With this issue, HUSTLER proudly celebrates 41 years as one of America’s staunchest advocates of personal freedom, political integrity and unfettered free speech. Back in the ’70s, when we started publishing, interracial relationships were taboo, gays were strictly closeted and women were just beginning to spy the glass ceiling. Undoubtedly, there has been a lot of progress in the past four decades, but in some ways our nation has moved backward. The military-industrial complex has grown into a ravenous monster, the middle class has been decimated while Wall Street flourishes, and our mainstream media is ever more consolidated and “embedded”—not only overseas with our military, but here at home as well.
While the mainstream media seems increasingly bent on circumscribing free speech, HUSTLER has pushed the boundaries in the opposite direction. We have regularly offended the high and mighty, the powerful and corrupt, the pompous and shameless, with uncompromising investigations and scathing satire. That’s what the First Amendment protects—speech that rocks the boat and rattles the complacent.