Captain Hindsight Meets Captain Obvious
Whatever your political leanings -- left wing, right wing, whatever -- here's something to consider when publishing opinionated columns, graphics, maps or what have you: If someone commits a horrible crime against one of your political opponents and you feel the need to delete old Facebook status updates, blog posts or anything else which, in retrospect, makes it sound like you endorse that crime, maybe you shouldn't have published that blog post or Facebook update in the first place. It's like posting a video of yourself naked, picking your nose and using the pickings to spell out obscenities on your stomach: yes, you do have the legal right to do this, and I firmly oppose anyone who'd attempt to take that legal right away ... I'm just saying you should pause long enough to ask yourself "Has this the potential to reflect badly on me?" (Hint: the answer is "yes.")
ADDENDUM: After reading the comments, I fear this post might be misinterpreted. So allow me to clarify: I'm not calling to ban anything, and my argument here is a "public safety" matter. My advice is not intended to prevent future assassination attempts, but to spare future writers from feeling ashamed of themselves in the aftermath of future assassination attempts. I say this for the benefit of anyone who regularly expresses strong and heated opinions (including politicos and would-be politicos like Palin): if you feel compelled to delete what you wrote, you probably shouldn't have written it in the first place. "Don't embarrass yourself," is what I'm saying.
As I think more about it, Sarah Palin would have my grudging respect had she kept her target list posted on her Facebook page (fond as she is of her guns, she should try sticking to them), and posted a new message not merely offering condolences to the victims and their families, but soundly denouncing any American who'd use violence rather than persuasion to affect political change (segue here into something inspirational about free speech and the first amendment). Or, conversely, had she taken the target list down and explained that she no longer wanted her name associated with it. But taking the list down while saying nothing about it, and ignoring it as much as possible?
Given how she handled her governor's job the second things got tough, I don't know why I'm so surprised by such cowardice. I stand behind everything I've ever written and published under my own name; Palin lacks the same courage.