“NEW” York. We are “NEW” Mexico.” … “Maybe they had the same editor as The Bachelor…” … “What is wrong with people? For the last time, New Mexico is in the United States.” … “I guess the country of Mexico annexed part of the USA when we weren’t looking.” … “Heck. Maybe we aren’t so new any more. We’ve been a state since 1912.”
These are a few of the comments made by New Mexicans on the Visit New Mexico Facebook page in reaction to the cover of the New York Times Magazine that showed the area between Texas and Arizona simply as “Mexico.”
“This certainly isn’t the first time New Mexico has been confused with another country,” said Tourism Department Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham. “We actually get quite a chuckle each month reading the ‘One of Our 50 is Missing’ feature in New Mexico Magazine. But there are certain people or publications that we, as a state, expect more from.”
The cover, one of five used to celebrate the relaunch of the New York Times Magazine last week, was posted on the Tourism Department’s Facebook page on Friday afternoon. The caption read, “Something is missing… wish we “new” what it was. #newmatters.”
By Saturday morning the image had been viewed more than 39,000 times. New Mexicans could not believe their eyes, and responded by sharing and commenting with playful outrage. Once the conversation spread to Twitter, more national attention was drawn to the mistake.
Even the New York Times Phoenix Bureau Chief seemed miffed:
“The New Mexico True campaign was born out of the idea that New Mexico was a dry, arid, barren desert state with nothing to do,” Latham said. “We’re focused on creating awareness of New Mexico’s adventures steeped in culture… and apparently we still have a little work to do reinforcing that the “new” matters to New Mexico.”