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Matt Lauer Apologizes After Today Intern Says Host Was "Not So Nice"

Mark Zinni, Matt Lauer NBC, Facebook

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On Tuesday, Matt Lauer tweeted a good-natured apology to a former Today intern after word spread like digital wildfire that the young man had said Lauer was "not so nice" when he worked at the NBC morning show.

"@MarkZinni huh?" Lauer wrote. "Always tried to be nice Mark. Sorry you didn't think so. Hope you're doing well. Matt."

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So, how did Lauer—and the Internet—get wind of Zinni's comment?

In the wee hours Tuesday, Daren Sweeney, an executive producer at Fox 8 News in Cleveland (where Zinni now works on air), tweeted: "'I was just a young kid with a bright future ahead of me,' @markzinni talking about internship at @todayshow and 'not so nice" @MLauer."

Zinni (who cheekily describes himself on Twitter as "big deal anchor/reporter") then retweeted Sweeney and bam—both Zinni supporters and Lauer fans poured out of the woodwork to comment.

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Zinni addressed the hulabaloo on the Fox 8 website today, writing that he had an "amazing internship" at Today in 1997.

"If you know me, you probably know that I don't take myself too seriously," he wrote. "So, my answer was more of a joke about being young and naive during my time at Today, but I added that he wasn't nice to me. I didn't slam the guy, I just made an honest comment."

And, after he found out that Lauer had apologized?

"Bottom line, I was shocked Matt Lauer even bothered with me and, really, he remembers me? I'm flattered," Zinni wrote.

(E! Online and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

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