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theodp writes "The Federal Emergency Management Agency's No. 2 official apologized Friday for leading a staged news conference Tuesday in which FEMA employees posed as reporters while real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions. In the briefing, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., FEMA's deputy administrator, called on questioners who did not disclose that they were FEMA employees, and gave replies emphasizing that his agency's response to this week's California wildfires was far better than its response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Almost makes one nostalgic for the good old days of Downtown-Michael-Brown."