The groan heard ?round the region

Crackpot author Dave Gilmartin instantly got the sort of press no publicist could ever provide when he released his new book, “The Absolutely Worst Places to Live in America.”

After all, each of the 50 cities he lists has a newspaper. Greeley is among them.

For those who have missed the coverage of Gilmartin’s savaging of Greeley, including a story on the front of the Denver Post’s “Colorado Sunday” section on Nov. 12, or the editorial written in the form of an open letter to Gilmartin in the Greeley Tribune on Nov. 14, here’s the bare essence:

Greeley is ideal for “carnivores, farm folk, slaughterhouse workers, men with mullets, women with BIG hair, people who don’t mind smelling like (manure), washed-up cowboys, Republicans.” Greeley is “where cows go to die and people go to kill them.”

You get the idea.

If New Jersey native Gilmartin had ever been to Greeley — and he confesses he hasn’t — he might not have included it with cities such as Gary, Ind., or Fairbanks, Alaska.

Post reporter Douglas Brown, who spent some time in Greeley before writing about Gilmartin’s dubious assessment, included some quite unintentional humor in his story. For instance, after his interview with Mayor Tom Selders, he described him as “the fit, barrel-chested mayor who looks a bit like Johnny Carson.”

Johnny Carson?

“I think I look more like Tom Selleck than Johnny Carson,” Selders told The Eye. “Or maybe that Brad Pitt guy.”

By the time we caught up with Selders, the fallout from Gilmartin’s book, for the most part, had been dusted off.

“The whole thing was just so damned absurd,” Selders said. “Part of me wants to just blow it off, because it’s so ridiculous. There are so many good things we have in this community.”

As bad as Gilmartin’s pasting of Greeley was, it could have been worse. Here is how some other communities fared:

n Gary: “Like a sewer populated by 100,000 people.”

n Fairbanks: “Take the most horrible place you’ve ever been, then subtract the sun.”

n Camden, N.J.: “Once the proud home of America’s first mass murderer, it’s been all downhill since then.”

n Atlantic City, N.J.: “Come for the slots. Stay for the gang warfare and fourth-rate prostitutes.”

Now … how would Gilmartin know?

The Eye also has a small bone to pick with the Tribune. The paper ended its otherwise well-rendered editorial letter to Gilmartin with this:

“We look forward to seeing you soon.?? After all, we know you’ll want to stop by when you make your way to Fort Collins to do research for a sequel.”