirely innocent members of the public and their families -- not the rich, not the famous, not the powerful -- had their privacy abused in an outrageous way at a point of great vulnerability and anguish and anxiety for them."
"Their faith in really important institutions in British public life, notably the police, which people rely on for their own sense of safety and security, has been shaken."
"People's low opinion and cynicism about politicians and politics has probably just become a whole lot lower and more cynical still."