Confirmed: Geithner met with Jon Stewart in April to talk about the economy

I’m not talking about an interview on “The Daily Show” here, a la The One’s eleventh-hour appearance before the election to push GOTV on young voters. I’m talking about a private meeting, on background, between the United States Treasury Secretary and a guy who once famously described his own show on Comedy Central as the one that follows puppets making crank phone calls.

Can’t say it better than Michael Moynihan: “Will Hillary Clinton talk to Pat Cooper about Afghanistan?”

In the midst of debates on financial regulation and China’s currency in April, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner sat down to discuss the U.S. economy — with comedian Jon Stewart.

Geithner and Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” held an off-the-record meeting at Stewart’s office in New York on April 2, according to Geithner’s appointments calendar, updated through August on Treasury’s website…

“Jon Stewart is influential in America, so we took the opportunity for the two to meet and to discuss the economy,” Treasury spokesman Steve Adamske said in an e-mail yesterday. Stewart’s program has poked fun at Geithner, including a segment last year about the Treasury secretary’s trouble selling his New York home.

Can we now finally dispense with the “clown nose on, clown nose off” dynamic on TDS? I know it’s a shrewd way to buy cover to ask biting questions, but between drawing a few hundred thousand people to the National Mall and having cabinet members swing by the office to brief him personally on the economy lest he misinform young liberals, I’d say we’re firmly and irretrievably into “influential commentator” territory here. It’s time to own it, JS.

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