When Ernie Pyle arrived on Omaha beach on June 7 he found that his colleagues had survived, but the danger was far from over. After American forces fought fierce battles to seize the western coast of the Cotentin peninsula, the vicious street fighting in Cherbourg and then the brutal stalemate in the bocage hedgerows threatened to stymie the campaign. As the battle bogged down, the media-military relationship again became tense. Public-relations officers acted swiftly to eradicate the practice of “magic carpet” deadlines: “the occasional practice by individuals of ‘capturing’ towns and writing eyewitness stories without being anywhere in the area.” They also worked hard to counteract the growing sense that the French were failing to treat the Allies as liberators.
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