Will the new, supposedly improved Rosie O'Donnell insult large swaths of the audience the second time around?

Rosie O’Donnell returned to “The View” today after her tumultuous exit back in 2007. The stand-up comic and progressive activist joins a new “View” crew including actress Rosie Perez and GOP consultant Nicolle Wallace, all chatting beside returning co-host Whoopi Goldberg.

O’Donnell has been playing nice with the press, discussing her new health regimen, willingness to provide smarter conversation and vow to avoid verbal clashes like those she once had with ex-“View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

We’ll see. Her lengthy track record shows how easily she insults large groups of people, hardly something a TV star wants to do when hired to restore sinking ratings.

We’ll soon see if the erstwhile Queen of Nice can earn her throne back and avoid comments like the following:

  • On faith: “Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state.”
  • On 9/11: “I do believe it is the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself.”
  • On a co-worker: “You know what happens to people who lie … tThey get sick and they get cancer. If they keep lying, they get it again.” The comedienne says she later apologized for the comments.
  • On the possible presence of terrorist cells in the U.S.: “Well, you know, they use those words so that they can scare people “terror” and “cell.”
  • On Army enlistees’ educational background: Rosie O’Donnell tells Ricki Lake why she thinks people enlist in the Army. Lake responds: “To get an education, and they’re poor,” and O’Donnell fires back, ‘Thank you,” adding that this is the case for the vast majority of Army enlistees. NOTE: A recent study debunks that claim.

Update: O’Donnell may have broken her “smart” pledge on day one and managed to insult NFL players at the same time, courtesy of Newsbusters:

ROSIE O’DONNELL: What’s interesting to me is that we, as a country, support football.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Uh-huh.

O’DONNELL: They’ve had studies that show it’s life-threatening to every player. They have traumatic brain injuries. They’re taking steroids, which really changes their judgment. They’re encouraged and paid to be violent. Same with fighters, with boxers. They live in an arena of — it would be wonderful if they were able to separate the violence of their job with the violence in their life! But I don’t think that’s how human brains work. And believe me, I don’t excuse any violence towards anyone, but I do understand how a guy who knocks people over and pushes them down for a living and gets cheered might do that in his private life, even though it’s wrong.