Steve Jobs visited the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in recent days, say sources at the papers. Also, New York reports the Apple CEO showed up for a secret media dinner.

We're reliably informed that Jobs showed up for an iPad show and tell at the Times building, with newsroom staff present. The meeting was strictly off the record, though a person present indicated Jobs is preparing to gear up the iPad for magazines and newspapers, having put books first on his list of priorities. Magazines and newspapers got short shrift during Jobs' presentation to unveil the tablet computer last week.

Jobs also visited the Journal, a source there confirmed, though that meetings sounds decidedly less open than the Times affair. We're told Jobs was confined to the third floor of the News Corp. building, where the cafeteria, gym and some conference rooms are, and that many Journal staffers who wanted to see him, including even some higher-ups, could not. (The Journal newsroom starts on the fifth fourth floor and goes up for several stories. Most of it is on the sixth floor.)

Meanwhile, New York's Daily Intel broke news of an intriguing, top-secret dinner Jobs convened at Pranna in the Flatiron district. The sometime pescetarian dined with 50 New York Times Company executives in the cellar dining room, and sat with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, according to Daily Intel. He showed off his new iPad and ordered off menu, getting a mango lassi and penne even though neither are normally served at the South Asian fusion spot.

More intriguing: Jobs showed up wearing "a very funny hat - a big top hat kind of thing," said Daily Intel's source. So apparently the obsessively secretive Apple chief was disguised as the Planter's Peanut guy for his trip to Gotham, with his John Lennon spectacles replacing the Peanut's usual monocle. We're told, however, that Jobs was wearing no plutocratic hat or other headgear for his visit to the Times newsroom, which, given his already all-too-imperious image, is probably for the best.

If you know more, do get in touch.

(Pic: Jobs talking to the Journal's Walt Mossberg and the iPad unveiling in San Francisco last week. Getty Images.)