President Obama said he was "amused" by the rally in Washington organized by Comedy Central host Jon Stewart set for the end of October.

The president approvingly name-checked Stewart and his "Rally to Restore Sanity," the Oct. 30 gathering on the National Mall ostensibly meant for less strident, centrist political observers.

"I was amused, Jon Stewart, he's going to host a rally called something like 'Americans in Favor of a Return to Sanity,'" Obama told a small gathering in Richmond, Va., where he was taking questions.

The president mentioned the Stewart rally as part of a discussion about the increasingly tough media environment, where more partisan voices have emerged and "splintered" political discourse.

"The media's gotten very splintered," he said. "So what happens is these cable shows, they figure the more controversial I can be...that will get me attention."

Stewart's rally will be on the same day as Stephen Colbert's satirical "March to Keep Fear Alive."

Colbert has been a popular personality himself on the political scene, after ribbing lawmakers during a hearing last week on migrant workers' rights.