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The View’s Feud with Carly Fiorina is Getting Nastier

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Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina. Photograph by Frederic J Brown — AFP/Getty Images

If only America debated the issues as vigorous as it does Carly Fiorina’s appearance…

The Republican Presidential candidate will appear on ABC’s daytime talk show The View this Friday to take the panel to task for comments made about her face after the most recent GOP debate. Those controversial comments, which have resurrected a debate on social media, come as ratings for The View have fallen precipitously this year, and the all-important Nielsen sweeps period is starting.

The trash talking began on Oct. 29, when The View’s Michelle Collins said Fiorina “looked demented” when she flashed a grin during the debates after saying she had been told her biggest flaw was she didn’t smile enough. Comedian/co-host Joy Behar quickly jumped on the bandwagon and added, “I wish it was a Halloween mask.” Paula Faris, ABC News correspondent, co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend and The View co-host tried to temper things by saying “I think ‘demented’ is a strong word,” but was quickly shouted down.

“Man up”

Fiorina announced her forthcoming appearance on Fox News November 2 with a message: “My message to the ladies of The View is ‘Man up’. If you want to debate me on policies … man up and debate me on them. But don’t sink to talking about my face.”

The View is not having the best season of its 18 years on the air. The show had lots of behind the scenes drama with the departure of Rosie O’Donnell earlier this year. And its season premiere ratings were down 22% in households and 47% among women aged 25-54 this year.

The interview with Fiorina will occur during Nielsen’s sweeps period for the 2015-2016 season, which runs from Oct. 29 through Nov. 25. So a bit of controversy – and the media attention that goes with it – could steer people back to the show. The co-hosts certainly aren’t the first to try to make hay off of personal insults against Fiorina. Donald Trump mocked the candidate two months ago, telling Rolling Stone “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?” – though his motivations were political and certainly different than those of the show’s hosts.

Ironically, the hosts of The View took Trump to task when he called into the show soon after those comments emerged.

“Why don’t you talk about her brain instead of her face?” Behar challenged him, to a round of applause from the audience.

Social media users seemed to be on Fiorina’s side in the matter, with several talking the show to task.

The View‘s hosts, for now at least, seem content to stoke the fires (which, cynics might note, could help juice ratings).

“I do want to point out, Carly, last time you were here, we welcomed you to our table,” said co-host Whoopi Goldberg. “We helped raise your profile, so you would be included in the sea of men. … We were respectful and gave you your due. So, just so we’re all clear, you have to know the difference between when somebody is coming for you, and when somebody is paying you a compliment, and when somebody is saying, ‘Here’s my observation.’ If you can get that together maybe you can be president.”