Glenn Beck has taken the high road on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's political comedy event on the National Mall on October 30th, issuing a sorta classy statement that doubled as a nice pat on the back. "8/28 was a historic event for a lot of Americans," Beck says. "I hope that Ed Schultz, the AFL-CIO, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and whoever else wants to plan a march in DC have the same great success that we had with Restoring Honor." But Democrats and other critics are worried!

Stewart and Colbert's "dueling" rallies have scored more than 100,000 collective RSVPs on Facebook. (Beck's rally had between 87,000 and 300,000 in attendance, depending on whose numbers you believe.) But the Comedy Central what-have-you takes will occur just days before the crucial midterm elections, and some experts in field organizing worry it will siphon away activists who might otherwise have volunteered for Get Out the Vote efforts that weekend. "I find it very disturbing that people who say they really care about voting and making real change in D.C., will be taking thousands of people away for a comedy show, when they should be working in their respective communities to make sure that change comes in November," says not very fun-sounding Democratic consultant Kevin Wardally in an interview with Politico.

"It’s just like everything they do—it’s really for the joke," insists one "senior administration official" at the Daily Show. But the main thrust of Stewart's joke seems pretty sincere, and Comedy Central has even hired two former Clinton aides to help organize the event. One critic is dismissing the whole thing as a "false consensus march," and in a trenchant Tumblr post, writes:

This upcoming event in Washington just takes the formerly disruptive Daily Show model and marks its final transition to another element within the system of political media. Rather than critiquing the system from the outside, it’s now a participant fully enmeshed, and if employing two former Clinton aides isn’t a mark of political professionalization, I don’t know what is.

It’s impressive that a comedy talk show was able to make this transition, but I’m not sure if it’s actually good for the show’s audience. After all, we have lots of political media, but we only had one Daily Show, and its value stemmed in large part from its outsider position. Once it becomes an insider and falls prey to all the problems it used to gleefully skewer, it’s unclear what value it can have aside from being the funnier David Brooks.

Assuming you're not currently at a phone bank cold-calling voter rolls, read the whole thing here, slacker! [via The Awl]