January 27, 1997 12:00 PM

“Before you get numerous letters scolding you for your choices of the 25 Most Intriguing People [PEOPLE, Dec. 30-Jan. 6], I want to inform your readers that intriguing does not necessarily mean beloved, inspiring or talented. Intriguing people are people who have done things, good or bad, to seize your attention.” Correspondent Jessica Jacobs of Tokyo said that, and we agree. Now on to the scolders.

THE 25 MOST INTRIGUING

Will someone tell me what is so intriguing about Jenny McCarthy? She is a brainless, talentless twit. I hope she is socking away her money because although she may be the hot thing now, let’s see how many people remember her in a few years.

LORETTA BATOR, Mt. Prospect, Ill.

Jenny McCarthy, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brooke Shields? Please! Has your staff been taken over by a group of 16-year-old boys?

JENNIFER BUSSEY, Petersburg, Texas

I think I speak for the majority of young female Americans when I say I have never thought of Jenny McCarthy as “best friend” or “role model.” Give it a rest already!

HEATHER BOTHELL, Baraboo, Wis.

I want to commend you on your choice of Jenny McCarthy. You did a good job explaining her real character to people who think she is just another dumb blonde.

PATRICK RUFLEDT, Janesville, Wis.

I was very upset when I saw Theodore Kaczynski among your 25 Most Intriguing. This just shows someone can gain celebrity status when they have committed a crime. David Kaczynski should have been on the list for his bravery in turning in his brother.

JENN HOESCHEN, Winnipeg, Man.

I cannot believe you selected Dennis Rodman as one of the 25 Most Intriguing. Who would want their kid growing up looking up to that self-centered, cross-dressing, no-class fool?

JAMES BARFIELD, Columbus, Ga.

Madonna? Dennis Rodman? Princess Diana? You should have called the issue The Most Overexposed People of the Year. Booooring!

BILL STOSINE, Iowa City, Iowa

You showed a depressing picture of Bob Dole; he was off in the distance, frowning, and the picture was drab. As soon as I turned the page, presto! There was a closeup of a smiling Bill Clinton, in vibrant colors. Plus, Clinton’s interview was about three pages long, while Dole’s wasn’t even a page. Gosh, I can’t tell who is biased here!

MATT JAMES, Sheffield, Ala.

Hmmm…25 Most Intriguing People, and among them we have a gorilla and a comic-strip character. It appears you’ve reached entirely new levels of vacuousness.

SCHUYLER DUNN, Portland, Ore.

Princess Diana and Binti-Jua in the same category? Shame on you. Let’s hope gorillas can’t read.

JACINTA COTHRAN, Barbados, West Indies

Since you did not find Brad Pitt intriguing, I did not find your magazine intriguing and therefore did not buy it.

A. JENSEN, Owatonna, Minn.

I know it’s impossible to list every person who might be considered worthy, but I cannot believe your omission of Ekaterina Gordeeva, who faced the devastating loss of her husband and partner, Sergei Grinkov, with bravery and strength. What she accomplished last year is a glowing example of the human spirit in the face of tragedy.

AMY A. WALTERS, Millersville, Md.

Just wondering where Joe Torre was on your list. What this man went through on the national stage was amazing, from the death of one brother to another one needing a heart transplant, all while masterfully leading the Yankees to their first world championship in 18 years. Do you honestly believe some cartoon character is more intriguing than this man?

ERIC HOEY, New York City

I was so pleased to see that you included Rosie O’Donnell. She is one of the most wonderful and talented people ever. She is bright, funny and brightens up my day.

SHANNON COLLINS, Wilmington, N.C.

Thank you for honoring someone who has perfectly captured the true meaning of honesty in music, Alanis Morissette. She’s not another society-sculpted, media-influenced person.

JESSICA PURMORT, via e-mail

Well, it seems that PEOPLE has once again published the 25 Most Intriguing People of the Year issue, and once again I was not included.

FRED TUTTLE, New York City

You were 26th. Tell your friends.—ED.

PICKS & PANS

Boy, oh boy, you really blew it this time. I couldn’t believe that not only was ER excluded from Best of Tube, but you put Friends in Worst of Tube. However, all is forgiven since George Clooney is among your Most Intriguing. Compared to him, Mel, Tom and Brad put together are merely chopped liver.

MEREDITH G. TROY, Amherst, Mass.

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